The Roots have collaborated with a wide range of hip-hop’s finest, backing everyone from Jay-Z to Nas during live performances. Now, though, they’re getting ready to drop a project with a similarly esteemed musician—it’s just one who’s not a rapper.
According to Billboard, the Philadelphia collective will be releasing an album later this year with Elvis Costello. “It was really love at first sight,” Questlove told the site of his first meeting with Costello. “The second time he came on [Late Night With Jimmy Fallon], we surpassed the first one. So by the third time, he was like, ‘Let’s stop messing around and do something together.’”
Since then, they’ve recorded over a dozen songs. “We had 13 or 14 songs, but then we said, ‘Ooh! Wait a minute! Let’s replace four of these songs with four better songs!” he continued. “And now we have the tightest 12-14 song collection out of about 20 songs that we made.”
Though The Roots are signed to Def Jam, it’s unclear whether or not it’ll come out through the storied hip-hop label. “We kind of have the freedom to take it around, whether it’s to Elvis’ people or Def Jam’s people,” he added. “I can just say that it is brilliant.”
The last project that the group released, 2011′s undun, is nominated for Best Rap Album at this year’s Grammy Awards.