Watch the Roots Preach 'Never' With A-Trak on 'Fallon'

'Tonight Show' house band showcases '...And Then You Shoot Your Cousin'

Marc Hogan

The Roots' day job might be late-night TV, but they can still be deadly serious when left to their own devices. The iconic Philadelphia hip-hop group just released a new album, the biting, windswept ...And Then You Shoot Your Cousin. After playing behind so many artists on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (a couple of recent highlights: Future, tUnE-yArDs), last night they were the musical guests, backdropped all in white for a somber, intense take on the album's trip-hop-clouded "Never," with help from A-Trak and the Metropolis Ensemble. As Black Thought homes in on the depredations of urban poverty, he insists, "Forever is just a collection of nows." On the horizon, you can almost see the bittersweet hope of soulful LP closer "Tomorrow," where Raheem DeVaughn sings, "Everybody wants tomorrow right now." There's no deus ex machina resolution.

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