Hear The Roots’ First Single Off Their Upcoming Album

Slate's Culture Blog
April 8 2014 11:27 AM

Hear The Roots’ New Single, “When the People Cheer”

469670917-black-thought-and-the-roots-perform-at-gq-lebron-james
Black Thought and The Roots.

Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for GQ

Three years after their last album, undun, The Roots are finally back with an emotional new single, “When the People Cheer.” Laced with a soft, effective piano line and sad, sordid verses from Black Thought and Greg Porn, the song perfectly encapsulates some of the best attributes of the hip-hop band: hard-hitting, thoughtful lyrics paired with beautiful musical arrangements.

Consumerism, celebrity, and especially misogyny—the entire second verse plays as one unflinching first-person narrative of a man obsessed with “hos” who exist solely for his pleasure—all come in to get mocked. It’s a good indicator of what’s to come on their sixteenth album, And Then You Shoot Your Cousin; Black Thought has stated that, like undun, it will be a concept album, though with several characters rather than just one:

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.
Advertisement

Questlove has announced that the release date for the album is May 13th, and I can't wait to hear the rest of it.

Aisha Harris is a Slate staff writer.

TODAY IN SLATE

History

The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

The GOP Senate Candidate in Iowa Doesn’t Want Voters to Know Just How Conservative She Really Is

Does Your Child Have “Sluggish Cognitive Tempo”? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

Naomi Klein Is Wrong

Multinational corporations are doing more than governments to halt climate change.

The Strange History of Wives Gazing at Their Husbands in Political Ads

Television

See Me

Transparent is the fall’s only great new show.

Doublex

Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD

The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
Moneybox
Sept. 30 2014 12:04 PM John Hodgman on Why He Wore a Blue Dress to Impersonate Ayn Rand
  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 30 2014 1:38 PM Mad About Modi
 Why the controversial Indian prime minister drew 19,000 cheering fans to Madison Square Garden.

  Business
Building a Better Workplace
Sept. 30 2014 1:16 PM You Deserve a Pre-cation The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.
  Life
Education
Sept. 30 2014 1:48 PM Thrashed Florida State’s new president is underqualified and mistrusted. But here’s how he can turn it around.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 30 2014 11:42 AM Listen to Our September Music Roundup Hot tracks from a cooler month, exclusively for Slate Plus members.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 12:42 PM How to Save Broken Mayonnaise
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 11:55 AM The Justice Department Is Cracking Down on Sales of Spyware Used in Stalking
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 30 2014 7:30 AM What Lurks Beneath the Methane Lakes of Titan?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.