Raheem DeVaughn Shines on The Roots' New Song, "Tomorrow"

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
April 27 2014 11:48 AM

The Roots Embrace the Present on Their New Song, "Tomorrow"

84693511-recording-artist-raheem-devaughn-arrives-at-the-51st
Raheem DeVaughn stars on The Roots' latest track.

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Despite a career that has now stretched over 20 years, The Roots never get old; their blend of intellectual lyricism and eclectic instrumentation is just as vital now as it was in the early 90s. It also sounds just as good: "Tomorrow," the second track to be released off the group's eleventh and forthcoming album, ...And Then You Shoot Your Cousin, is a soulful jaunt that's sure to please. The tune employs some crisp ragtime piano chords, a spare beat, and a warm croon from guest singer Raheem DeVaughn.

The first single off the new album, "When the People Cheer," was more in line with the group's socially conscious, often activist themes: it declaimed hip-hop misogyny and consumerism, couching a satiric commentary in a scathing first-person narrative. "Tomorrow," on the other hand, serves a simpler purpose, functioning as a light-hearted plea to enjoy the moment and embrace the present.

Advertisement

The song is a nice counterpoint to the group's weightier conceptual ambitions, which often include resolving  hip-hop's faults with its original mission. And Then You Shoot Your Cousin will be released May 13 via Def Jam.

Sharan Shetty is a writer for Brow Beat. You can follow him on Twitter

TODAY IN SLATE

Technology

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

Where Ebola Lives Between Outbreaks

Gunman Killed Inside Canadian Parliament; Soldier Shot at National Monument Dies

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Paul Farmer: Up to 90 Percent of Ebola Patients Should Survive

Is he right?

Science

“I’m Not a Scientist” Is No Excuse

Politicians brag about their ignorance while making ignorant decisions.

Politics

The Right to Run

If you can vote, you should be able to run for public office—any office.

In Praise of 13th Grade: Why a Fifth Year of High School Is a Great Idea 

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 22 2014 6:30 PM The Tragedies That Have Shaped Canada's Gun Politics
  Business
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
  Life
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 22 2014 5:54 PM May I Offer to Sharpen My Friends’ Knives? Or would that be rude?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 22 2014 4:10 PM Skinny Mark Wahlberg Goes for an Oscar: The First Trailer for The Gambler
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.