I really love when hip-hop and live orchestra meet. DJ Premier’s Re:generation project with The Berklee Symphony Orchestra was pretty amazing. Last September, fellow hip-hop producer Pharrell also got down with a full orchestra band to record a theme for his I Am Other brand. Here’s a clip of Skateboard P working with the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra.

Listen: Pharrell Williams & Henry Mancini “I Am Other” Theme (12′)

Check out The Roots’ Undun Episodes 1 + 2 and Common’s performance on Live! With Kelly after the the jump…

Our boy Rik Cordero shot a series of mock interviews to go along with The Roots’ latest opus, Undun.

Redford Stephens, who lived from 1974-1999. The following interviews were conducted by filmmaker Rik Cordero in 2011 to provide insight on Stephens’ experiences during his short and tragic life.

Undun starts with the sound of a heart monitor flatlining before working backward to tell the troubled tale of fictional character Redford Stephens. Blending politics and the personal, this concept album details the circumstances and choices that led to a tragic end. It’s a heavy theme, but the strong and concise songs get the point across with bursts of brittle funk, hard rhythms, and slow-burning soul. The Roots’ live-band approach to hip-hop layers lush processed beats, tough guitar, soulful keyboards and bass, and the impeccable drumming of Ahmir “QuestLove” Thompson. Singer and rapper Tarik “Black Thought” Trotter is joined by regular Roots collaborators Dice Raw, Greg Porn, Phonte, and Bilal Oliver on vocals. The album’s emphasis on down- and midtempo grooves lets the words sink in, and there are some powerful lyrical moments here. Undun ends with an unexpected four-part suite, starting with Sufjan Stevens’ “Redford (For Yia-Yia and Pappou)” and moving through three instrumental passages to close on a reflective note.

Related: Listen: The Roots ‘Undun’ (Album Stream)
The Roots ‘Undun’ (Short Film)

Common Sense made his way to Kelly Ripa’s morning show for a performance of “Celebrate.”

Related: Common Unleashes New Drake Diss: “You A B–ch”
New Video: Common “Celebrate”