The Roots’ “Captain” Kirk Douglas heads into space, alone with a new single and music video.
When anyone talks about The Roots, its origin story is a Philadelphia one: drummer Ahmir Thompson and rapper-writer Tariq Trotter named the outfit in their hometown, became Questlove and Black Thought, brought in fellow locals such as the later Malik B., vocalist Dice Raw, keyboardist James Poyser, and the rest is Philadelphia history.
Or is it?
“Captain” Kirk Douglas joined The Roots in 2003 with his first album with the ensemble being 2004’s The Tipping Point, where he split guitar responsibilities with Ars Nova Workshop’s Creative Director, Anthony Tidd. By 2006’s Game Theory, not only had Kirk assumed the role as The Roots’ sole guitarist, but he also became Black Thought’s melodic vocal foil, the king of the sing-songy call and response.
Born of Long Island, New York stock, he’s been ready for the NYC-based The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon band gig since birth. And now, he’s taking his boroughs-centric metallic licks and deep funk bass groove to the solo stage for his newest single away from The Roots under the name, Hundred Watt Heart.
He ain’t leaving, though: Kirk’s just doing his own thing like Black Thought is, with Cheat Codes this summer.
The brand new wah-heavy single and music video is called “We Can Be One,” it’s released under his solo label imprint, Hundred Watt Heart, and is the rumored precursor to a full album on his own label, due out by year’s end. Armed with Gibson Guitars six-stringers, including his own signature SG model, Kirk has been down the solo path before when recording at Electric Ladyland Studios for his Turbulent Times debut under the moniker Hundred Watt Heart. While that project was more of a fuzztoned, wild blues excursion, “We Can Be One” signals Sly & the Family Stone pedal-heavy psych-funk.
Can’t wait to hear that album. Even if Kirk is from Long Island and not Philly.