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The Roots to Drop New Album, Hear First Single ‘When the People Cheer’

"…And Then You Shoot Your Cousin" is out May 13
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(Ben Watts for Def Jam Records)

(Ben Watts for Def Jam Records)

By Courtney E. Smith

How do they do it? The Roots are Jimmy Fallon’s house band on The Tonight Show all week long and apparently have been keeping themselves occupied in the off hours with a new album. It is ominously titled ...And Then You Shoot Your Cousin and if you find all of this hard to believe, suspend that thought while you listen to the first single, “When the People Cheer,” below.

The track starts like a child’s nursery rhyme and quickly veers into other territory, including a verse that leads from twerking to eating a Johnny Cochran.

Related: Watch Idina Menzel, The Roots & Jimmy Fallon Perform ‘Let It Go’ from ‘Frozen’

Black Thought called this one a  concept album and expanded in an interview with XXL, saying, “It’s conceptual; it’s another concept album in the spirit of undun, but it’s not just about just one kind of character, we create quite a few different characters in this record. It’s satire, but in that satire it’s an analysis of some of the stereotypes perpetuated in–not only the hip-hop community, but in the community.”

...And Then You Shoot Your Cousin follows their collaborative project last September with Elvis Costello, Wise Up Ghost. Questlove confirmed via Instagram that the album will be released on May 13 from Def Jam Records. The label’s press site indicates that in addition to the usual CD and digital formats, the album will also be released as vinyl.

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