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.
There is no one alive today that can deny the cultural contributions of Africa to modern day music across the entire globe. From artists such as the late Fela Kuti, on whose life the Award-winning Broadway musical Fela is based, to new emerging cosmopolitan artists such as Nneka and K’Naan, the influence of African music is still heard today. Even Artists that you would not traditionally think of as African influenced, such as The Roots, whose new album might be the best to come out this year so far, can easily tell you how they have been touched and influenced by it. In fact so much so that a new branch of Okayplayer, appropriately named Okayafrica, was launched earlier this summer devoted exclusively to covering the latest cutting edge African Artists. Considering the great overlap in our communities, we thought it best if we gave you a little sample of what they offer. Check out a few of our picks after the jump.
This week, GPWW brings us back and forth through time with some throwbacks to Marvin Gaye and Neil Young, new artists approved by Gilles, as well as a few tracks off The Roots‘ new album, How I Got Over, a remixed song off of Big Boi’s Sir Luscious Left Foot, and his usual mix of music from all over the globe.
Check out the latest visual from The Roots’ How I Got Over, this time for “The Fire,” with John Legend. While the artists don’t appear, director Rik Cordero uses the video to chronicle “a post-apocalyptic death march” and the struggle to find the metaphorical key to survival. If you don’t already have your copy, HIGO is available now through Island Def Jam.
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.