Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Grammy Award-winning Hip Hop band The Roots have partnered with Captain Morgan Spiced Rum for the pirate-inspired “Live Love and Loot” campaign. With their thirteenth studio album, Undun due later this year, the Def Jam Records collective made a special song just for the Captain.

Yesterday (October 25) The Roots’ band-leader and drummer ?uestlove spoke with HipHopDX about the new sound heard on the song, premiered by today (fans can also enter to go to Facebook to download the Rock-inspired “Live Love and Loot” track, and see the campaign’s roll-out). The funky drummer also spoke about the crew using a tuba as a bass player, and overcoming skepticism of a corporate partnership of this kind.

?uestlove: We were so familiar with the TV campaign. We kind of figured that what we’re normally known for wouldn’t necessarily be a regular fit for a campaign. They kinda gave us a free will [ability] to kinda come and approach this in a very different manner, as in some sort of musical approach that we’ve never before. It’s not that we weren’t invested in doing Rock styles – we’ve done that before. It’s just that as a powerful of being a tuba, guitar [and drums], how do you make that come across and come across heavy? [Black Thought] doesn’t normally sign on Roots albums all that much, so we knew it would be a surprise for people, when you hear it. The challenge is really to make it concise in under a minute, and have some sort of adrenaline energy to it. It was a challenge but we rose to it.



DX: Did you have any reservations in working with big business? How do you feel about authenticity of campaigns like these in 2011? Are we getting a place?

?uestlove: There’s no offer that we don’t heavily scrutinize [before accepting]. [Laughs] We are artists; we are skeptical by nature. Captain Morgan is a very high-class product. Our main concern was presenting something that was just as high class, if you will. And to do it in such a short amount of time. Again, with the tuba as your bass player, that presents a lot of sonic challeges. We didn’t have any reservations other than that.

Visit Captain Morgan’s Live Love and Loot campaign here.

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