The Roots will spend the month of May bringing attention to the hottest underground and up and coming artists in the hip-hop scene even as they prepare to release their own forthcoming album The Tipping Point (Geffen, July 13). True Notes, Vol 1, the first album from the Roots' newly formed independent label Okayplayer Records, will be released May 18. Earlier in the month, the band will embark on a 21-city North American tour with some of the underground and undiscovered artists featured on the album (full tour schedule and track listing below). Okayplayer Records is a partnership with Decon and Red Distribution.

Black Thought
The Roots hand-picked the artists on the album and tour, including The Chapter and icolay & Supastition, unsigned artists who entered the band's talent search through their website,

Executive produced by Roots founding drummer ?uestlove, the 19-track collection is a gathering of artists who The Roots say will be a part of the next movement in hip-hop. In addition to new artists, the album will showcase new and innovative music from established underground favorites Skillz who is featured on the first single "Take It Back," along with Jean Grae, Little Brother, Dilated Peoples, and Blackalicious.

True Notes marks an expansion of The Roots' ongoing mission to support new artists. With the Okayplayer site and its community of devoted fans, the band has already helped to spark the careers of Eve, Erykah Badu, Common, Jill Scott, Cody Chestnutt, and more.

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[Published on: 5/10/04]

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