It’s been three years since The Roots have dropped an album, 2014’s … And Then You Shoot Your Cousin.
History shows that The Roots tend to take about two to three-year gaps before releasing a new album. And both Questlove and Black Thought have, at various times, confirmed they were hard at work on the new album, which is tentatively titled End Game.
On Monday, Questlove hosted a lunch promoting “It Ain’t Fair,” their new song featured on the Detroit soundtrack. At the luncheon, Questlove talked to HipHopDX and gave a very important update on where The Roots are with a new album.
The big adjustment for the group has been that their longtime manager Richard Nichols, who died in 2014, is no longer around to be a guiding voice.
“The difference between this record and [the ones] that came before it was our longtime collaborator, who’s our manager and producer, is no longer with us. Usually, in that situation, [Nichols has] always been the centerpiece, the referee, between all the guys. So, this will be the first time we had to grow up and resolve our own arguments. But the one thing he was talented at was telling us to stop…
…Usually when we get to 100 songs, he’s like, ‘Guys. You have 100 songs. There’s 14 really good songs in these 100. Let’s stop and concentrate on the 14.’ Right now, we’re at 263. But ideas keep coming. I made the promise that by November 1, we are stopping. And we’re just going to pick a good 14. And I’m certain by then, it’ll be 400 songs.”
Yes, you heard that correctly: The Roots have recorded 263 songs for their new album.
Questlove also gave some interesting tidbits about his new book, which he says is coming out in May:
“…my fourth book deals a lot with creativity and silence because I feel like the one element that we don’t utilize that’s necessary for creativity is silence and boredom…Because now we can just entertain ourselves at the click of a button. The problem with that, with always stimulating your mind and your brain, is that there’s no downtime. Some of the best people we had in life had silence and thoughts and boredom to create things. And so, my book editor was like, ‘Put that in 20,000-word form.’”