John Legend and The Roots recorded "Wake Up!" during the time of the 2008 United States
presidential election. In addition to The Roots, John Legend and Black Thought, the album features
guest appearances from vocalists Common, C.L. Smooth, Melanie Fiona, and Malik Yusef. "Wake
Up!" is comprised of covers of soul songs from the 1960s and 1970s containing socially active
themes. The "Wake Up!" project sees John Legend and The Roots putting their distinct touch on
classics from the likes of Marvin Gaye, Nina Simone, Donny Hathaway, the Teddy Pendergrass-led
Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, and more.