Questlove Saved an Unreleased J Dilla Beat for The Roots’ Next Album

Photo by Victoria Ford/Sneakshot Photography

“I’m gonna use Dilla’s music for opening the End Game album.”

As the countdown ticks on towards The Roots‘ next album, Questlove has offered an update on just what lays ahead. While 9th Wonder and Salaam Remi are still expected to handle the bulk of the production, ?uesto recently stated that he had one more unreleased J Dilla beat in the bag for End Game.

READ: The Roots Tap 9th Wonder and Salaam Remi as Co-Producers for New Album

In an oral history celebrating the 20th-anniversary of Things Fall Apart, The Roots’ co-founder detailed how nearly every decision on the album was informed by Dilla’s studio presence. In some cases — like the album’s opening track “Table of Contents Parts 1 and 2” — beats were made in an attempt to one-up the late producer (though Questo admits he never came close.) He goes on to reveal that “Table of Contents” was to have a fourth installment, produced by the late Detroit dynamo: “At one point, ‘Table of Contents’ was gonna be a four parter.”

PLAYLIST: Disciples of J Dilla: Modern Classics Haunted by The Late Production Pioneer 

He adds, “I made a third verse for Tariq that wound up going to The Legendary. So that was part three. I’m actually saving part four for End Game right now. Dilla did the beat for part four. I’m gonna use Dilla’s music for opening the End Game album.”

For reference, End Game hasn’t been mentioned by anyone even affiliated with the group in almost two years. So this is a good omen (?) that something’s coming. But we’ll have to hold on a bit longer to know any specifics. Should it manifest, End Game would be The Roots’ 17th studio album.





Zo is a staff writer at Okayplayer where he covers music.

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