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John Legend And The Roots On World Cafe

When award-winning R&B singer John Legend joined forces with award-winning hip-hop band The Roots, the collaboration produced a covers album called Wake Up!. The album shadows the '60s and '70s, featuring songs recorded by Baby Huey, Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers, Nina Simone and other soul artists.

Wake Up! moves in sequence, addressing these "Hard Times" and encouraging listeners to make a change. Nostalgically coursing through R&B, funk and even hints of reggae, the album isn't just imitating the past. It's more educational, striving to show the strength of America's musical history.

Hear an interview with Legend and listen to the group's studio session from World Cafe.

Copyright NPR 2016.

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