AOL: What do you think you learned from each other during this process?
Legend: I learned some songs I Just didn't even know. He was able to dig into crates and really get some great material for us to, some of which I just really wasn't aware of like 'Hang on In There' and 'I Can't Write Left Handed.' Sometimes I would know the artist, but I wouldn't know some of the more off the beaten path records that they recorded. And so I think, one of the coolest things was just me learning more about the history of soul music, and some artists that have been overlooked, and some songs that have been overlooked, to some extent. And it was great really bringing those to life again; putting them out there for a new generation to hear. So I think that was one of the coolest things about doing this project.
Questlove: I'll say that if anything, this is definitely the first project that I've done, and which the artist that I'm collaborating with really wanted to bring, basically, the maximum performance out of the project. I kind of followed the rule that Prince always had, which was basically: make the song classic enough, and sort of middle ground enough, but just make it a great foundation, so that when you do it live, you can surpass it. One of the crazy advantages we had with making this a two year process, was that we were also doing a lot of local jam sessions shows. Of which, these songs sort of take a life on of their own. And it was almost to the [point] that they were absolutely more superior than the album versions. I've never had an artist before tell me like, "Yo, we can do better. Let's go re-record this stuff."
Now, we have such a challenge on our hands because the mind-blowing version is now what the album is, and so we have to surpass it. He taught me a lot just about achieving the best performance, because I have a tendency to be very loose in my production.
Legend: And I think another thing that was cool, for both of us I think, neither of us have done a truly kind of live band arrangement for an entire album as well. Even though The Roots use a lot of live drums, and a lot of live instruments, neither of us have done the process of really being in the room together as a band, recording a full album. You know together, almost as it would be live. I've never done that, and Ahmir's never done that, and I think that was cool for both of us to kind of navigate through that. And like he said, playing a live show helped us come back and actually do better versions than we originally did. But that whole live interaction, that whole process, which is how people used to record albums all the time, is something that doesn't happen a lot now. And so it's kind of cool to bring that back. Because I think it gives it a sound, that other albums don't have.
Questlove: Yeah definitely a different energy.