The Roots are working on their fourth album, The Tipping Point, in their native Philadelphia. The hip-hop group is holding open jam sessions in a small studio to workshop new songs.
"Our objective is to write as many songs as possible with a bunch of different people," says Roots drummer Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson.
The first night started off well: Jill Scott scatted freestyle, Living Colour's Vernon Reid crunched out ferocious rhythm guitar and several emerging rappers threw down rhymes. Upcoming jam guests may include Talib Kweli, Common, Pharrell Williams, Musiq and saxophonist Joshua Redman. "They all want an atmosphere where they can try stuff out," says Thompson.
The album, the Roots' follow-up to last year's Phrenology, is due in April.