It was almost two years ago that we first got word about the Roots' 11th studio album — and follow-up to 2011's critically acclaimed undun — when bandleader Questlove cryptically tweeted &TYSYC, asking fans to "guess" the title. Well, after a brief musical foray with Elvis Costello and move to the Tonight Show, the band have finally shed more light on …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin, which will arrive this spring via Def Jam.
Speaking with XXL, Roots co-founder Black Thought explained more about the project, describing it as another concept album in the same vein as undun, which told the first-person narrative of a character named Redford Stevens on the day of his death as an allegory for the plight of urban youth in America.
"We create quite a few different characters in this record," he said. "It's satire, but in that satire it's an analysis of some of the stereotypes perpetuated in not only the hip-hop community, but in the community."
But even if you're not interested in the album for its rich narrative and thematic elements, Black Thought promises &TYSYC will have something for all fans who many not have the attention span for a full-length concept album.
"It's short enough to digest, but it's gonna be dense," he told XXL, adding the album currently clocks in around 37 minutes. "So dense that maybe in one sitting you'll listen to it and only listen to the piano and string arrangements, and then you'll listen to it again and you'll get into the actual words that are being said, and you'll listen again and get into some of the other musicality. There's very many layers to this record, but it doesn't take place over very much time."
There's no official release date for the album just yet. Until then, maybe tide yourself over by listening to the Roots' 1999 breakthrough album, Things Fall Apart, which celebrated its 15th anniversary last Sunday (February 23).