Stream the First Single by John Legend & The Roots (ft. Melanie Fiona & Common): “Wake Up Everybody”

Listen to John Legend & The Roots (ft. Melanie Fiona & Common) first single off of their upcoming collaboration, Wake Up!, which will be released by Sony Music. The idea for the album first came up during the 2008 election, a time inspiring “a lot of feelings that we could all do something to make the country better and the world better,” according to Mr. Legend. It will feature covers of classic 60s and 70s songs by artists like Marvin Gaye and Donny Hathaway as well as one original, and is slated for Sept. 21.

“Wake Up Everybody”
 

“When these songs were written, people were more spiritually in tune,” says Roots drummer/musical director Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson. “It was fresh from the civil rights era and there was a feeling of hope that maybe, yes, someday we will all be free. In 2010, not so much.”

The album features one original composition, Legend’s song “Shine,” which is featured in Academy Award-winning director Davis Guggenheim’s upcoming documentary film Waiting for Superman.

Levi’s John Legend & The Roots Collaboration: “Our Generation” + MP3

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The Levi’s Pioneer Sessions keeps it moving with an amazing new cover, which may have been the catalyst a full blown Roots – John Legend soul cover album. Immediately after the new Roots release this Tuesday, they’ve announced plans for a new one. Pitchfork details their new project here; including classic covers like this one, it’s obvious that these recordings came natural. Get the free download of The Roots & John Legend remaking the Ernie Hines’ breakbeat classic, “Our Generation” at Levi’s Pioneer Sessions.

Levi’s Pioneer Sessions: Nas Covers “Hey Young World” by Slick Rick + MP3

The Levi’s Pioneer Sessions kicked off with Nas covering his “personal favorite MC” Slick Rick’s classic song, “Hey Young World,” and you can get your copy here. The series has some exciting upcoming tracks from artists like The Shins, Raphael SaadiqJohn Legend & The Roots, She & Him, Passion Pit, and more, so stay tuned! For now, check out this bonus footage of Nas laying down his track for Levi’s.


New Album by Angelique Kidjo + MP3 Download

Deemed “Africa’s premier diva” by Time, Angelique Kidjo follows up her Grammy-winning Djin Djin with Oyo. On the album, Kidjo collaborates with Bono – one of the continent’s most ardent supporters – joined with John Legend on a version of Curtis Mayfield’s “Move on Up.” The focus on Oyo is the music that shaped Kidjo’s artistic formation, including “Lakutshn Llanga,” a lullaby made famous by Kidjo’s hero, Miriam Makeba; Yoruban interpretations of Otis Redding’s “I’ve Got Dreams to Remember” and Santana’s “Samba Pa Ti;” a collaboration with Diane Reeves on “Monfe Ran E,” an homage to the Aretha Franklin hit, “Baby I Love You;” and a take on James Brown’s “Cold Sweat.”

Recorded and mixed by Russell Elevado (D’Angelo, The Roots, Erykah Badu) and produced by Kidjo and longtime collaborator Jean Hebrail, Oyo features a band of highly accomplished musicians, including guitarist Lionel Loueke, Christian McBride on upright bass, Kendrick Scott on drums and Thiokho Diagne on percussion. Trumpeter Roy Hargove makes a memorable appearance on “Samba Pa Ti.”

Enter to win the CD from Giant Step here

Angelique Kidjo – “Kelele” [mp3]
 

Tour dates and streaming tracks

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Top Artists & Producers Get Together To Celebrate Quincy Jones on Soul Bossa Nostra

Some of today’s biggest recording artists and producers have joined together to celebrate the music of multi-Grammy winning producer, composer and arranger Quincy Jones by recording contemporary versions of his popular recordings on a new album called Soul Bossa Nostra. A “family celebration,” Soul Bossa Nostra will be released on May 25th, 2010.

Among the artists to pay tribute to Jones’ massive catalog are Usher, Ludacris, Akon, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, T-Pain, Robin Thicke, LL Cool J, John Legend, Snoop Dogg, Wyclef Jean, Q-Tip, Talib Kweli, Three 6 Mafia, David Banner, Bebe Winans, Mervyn Warren, Jermaine Dupri, DJ Paul, and Scott Storch.