Episode 126: The Roots

“It Ain’t Fair (feat. Bilal)”

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Drummer Ahmir Thompson, also known as Questlove, and rapper Tariq Trotter, aka Black Thought, started The Roots when they were in high school in Philadelphia in 1987. Over the last thirty years, the band has released 17 albums. They’ve received a bunch Grammy nominations including three wins. They’re also the house band for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. In this episode, Questlove tells the story of how they made the song “It Ain’t Fair.” It was created for the film Detroit, directed by oscar-winner Kathryn Bigelow, who also made the films The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty. Detroit is about the 1967 Detroit riots, centered around the events at the Algiers Motel, where police killed three young black men and beat and tortured nine others. The Roots recruited the singer Bilal to contribute vocals to the song, and they worked with The Dap-Kings, the backing band for the late soul singer Sharon Jones, to create a sound that evoked the music of 1967.

You can get “It Ain’t Fair” on iTunes. Watch the trailer for Detroit below.

Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

footnotes
Curtis Mayfield – The Other Side of Town
John Williams – Raiders March (Indiana Jones Theme)

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Episode 113: Grizzly Bear

“Four Cypresses”

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Between 2004 and 2012, Grizzly Bear put out four critically-acclaimed albums. Their newest album is called Painted Ruins, and it features this song, “Four Cypresses.” In this episode, two members of the band, Chris Taylor and Daniel Rossen, tell the story of how the song came together.

You can get “Four Cypresses” on iTunes.

Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

sponsors
This episode is sponsored by Sonos (use promo code Song10), Five Four Club (use promo code EXPLODER), and Lyft.

Take the Song Exploder listener survey at surveynerds.com/songexploder.

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Episode 112: Phoenix

“Ti Amo”

SongExploder112-Phoenix

Phoenix is a Grammy-winning band from Versailles, France. They started putting out music in 1999, and in June 2017, they released their sixth album, Ti Amo. In this episode, singer Thomas Mars and guitarist Laurent Brancowitz break down the song “Ti Amo,” the title track from that album.

You can get “Ti Amo” on iTunes.

“Ti Amo” on Jimmy Kimmel Live:

Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

footnotes
Ableton Live
Dur Dur Band – “Dooyo”
Lucio Battisti – “Il Tempo Di Morire”
Roman Coppola (Thomas’s brother-in-law)

sponsors
This episode is sponsored by Sonos (use promo code Song10) and MeUndies.

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