On September 21, Columbia/Sony Records will release John Legend & The Roots’ WAKE UP! The compilation features cover versions of songs by Donny Hathaway, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes and Nina Simone. The label, Legend and The Roots teamed with J. Period and Truelements for WAKE UP! Radio, a prelimenary mixtape to the official release. J. Period told HipHopDX today that the work will include a reunion collaboration with seminal 1990s Hip Hop duo Pete Rock & CL Smooth.
The Mount Vernon, New York duo reunited for “Our Generation (J. Period Remix).” The song draws from Ernie Hines’ title of the same name, which was used for the duo’s 1992 hit “Straighten It Out.” This will be Pete & CL’s first recorded material together in six years, when they worked on Rock’s Soul Survivor II.
“WAKE UP! represents a call to action,” J.Period deduced. “Music can either be vacuous entertainment, or one of the most transcendent and powerful forces on this planet. John Legend & The Roots are making an incredible statement releasing these songs at this moment in history, and I am excited to create a companion piece that helps keep that energy in circulation online for many months to come.”
“When these songs were written, people were more spiritually in tune,” said ?uestlove in a statement. “It was fresh from the Civil Rights era and there was a feeling of hope that maybe, yes, someday we will all be free. In 2010, not so much.”
“These songs [are] so relevant now,” John Legend said. “On most of them, you wouldn’t change a lyric [from the original version.] The passionate election [in 2008] represented change and hope, and awakened a new generation of activists who had never been inspired before. [Fast forward to today:] the intense brew of possibility [and] poverty, optimism and despair, activism and unrest, global connectedness and intractable global conflicts is the reason WAKE UP! exists.”
To download “Our Generation (J. Period Remix)” by Pete Rock & CL Smooth, click here. The popular deejay also revealed that his next project will be with Virginia veteran emcee Skillz.