The legendary Roots crew is back with a powerful new song from the soundtrack to the forthcoming Kathryn Bigelow film “Detroit.”
The new track -- another collaboration with longtime Roots coconspirator Bilal -- is entitled “It Ain’t Fair” and finds the hip-hop band exploring more of a Motown-oriented sound, fitting given the subject of the movie. Like a lot of their more recent work, the track features a clear political message and builds to a powerful crescendo. Listen to the new song in the video embedded above.
"This song is the slow burning fire inside all of our souls," Roots drummer Questlove explained to Rolling Stone. "Watching the movie [Detroit] clearly shows that life in 1967 isn't that much different in 2017 or 1897 for that matter. We wanted to hit many a bird with one stone: Humanize the pain, confusion and sadness. But also express the overdue anger. Not only to the powers that be but also to those on the sideline that can afford to turn the other way because it doesn't effect them at the moment."
The soundtrack to to "Detroit" -- which also features music from Motown legends like Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Brenda Holloway and the Elgins -- drops tomorrow, July 28, while the film hits theaters the following Friday, Aug. 4.
More Roots: Check out our list of their top 10 best songs
“It Ain’t Fair” may not be the only new Roots song we get this year. In a June interview with XXL, Black Thought said that the crew was working with acclaimed producers 9th Wonder and Salaam Remi on their 12th solo studio album, End Game. The new album will be The Roots’ first release since fulfilling their contract with Def Jam Records and Black Thought indicated the group is not in a rush to release their follow-up to 2014’s ….And Then You Shoot Your Cousin.
“We will announce it when it’s done and it will...come out when it comes out,” Black Thought told XXL. “We’re not under any constraints of this is the date where the album must be completed and submitted. That’s not us anymore. We’re free agents now, we’re our own brand, our own label. When the joints are done, we’re just going to put it out.”