The Roots recently re-signed with Def Jam, inking a new contract with the legendary label to release more albums. Speaking with Complex.com, band leader ?uestlove explained why the group decided to stick with the imprint and how most labels don’t expect their signees to last as long as they have.
“We just [sign for] two records at a time. We have the advantage because even if we don’t sell a gazillion records, there’s still a prestige left that we carry that makes them look good, which is important. I look at it like we’re a prestige artist. I’m sure Joni Mitchell doesn’t move millions and we’re in that plane now,” he said. “We been without a label president for a second. I’ve yet to meet Joey IE though. In fact, I found out [Joey IE became the president of Def Jam] on Twitter. Barry Weiss has always been our [point person with Def Jam] so we’ve been negotiating that. It’s so ironic; for all the speculation that we’ve switched labels, we’ve always been on Universal.”
“But the thing is, we gotta be honest about where we are. I don’t wanna be 40 with my pants caught down trying to do something like ‘Throw your hands in the air. Shake your ass bitch.’ I said we need to make an honest-ass record and that’s what will determine what it is,” he said. “I’ll say that at least four of the submissions [for the new album], they’re above 115 beats per minute. It’s very high energy. Not fist-pumping, but fast. This is just the music stage, not even the lyrical stage. We thought of a title two weeks ago but I am not allowed to say what it is just yet—but you’ll know soon.”