Questlove gets his Mary Poppins on for Philadelphia magazine.
The title should say it all, Yo! MTV Raps is back!!! Now don’t go getting all super-excited, it is only for a special airing on Dec. 4th. But you never know what it could lead to if the ratings are through the roof. The show will feature the original show’s hosts, Fab 5 Freddy, Ed Lover and Doctor Dre and will have Q-Tip, Ice Cube, Wiz Khalifa, Questlove, Busta Rhymes, Young Jeezy, Phife, Common and much more as special guests.
I would rather MTV treat this special as a new show, as opposed to a memory lane episode. Let’s show the younger cats how we used to do it.
?uestlove takes us back to when he was 17! Ahhhh I remember when I was 17. Me, I.B. Edubl, Drepoupon, Nib Millions (remember him?) and some dudes you never heard of got it in for like 5 years straight! Similar to the Chicago Bulls run. Too bad we didn’t videotape the adventures.
“America seems to always be at war,” John Legend muses as he casually plinks the keys of his piano at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg. “While politicians go home safe to their families, we’ve got a government willing to sacrifice people’s lives every day.”
Backed by four members of the hardest-working band in hip-hop, the Roots, Legend then launches into a kinetic, 12-minute cover of Bill Withers’ “I Can’t Write Left Handed,” about a young soldier shot during the Vietnam War. The song was originally recorded in 1973, but its message still resonates in 2010, which is precisely the point. “I Can’t Write” is one of 11 socially conscious ’60s and ’70s soul songs covered on Legend and the Roots’ collaborative album, “Wake Up!,” due Sept. 21 on Columbia. (Common and Melanie Fiona make guest appearances on the set’s lead single, “Wake Up Everybody.”)
The Sept. 7 concert in Brooklyn marked the second time in eight days that Legend and the Roots played gratis in New York thanks to American Airlines, which sponsored the gigs as part of an initiative to promote BlackAtlas.com, a new social networking site geared toward African Americans. “Nothin’ like a free show,” Legend cracked. “Don’t get used to it.”
Earlier, Billboard sat down with Legend and Roots and “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” drummer Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson to talk about “Wake Up!,” President Barack Obama, Twitter, where they buy music and more.
There is something about this collaboration that has my attention. We love John Legend, but something was missing from his last release. Him teaming up with The Legendary Roots Crew can’t help but be fire, and a good look for all parties involved. So we hope since the album is “99%” done, we will actually see the September date that John threw out there.