Less than a month away from releasing their highly anticipated album, Rising Down, The Roots have decided to cut their initial single, “Birthday Girl,” to help maintain the political theme of the album.
Labeling Rising Down as “the most incendiary, political album of our career to date,” The Roots’ drummer and co-producer, ?uestlove, explained the reason behind the split second decision.
“It was just sticking out like a sore thumb,” the producer told Billboard.com. “Initially it was going to kick-start the record, but then that didn’t work. Then we were going to have a ‘halftime’ thing where it was gonna come in the middle of the record as a break from the political thing, but that didn’t work, either.”
They tried to keep the song on the album, but all attempts failed, as ?uestlove describes.
“[We] tried to make it the last song on the record, and that wasn’t working. Then we tried to make it the hidden track, and that wasn’t effective. Basically the album was complete — it starts with ‘Rising Down’ and it ends with ‘Rising Up,’ so that makes more sense to me,” he concluded.
Despite the song’s absence from the album’s physical release, “Birthday Girl” will be available as an iTunes exclusive later in April, while the video, already filmed, should leak to the internet soon.
According to OkayPlayer.com, there are plans to shoot videos for the songs “Criminal,” “Rising Up,” “Rising Down,” “Singing Man,” “I Can’t Help It,” “Unwritten,” and “I Will Not Apologize.”
Rising Down’s guest appearances range from Mos Def and Common to more street-based artists Peedi Peedi and Saigon. It is slated for release April 29th.