These Roots Are Stronger Than Ever
Since the 1999 release of Things Fall Apart, The Roots haven’t been on the hip-hop radar nearly as much as they should. While extremely talented, clever, and original, the group was not much of a radio phenomenon (although guest appearances on the Chappelle Show have helped). Fortunately, the boys from Philly aren’t giving up, and have blessed us with their new album, The Tipping Point. Always striving to change hip-hop, ?uestlove and crew pump out rhymes and beats that are original, creative, and undeniably Roots-esque. One thing that the Roots have had going for them for a long time is the use of live drumming. While samples are sometimes used, the imperfections, tonality and feel of a live drummer just add something that most hip-hop acts don’t have.
The Roots have always stuck with a very positive hip-hop style. Though their music is charged emotionally, the lyrics are almost always positive, especially on this album. “The Mic” is especially funny, with the nasal whine of Dave Chappelle accentuating the chorus. Other tracks like “Star/Pointro” deal with their opinions of the hip-hop game – “Hip-Hop, it’s not pop like Kylie Minogue/If it bang, them gettin-busy brothers probably involved/In the game, where e’rybody got a shottie to draw/I guess you probably a thug, you boss ballin or what.”
Whereas most groups feel that they have something to prove, the Roots just keep on doing what feels right. Album after album they keep it fresh and original, and don’t try to sell themselves short. If any hip-hop album needs to be bought this year, it’s definitely this one.