WATCH: Soulquarians’ Story Comes to Life in New Animated Short

By Sameer Rao Jan 30, 2018

Pitchfork chronicles the creation and dissolution of The Soulquarians, a musical collective that shaped the sound of popular hip hop and R&B, in a new animated short.

The video, which Pitchfork posted on YouTube yesterday (January 29), begins its story with The Roots drummer Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson meeting singer-songwriter D’Angelo in the mid-1990s. Their friendship grew over nearly a half-decade of prolonged listening and jam sessions at Electric Ladyland Studios in New York City. Those sessions eventually incorporated some of the era’s biggest acts, including Erykah Badu, and producers like James "J. Dilla" Yancey.

According to the short, these musicians were unified by a desire to channel the experimental aesthetic of music from the 1960s and 1970s into their present. The collective’s work can be heard on multi-platinum albums like Badu’s "Mama’s Gun," D’Angelo’s "Voodoo" and The Roots’ "Things Fall Apart." Watch the short above.