The legendary Roots crew, and "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" band, are releasing a new album titled undun on December 6.
"At this point in our career we'd like for our work to have a unifying theme and an experiential quality,” Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson said in a statement. “We've been intentionally making our albums shorter in length so that they can be experienced as a continuous work."
The conceptual work is the ninth album for the group, not including Wake Up! a joint album with John Legend, and is aptly described by the gentlemen below:
"undun is an existential re-telling of the short life of one Redford Stephens (1974-1999). Through the use of emotives and Redford’s internal dialogues the album seeks to illustrate the intersection of free will and prescribed destiny as it plays out ‘on the corner’. Utilizing a reverse narrative arc, the album begins as the listener finds Redford disoriented--postmortem and attempting to make sense of his former life. As he moves through its pivotal moments he begins to deconstruct all that has led to his (and our own) coming undone."
Thompson personally took the record's explanation one step further.
"undun is the story of this kid who becomes criminal but he wasn't born criminal," Thompson says. "He's not the nouveau exotic primitive bug-eyed gunrunner like Tupac’s character Bishop in Juice. He's actually thoughtful and is neither victim nor hero. Just some kid who begins to order his world in a way that makes the most sense to him at a given moment. At the end of the day, isn't that what we all do?”
The first single from undun featuring Missisippi newcomer Big K.R.I.T. leaked onto the web Monday (October 17) and will be available through iTunes on November 1. The Roots are also set to perform in New York City on November 29, 30 and December 5 at the Highline Ballroom.
Here is the undun tracklist below:
2) Make My
3) One Time
4) Kool On
5) The Jump
8) I Remember
9) Tip The Scale