The following post is an open letter to members of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
I'm not a musician, music expert, or member of any music label. I'm just a music fan who has joined with other fans to send you a simple video blog message.
It's time for The Roots crew to be on top. It's Now or Never.
It's been nearly two decades since Ahmir Thompson (aka ?uestlove), Tariq Trotter (aka Black Thought) and a host of some of the finest musicians past and present, came together to form The Roots. Starting From The Ground Up to this year's collaboration with John Legend on Wake Up, and their current "day job" as Jimmy Fallon's house band, they've evolved, paid their dues, and have undoubtably proven that they are America's band.
Clocking in at 42 minutes, their latest album, How I Got Over, should be considered the best album of 2010.
It's a visionary work of hope and reflection recorded at a time when this country's unemployment rate is high, and its economic struggle is real. Musically and politically the album is this generation's "What's Going On". It's today's "Innervisions." With tracks that seamlessly morph one genre into another, it is the roots of American music created by a quintessential, collective, American voice. It is a record of Jazz, Soul, Rock, Folk and Hip Hop living together in harmony that lyrically speaks to how important it is to hold your head high, even when you're just getting by.
Despite it's recent attempts to incorporate a more wide-reaching set of criteria by which to categorize recording artists, NARAS has continued to make it clear that chart-topping, solo acts are destined to garner the most Grammy nominations. And this year, with the help of deep pockets and giant PR machines, the results won't be any different (Taylor Swift, Eminem, Lady Gaga) unless you take notice and do the right thing.
The Grammy Awards of 2011 take place on February 13 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. That will be the time and place to put The Roots' latest and greatest album, "How I Got Over" where it belongs...at the top.
Video Credits -
Director, Andrew Shapter
Editor, John Aldrich
Producer, Tanner Ferguson
1st A.D., Russ Mezikofsky
Camera, Jim Bruno, Chistopher Morse, Tanner Ferguson, Andrew Shapter, Russ Mezikofsky, Kyle Kirchhoff
Performers, Joey Vanas, Pamela Stainthorpe, Hanna Mezikofsky, John Seward, Michael Perella, Benita Dewing, Suchi Pandey, Joseph Allicon, Taylor Hannah, Katy Dunlap, Russell Gustave Ochoa, Christina Fernadez Shapter, Faron Shapter, Brandon Ligon, Michelle Guzman, Cliff Stringfellow, Troy Campbell, Gidon, BZA, T-FLY, JREDD, J-Marie, Kann, Theresa Alvarez, Kiko Salazar, Kristian Svenningsen, Vanessa Peters, Stinne Frederiksen Niels Christian and Linde Simmelsgaard.
Production Assistants, Pamela Stainthorpe, Jaime Vives and Andrea Barber
Additional material provided by Russell Gustave Ochoa
Follow Andrew Shapter on Twitter: www.twitter.com/andrewshapter