Questlove Talks The Roots Creating The Band’s First Album Since 2014

“When you create more from your heart, that’s where the magic starts. And so that’s where we’re coming from.”

Supporters of the legendary Roots crew can expect a new studio LP. The upcoming album will be the Hip Hop band’s first body of work since 2014’s …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin.

Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson spoke to Apple Music 1’s Zane Lowe, and the veteran drummer confirmed The Roots are headed back to the studio. While members of the group are involved in other outside projects, listeners can expect more music to drop in the coming months.

“It’s been nine years and Black Thought, right now, is doing genius levels of… he just basically wrote one of the greatest plays… it’s mind-blowing,” stated Questlove. The 51-year-old Philadelphian added, “It opens in two weeks on Broadway. Once I finish this go-round, he finishes his play. We’re pretty much 80% done.”

Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter’s Black No More musical is an adaptation of George S. Schuyler’s novel Black No More: Being an Account of the Strange and Wonderful Workings of Science in the Land of the Free, AD 1933-1940. Black Thought also created the score for Black No More.

Questlove’s Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) recently earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Feature. Former United States President Barack Obama even named Summer of Soul as one of his favorite films in 2021.

While Black Thought is trying his hand at theater and Questlove entered the film world, both artists are still committed to making more songs with The Roots. According to Questlove, the Grammy-winning collective is on a magical run.

“I don’t want to get people’s hope up and be like, ‘Hey, return to form.’ But… I know that there’s a sect of Roots fans that have a sentimental place in their heart for the first six albums,” Questlove told Zane Lowe. “A lot of our music just dictates what the times were. We were in really depressing times kind of in the last five years or so. But I will say that this is probably the first time where I had fun. You can tell.”

He continued, “I have fun making this movie and this wasn’t a thing where it’s like, ‘I want to make an Oscar caliber film.’ When you start thinking on that level, then it shows, and there are three ways to make a record. There’s heart, there’s brain, and then there’s ego. So, when you create more from your heart, that’s where the magic starts. And so that’s where we’re coming from.”

Additionally, The Roots announced Roots Picnic 2022 taking place at The Mann at Fairmount Park in Philadelphia on June 4 and 5. The festival’s lineup features Mary J. Blige, Summer Walker, Wizkid, Kirk Franklin, Jazmine Sullivan, G Herbo, Tierra Whack, Rick Ross, Benny The Butcher, and more acts.