*?uestlove of The Roots sat down recently with Billboard.com’s The Juice to discuss his numerous endeavors, including his work with crooner D’Angelo on his long-awaited new album project.
“He’s in the home stretch right now,” said the drummer. “I know that Fred Wesley and the JB Horns just did a cut that Q-Tip did; I know he’s doing his vocals right now.”
As for the next album from his own band, “We actually completed it at five this morning, so it’s officially done,” he said of “Undun,” the group’s 13th studio effort. “It’s essentially a biographical narrative about Redford Stephens. Stephens [is] a composite of four or five people that we’ve known over the past few years from Philadelphia.”
The album, which features Big K.R.I.T. and Phonte from Little Brother, tells Steven’s story backwards from his death to his birth.
When he’s not recording for “Undun” and D’Angelo’s project, ?uestlove is also juggling his group’s regular gig as the house band for “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,” doing random DJ sets, and frequently sitting in with other bands.
When asked about The Roots’ incredible schedule, he took it all as just another day on the job. “It’s really not that hard,” he said. “People are always amazed with the amount of projects and events that we’re involved in and the hardest thing about it is just staying the course and concentrating. I’ve just seen so many examples of people who take it for granted. You dream of being in a certain position and once you approach it you manage to sabotage it or you get off course. For us, that’s really not an option.”
Despite the hectic schedule, ?uestlove brings it into perspective with hard work. “We’re really highly responsible and very disciplined,” he said. “I take pride in the fact that this is our 13th record; not many hip-hop groups can even get to their 8th record.”