The Roots & John Legend: Wake Up! Released Today

Musical powerhouses John Legend & The Roots‘ fiery new offering, Wake Up!, features soulful music from the 60′s and 70′s, all with underlying themes of awareness, engagement and consciousness. Inspired by the recent historical Presidential election campaign of 2008, Legend and The Roots felt a need to enter the action.

The eleven profoundly evocative reinterpretations are highlighted by “Wake Up Everybody” featuring Melanie Fiona and Common, “Wholly Holy” by Marvin Gaye, and “Little Ghetto Boy” by Donny Hathaway. The album also includes more obscure selections like Baby Huey and the Babysitters’ “Hard Times” and “Hang on in There” by Mike James Kirkland, in addition to Legend’s original composition, “Shine.” Wake Up! blends Legend’s expressive, thoughtful vocal interpretations with an element of funk that only The Roots can provide.

Check out the original songs on YouTube’s MusicTuesday, where The Roots and Legend curated a video playlist.

Catch John Legend & The Roots performing live on 9/23 @ 9 PM EST.
YouTube.com/JOHNLEGENDVEVO
Directed by Spike Lee

More Info, Streaming Tracks & Video

Purchase Wake Up! from iTunesAmazon

Video: The Roots & John Legend ft. Melanie Fiona & Common “Wake Up Everybody”

Obviously we’ve been waiting for this video (even though it’s been available on iTunes for a few days), the same way we’re waiting for the full John Legend & The Roots album Wake Up! In the meantime, check out the video of The Roots, John Legend, Melanie Fiona and Common reworking an old soul classic.

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.