John Legend and The Roots – Wake Up! Review

John Legend and The Roots Wake Up! album cover

John Legend can sing. The Roots are a band that takes hip-hop experimentation beyond the boards and into a different headspace.

I must admit that the whole John Legend thing, was fun for a minute but after a while it became a bit old. Not that the man couldn’t sing but he became a bit, err how do we put it, schizophrenic. So I was like later for him for a couple of years.

The Roots on the other hand had just released one of the most amazing albums of all time, How I Got Over, and I was like, I feel alive with this.

So when I heard through someone on my Twitter talking about the John Legend and the Roots I was prepared to temporarily forgive John Legend.


This album is a socially conscious and relevant piece of art. It has an almost divine conviction and takes you quite seamlessly between sanity and madness.

John Legend dominates this album with soulful brilliance, reinventing an art-form that has suffered under the mediocre layers of what substitutes for music being shamelessly released by many who for want of words we shall call artists.

Shock it does but not in your usual slapstick American way. It provides emotional and psychological introspection and this is not veiled under some politically correct overtone. The poignancy in the statement “If they want people killed, let them fight the war” from Our Generation speaks volumes of honest an album this is.

It is a solid effort that never veers away from the centre and continues to jolt the sleepy consciousness of the masses in a world that not only neglects but despises awareness.

Like many albums that I find very smart without deception, I find it very difficult to like any particular song specially more than others. However the justice the crew does to the Bill Withers classic I can’t write left-handed is exceptional. “Getting shot at didn’t bother him/ It’s getting shot that shook him up”. SMH.

If this doesn’t wake you up, check your pulse.

Tracks To Download

Our generation
I can’t write left handed
Humanity (Love the way it should be)