Monsters of Folk’s original “Dear God (Sincerely, MOF)” already had a pretty solid beat and the voice of Jim James sounding like a soul sample from a different era, so it’s not any surprise that a hip-hop troupe would pick it up for their own uses.
The Roots are preparing their ninth album “How I Got Over,” and have unleashed their own “Dear God 2.0.” The result? Essentially the same guts of the song, with raps over the verses. It’s like a bizarro version of the jam, already otherworldly and kind of a downer in its own right.
“Dear God, I see your face in all I do / Sometimes it’s so hard to believe in / But God I know you have your reasons,” goes the original choruse, James’ delicate palatte mashing into the rhymes on disasters of the manmade and natural in the world. “Why’s the world so ugly if you made it in your image?” the Roots shout at the man from above, then whip it back to their own situation of just carving out their own place in the entertainment world, on the “Def Jam payment plan.”
While the release has been pushed back and back and back, the group — who happens to be moonlighting as house band on “Jimmy Fallon,” or vice-versa — announced a June 22 release and a tracklist which will surely change before them. Proof? Right around the same time as the announcement last week, ?uestlove Tweeted that he was in the studio with three of the gals from 2009 darlings Dirty Projectors, making interludes.
As previously reported, The Roots are working with a number of other guests for the set, from sampling Joanna Newsom to adding guest vocalist John Legend. They much of the album to a small set of reporters last week, a gathering to which I had no invite, so I will pretend I was washing my hair instead.
Here is the tracklist to “How I Got Over”:
1. Walk Alone (Truck North, Porn, Dice Raw, Mercedes Martinez)
2. Dear God 2.0 (feat. Jim James, MOF)
3. Radio Daze (feat. Blu, Porn, Dice Raw, Mercedes Martinez)
4. Now Or Never (feat. Phonte Coleman, Dice Raw)
5. How I Got Over (feat. Dice Raw)
6. The Day (feat. Blu, Phonte Coleman, Patty Crash)
7. Right On (feat. Joanna Newsom, Sugar Tongue Slim)
8. Doin It Again (feat. John Legend)
9. The Fire (feat. John Legend, Rick Friedrich)