Thursday, May 1, 2008

RollingStone Mag does through The Best Of The Roots

DO YOU WANT MORE?!!!??! [1995]
As on their self-released 1993 debut, Organix, the Roots' first major-label album fuses jazzy live jams and rap. Original keyboardist Scott Storch's Rhodes organ and ?uestlove's funk drums blend seamlessly with verses from Black Thought and Malik B. [LISTEN]

Key Track: "Swept Away" is a minor-key highlight, featuring silky vocals from Cassandra Wilson. [LISTEN]

The band focuses more on hooks and production, using samples for the first time (though still only samples of themselves). Common, D'Angelo and Erykah Badu guest on the disc — a key inspiration for the budding neosoul movement. [LISTEN]

Key Track: "What They Do" lists a litany of hip-hop clich├ęs and got the band its first major play on MTV.[LISTEN]

Things come together commercially as the Roots' fourth album hits Number Four and sells close to a million copies, thanks to the Grammy-winning hit "You Got Me," featuring an angelic hook from Badu. [LISTEN]

Key Track: "You Got Me" initially featured Jill Scott on the hook until MCA insisted they rerecord the track with the then-better-known Badu. [LISTEN]

The band expands its horizons with a flood of guests, including Nelly Furtado and avant-garde guitarist James "Blood" Ulmer, and, on "Water," notes the departure of Malik B. due to an ongoing drug problem. [LISTEN]

Key Track: The funky, guitar-centered "The Seed 2.0" features another discovery, Cody ChestnuTT, and earned the band spins on MTV and BET. [LISTEN]

Along with 2006's Game Theory, Rising Down explores darker, in this case often political, themes, including poverty, terrorism and police brutality. [LISTEN]

Key Track: On "Singing Man," Black Thought and local MCs P.O.R.N. and Truck North rap from the perspectives of the Virginia Tech shooter, a child soldier in Liberia and a suicide bomber. [LISTEN]

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