Youtube Justin Timberlake is appearing on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon all…
- Posted on Jun 30th 2010 5:08PM by Mike Doherty
As the house band on 'Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,' the Roots have found themselves working with everyone from Paul Simon to Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain. The band's new release, 'How I Got Over,' features the kind of musicians you'd expect to find on indie-loving blogs, not a hip-hop album. Jim James of My Morning Jacket sings the chorus on the Roots' revamp of Monsters of Folk's 'Dear God'; the female half of Dirty Projectors (Amber Coffman, Angel Deradoorian and Haley Dekle) chant on the dreamy opener, 'A Peace of Light'; and singer/harpist Joanna Newsom delivers the hook on 'Right On.'
As ?uestlove tells Spinner, their presence on the album "wasn't manipulative, like, 'Let's get the Pitchfork favourites.' It just so happened that they all were on the show." It also turns out the Roots work their Fallon day-jobs in the same building as Newsom's boyfriend, 'Saturday Night Live' star Andy Samberg. "She's always around," ?uestlove says. "I met them at a Dirty Projectors concert. I saw the Dirty Projectors for the first time [on the Fallon Show], became a massive fan and then put that video clip of them in my dressing room singing on the net. They said, 'Come to our show next week.' I went, and then I met Joanna Newsom and Andy there and it's like, 'Oh, be on our record.'"
The album's flat-out weirdest track, 'Hustla,' incorporates material from producer, remixer and M.I.A. collaborator Diplo, who lives in ?uestlove's Philadelphia neighbourhood. "We've always talked about working," says ?uestlove, "and he let me hear a very early mix of the Major Lazer project. He was just going through some stuff, and [I said], 'Auto-Tuned baby? What the hell's that?' He's like, 'It's nothing.' He was looking for another track and I was like, 'No, let me have that s---.' He gave me three minutes of a baby crying in Auto-Tune and I manipulated it and created the track. I didn't even expect the guys [in The Roots] to get into it -- I just thought it was hilarious. They instantly started rhyming to it. Even then, I was so nervous about it that I made it the last cut on the record, as a means to separate it. It turned out to be one of people's favourite cuts."
The Roots have more projects on the go, including albums with John Legend and Booker T, but perhaps the most intriguing prospect on ?uestlove's plate is a supergroup with Amy Winehouse, who had previously hinted about it on Twitter.
Despite Winehouse's rather checkered reputation, ?uestlove is upbeat. He describes the as-yet-unreleased material Winehouse has recorded with producer Salaam Remi as "amazing," and says the supergroup is "definitely going to happen -- it's just that we have to work overtime to get her visa situation together. The closest she can come to the States is Jamaica. I'm actually going over [to Europe] this week -- I'll be in France for four, five days, so I'll see if she's up for discussing this over dinner. We've been Skype-ing the s--- out of each other."