The recent pairing of John Legend and the Roots is a meeting of the minds that has born a cover album like no other. The singer-songwriter/pianist and hip-hop collective both share an appreciation for instrumentation, a vast knowledge of soul music and a history of never settling for less than the best.
An admitted music geek and crate digger, Roots drummer Questlove helped Legend select some of the most interesting, socially conscious and reflective songs -- from artists you may not have heard of, but will definitely know and love after hearing the reworked tunes -- for 'Wake Up!' Originally, Legend thought the album would be a supplement to 2008's 'Evolver' or an EP of a few songs from the jam sessions with the legendary Roots crew, but instead, two years later, the crooner and the crew had a slew of tracks and, ultimately a full-fledged album, not to mention memories of a recording experience they'll never forget. "I've never had an artist before tell me like, 'Yo, we can do better. Let's go re-record this stuff," Questlove says of the two-year recording process. We were lucky enough to witness the fruits of their labor during AOL's third Sessions taping with the Grammy award-winning singer and first with the Roots.