Questlove is clearly geeked today (Sept. 17) has arrived. The Roots' (for who Quest is drummer) collaborative album with new wave icon Elvis Costello, “Wise Up Ghost,” is officially out. “It goes without saying that Elvis is legendary,” Quest says during a visit to the Billboard recording studio for a brief interview. He refers to the experience of recording the thoughtful effort as being “beyond my wildest dreams. This is the ultimate bucket list check.”
Their musical relationship began with Costello’s visits to “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” where Quest leads house band (and acclaimed hip-hop group) The Roots. When the two realized how good their chemistry on stage is together, they quietly decided to give the idea of recording a few songs together a go—without informing their respective record labels.
“We recorded this in our closet of a dressing room after ‘Fallon’ shows,” Quest recalls. When their early demos turned out well, they cranked things up and went into full album mode. Lyrically, Costello says “Wise Up Ghost” “a collage” of unused material pulled from notebooks dating decades ago and fresh thoughts as well.
“I had verses from songs written 20 to 30 years apart that had the same theme or spoke to one another and that accumulated inside the frame of the new piece of music and told a new story,” says Elvis.
Check out the video to learn more about the “Ghost,” find out how Elvis is the reason The Roots chose to join Jimmy Fallon on TV years ago and when Quest finally realized the pair’s relationship switched to going steady.