The Roots debuted a new track off their upcoming How I Got Over this weekend, with drummer ?uestlove pointing fans in the direction of “Dear God 2.0.” The lead single from their ninth studio album (out June 22) finds the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon house band collaborating with My Morning Jacket’s Jim James on a reworking of a track from James’ Monsters of Folk side project. As Rolling Stone previously reported, the Roots recruited James to lay down new vocals on the tune after the Monsters of Folk played the song with the Roots during a Fallon performance. “Dear god, please let even half my followers like this offering enough to buy it,” ?uestlove joked on Twitter.
The Roots’ “2.0” version keeps the original “Dear God” largely intact but adds a slow hip-hop beat courtesy of ?uestlove. Over the simmering groove, Black Thought adds dark lyrics about the struggling economic market and prescription drug use before James’ mournful chorus reemerges. James’ Monsters of Folk band mates — Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst, M. Ward and Mike Mogis — also contributed to “2.0.”
The Roots’ How I Got Over is shaping up to be one of the most eclectic hip-hop albums of the year. The record features guest appearances from singer-harpist Joanna Newsom and John Legend, whose own forthcoming record Wake Up was entirely produced by the Roots.
Compare “2.0” to the original “Dear God” below:
Monsters of Folk’s “Dear God”