Record Label: 8th Records
It was 1970 when Curtis Mayfield left R&B group The Impressions, to set off on his own solo path. What followed was a rich and highly celebrated career, during which Mayfield produced some of the most influential R&B, soul, funk, and gospel recordings of all time. Along with Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, Mayfield is credited with helping to ring in a new era of socially-aware funk and soul music, all while raking in numerous Billboard-charting hits both as a performer and a songwriter. Though he died in 1999, he left behind a vast legacy of innovation and long-lasting music, and has been ranked by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the 100 Greatest Artists of all-time. Building on the success of his solo debut Curtis, Mayfield released the album Roots in 1972 to new levels of critical acclaim. Roots was a 7-song powerhouse of lush, Chicago soul arrangements, partnered with ambitious funk rhythms and grooves, and grounded in Mayfield's own socially conscious lyricism. It featured classics of the genre such as "Keep On Keeping On", "We Got To Have Peace", and "Underground", and was a commercial boon as well, reaching #6 on the Billboard R&B Charts. Roots was an album that cemented Mayfield's reputation as a genius of R&B music, and has been notably sampled in tracks by 9th Wonder, Murs, Ill Bill, and Freeway.