Fast Humans

The Roots get experimental

A sampling of the Roots' aspirations can be heard on the soundtrack to Spike Lee's Bamboozled, on which the band, with Chuck D of Public Enemy and Zack de la Rocha, formerly of Rage Against the Machine, create a manic riff on a Public Enemy song. The track, "Burned Hollywood Burned," is fast and furious, much faster than the Roots usually are. ?uestlove says that was intentional, that he set out to accelerate hip-hop from the slow, steady 90-beats-per-minute rut it's in now, to change things. But, he laughs, Outkast beat him to the punch.

"I commend them on that shit," he says of Outkast's "B.O.B." "I'm just mad they beat me. It's funny because basically when Spike Lee approached us to do the Bamboozled project, at that point I was trying to figure out what direction am I going to take the group this time, simply because every time we come out, it's something different." But, he adds, "I'll never forget. I was in Paris -- I mixed it in Paris -- and I got back on my computer and, man, I don't believe it. I got an e-mail: Yo, you gotta hear this shit.' And I clicked it, and it sounded like Tricky on acid.

Who the fuck is this?'

Fat Albert grows up
T. Hopkins
Fat Albert grows up


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It's the new Outkast, man. They're about to beat you at your own idea.'"

"Hip-hop as your parents' favorite music is not pleasing to me," the drummer continues. "It's not a thing where you have to be threatening and only the kids get to like it, but I think [Outkast's] Stankonia is definitely the first step in making [hip-hop] experimental like it used to be." Enter the forthcoming Roots album, to be released in October 2001. ""Burned Hollywood Burned' was the first step into it," says ?uestlove. "Not Bitches Brew, but it will be experimental, I guarantee. We're going to call it Introducing the Roots."

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