When I first heard these 2 music titans were getting together and doing an album together I couldn’t believe it. Well myself and thousands of others are believers now cause it’s finally out and the album is a beast! If you thought the Jay-Z/ Linkin Park Collision Course album was nuts this album is a must by.
Soulful singer John Legend & the baddest band in all the land The Roots present Wake Up!, and if you think that this dream team of a combination looks good I can assure you it sounds even better! This album is packed with 12 songs pulled from the soulful music of the 60’s and 70’s all with a theme of awareness, engagement and consciousness all blessed by John’s voice and the Roots instrumentation/ lyrics. The album is highlighted with familiar tracks like “Little Ghetto Boy” by Donny Hathaway mixed with more obscure selections like Baby Huey and the Babysitters’ “Hard Times” which is my cut. Wake Up! also includes one original composition, John Legend’s “Shine,” which is featured in the documentary Waiting For Superman.
From the very start of the album this killer combo comes out of the gate’s full blast with a loud, soulful, live, hard hitting sound that you can’t help but get excited and bob your head too with “Hard Times.” This track is probably one of my favorite because it’s the perfect combo of John’s high notes, The Roots instrumentation and Black Thought lyrics. I had to bless yall with a live in studio performance of it which gives you one hell of an idea as to how they all recorded this album which makes sense as to why it’s so live! I swear if you closed your eyes with the volume all the way up you’d swear John and the Roots were playing live right in front of you. It’s that live yall.
“Hard Times (live in studio)”
01. Hard Times Feat. Black Thought
02. Compared To What
03. Wake Up Everybody Feat. Common & Melanie Fiona
04. Our Generation (The Hope Of The World) Feat. Cl Smooth
05. Little Ghetto Boy (Prelude) Feat. Malik Yusef
06. Little Ghetto Boy Feat. Black Thought
07. Hang On In There
08. Humanity (Love The Way It Should Be)
09. Wholy Holy
10. I Can’t Write Left Handed
11. I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free
01. Hard Times Feat. Black Thought[audio: 01. Hard Times (feat. Black Thought).mp3]
02. Compared To What[audio: 02. Compared To What.mp3]
03. Wake Up Everybody Feat. Common & Melanie Fiona[audio: 01. Hard Times (feat. Black Thought).mp3]
06. Little Ghetto Boy Feat. Black Thought[audio: 06. Little Ghetto Boy (feat. Black Thought).mp3]
09. Wholy Holy[audio: 09. Wholy Holy.mp3]
10. I Can’t Write Left Handed[audio: 10. I Can’t Write Left Handed.mp3]
12. Shine[audio: 12. Shine.mp3]
5 out of 5 Cartons