There’s a reason the Roots are the baddest house band in late night. Take Monday night’s “The Tonight Show” for an example. Sure, Rick Ross could have shown up with a DJ and a couple of back-up musicians to perform “The Devil is a Lie.”
But instead, Rozay, dressed in all black everything, powered through a horn-blasted, percussion heavy version of the driving Mastermind single with the Philly crew. And not for nothing, even with Jay Z absent from the mix, Ross seemed extra energized by the Roots’ thick tapestry of sound.
At a listening party for the album last month, Ross was surrounded by fellow rap stars, including Busta Rhymes, Meek Mill, Swizz Beatz, Fabolous and DJ Khaled. For each track he played from the March 4 album, Rozay added a customized reel of dramatic imagery to accentuate the song’s lyrics. Among the tunes he previewed were: “Rich Is Gangsta,” “Drug Dealer’s Dream,” the Notorious B.I.G. remake “Nobody,” “Sanctified,” “In Vein,” “Thug Cry” and “Blessing in Disguise.”
The guests on the album include Jeezy, the Weeknd, Kanye West and Big Sean, Meek, Lil Wayne and dancehall stars Sizzla and Mavado.