The Roots Return with 'Undun' Album, 'Make My' Single

Ben Watts
The Roots

As if serving as the house band on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon," curating their own summer festival and performing at a recent Pre-Emmy Awards jam wasn't enough, the Roots will return with a new album, "undun," their first conceptual full-length, on Dec. 6. The first single, the Big K.R.I.T.-assisted "Make My," leaked online on Monday (Oct. 17), and will hit iTunes on Nov. 1.

"undun" will use a "reverse narrative arc" to tell the story of a man named Redford Stephens, who died in 1999 at the age of 25. The Roots will analyze the death by re-telling his life story post-mortem.

"'undun' is the story of this kid who becomes criminal, but he wasn't born criminal," says drummer Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson in a press release. "He's not the nouveau exotic primitive bug-eyed gunrunner like Tupac's character Bishop in "Juice"... he's actually thoughtful and is neither victim nor hero. Just some kid who begins to order his world in a way that makes the most sense to him at a given moment... At the end of the day... isn't that what we all do?"

The Roots have also announced a few NYC tour dates to promote the album release: Nov. 29 and 30 and Dec. 5 at Highline Ballroom. "undun" follows last year's "Wake Up!", the Roots' collaborative album with John Legend that used 60s and 70s covers to amplify themes of social awareness and activism.