Grammy award winning hip-hop trailblazers The Roots are set to release their tenth album, called “Rising Down,” on April 29th via Def Jam Recordings,...

Grammy award winning hip-hop trailblazers The Roots are set to release their tenth album, called “Rising Down,” on April 29th via Def Jam Recordings, and have confirmed a slew of U.S. tour dates this year. The Roots recently returned from Southeast Asia and will be performing at several festivals and universities in 2008, starting March 29 in Decatur, IL with shows booked through Aug. 8 in Jersey City, NJ.

Known for their prolific lyrics and live instrumentation, the legendary Philadelphia crew is composed of Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter (vocals), Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson (drums), Kamal Gray (keyboards), Frank Knuckles (percussion), Kirk “Captain Kirk” Douglas (guitar) and Owen Biddle (bass). Garnering critical praise throughout their career, The Roots have firmly established themselves as a band with uncompromised artistic control and integrity.

The Roots co-founder ?uestlove said in a statement, “This is probably our most political album to date dealing with addiction, nihilism, hypocritical double standards in the prison system and overall life in Philadelphia. I’d say it’s more mature and intense than all of our efforts but not a ‘downer’ as most people expect us to do.”

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The Roots itinerary:

March
29- Millikin University- Decatur, IL
30- Kool Haus- Toronto, ON

April
5- University of Texas- Austin, TX
7- Indiana University- Bloomington, IN
9- Higher Ground- Burlington, VT
11- Pickle Barrel- Killington, VT
12- Northeastern University- Boston, MA
16- Purdue University- West Lafayette, IN
17- Carnegie Mellon University- Pittsburgh, PA
18- Webster University- St. Louis, MO
20- Green Apple Festival- Washington, DC
23- Duke University- Durham, NC
24- The Music Farm- Charleston, SC
25- Amos- Charlotte, NC
26- Tigerfest Towson University- Towson, MD

May
3- Jazz & Heritage Festival- New Orleans, LA
4- House of Blues- New Orleans, LA

August
8- All Points West- Jersey City, NJ

(The image accompanying this story is from HigherGroundMusic.com)