The song was teased by The Roots member Questlove on social media last week when he shared a video of the track being played on New York radio station Hot 97. “I been waiting my whole life to bomb a song. This is my Xmas @funkflex @hot97 thank you!” he wrote in the caption.
He added that “Misunderstood” was produced by Jorun Bombay and promised: “We will rap [sic] up #ENDgame (our 17th lp) PRONTO!”
In the video, Questlove says over the track: “Forgive me y’all, I’ve been waiting for this for 31 years. 31 years y’all. Since ’92 I’ve been waiting for this.” You can hear Badu’s soulful vocals in parts before Whack delivers a lowkey verse.
“Misunderstood” would mark only Whack’s second track of the year, following “Black Magic Woman,” her contribution to the Minions: Rise Of Gru soundtrack album. Although 2022 has been quiet for the rapper and singer, in December 2021 she delivered three EPs, each a week apart – Rap?, Pop?, and R&B?.
The song will make up Badu’s first piece of music this year – and first since she featured on Teyana Taylor’s “Lowkey” in 2020. Outside of featuring on other artists’ music, it has been seven years since the Neo-soul icon released her own record, the 2015 mixtape But You Caint Use My Phone.
The Roots, meanwhile, have stayed busy with live performances, including two upcoming concerts at Los Angeles’ Walt Disney Concert Hall. The group will take over the iconic venue to ring in the new year, performing two shows there on December 31. Now commonly known for their tenure as the in-house band for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, their iconic discography will be put on full display at the back-to-back gigs.