Throughout their career, the Roots have opened up the boundaries for hip-hop music. The Philadelphia group has not only championed live instrumentation in rap, they’ve also released a number of well-thought-out concept albums with rich and meaningful titles. 1999’s Things Fall Apart was based on Chinua Achebe’s literary masterpiece of the same name and 2002’s Phrenology dealt with discredited 19th-century race science.
But the band’s next LP, & Then You Shoot Your Cousin, might have the most interesting title of all.
“We’re in the genesis of that right now,” Roots drummer ?uestlove told Billboard. The band is also working on a collaboration album with Elvis Costello, and ?uest said of the project: “I can just say that it is brilliant.”
The Roots and Costello initially went in to record just a few tracks, but before they knew it, they had cut more than enough for a full-length album. “We had 13 or 14 songs, but then we said, ‘Ooh! Wait a minute! Let’s replace four of these songs with four better songs,’ ” ?uest recalled. “We have the tightest 12- to 14-song collection out of about 20 songs that we made.”
That’s not all the Roots have up their sleeve for 2013. They are also prepping for their annual Roots Picnic in Philadelphia in June. On Tuesday, the drummer announced the lineup by posting the event’s flyer to his Instagram account. Aside from the Roots, of course, Solange, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Trinidad James, Hit-Boy, Joey Bada$$ and rocker Gary Clark Jr. are all set to perform.
What do think of the Roots’ new album title? Let us know in the comments!