The Roots have unveiled “When The People Cheer”, the first track from their upcoming 11th studio album And Then You Shoot Your Cousin. Aesthetically similar to 2011’s undun, the track, which premiered earlier today on Hot 97, is another in the group’s ongoing sonic experiments with the boundaries between jazz, classical, and hip-hop. With a few loops here, some heavy-duty spurts of drum there, and a sprinkling of choral harmonies and edited vocals, the legendary crew turn this quaint neo-classical ballad into some wildly experimental and emotionally-nuanced soundscape. While lyricism has always taken a major role in their songs, the rhymes of Black Thought almost melt into the music, adding new layers to the song and enhancing its exploratory qualities.
Update: Listen to the CDQ version below:
A release date is set for May 13th through Def Jam. In an interview back in February, Black Thought described And Then You Shoot Your Cousin as “another concept album” in the vein ofundun, adding, “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.”