One of the reasons I can never fully divorce my eardrums from hip-hop are the boys from Philly, The Legendary Roots Crew. With their tenth album, Rising Down, dropping on April 29th, The Roots may not be a commercial success but have established a career of longevity based on artistic principle.
After a handful of purchases, The Roots have provided my 2008 soundtrack with an aesthetic anchor to the lyrical weaponry of Lupe Fiasco's The Cool and experimental talents in Gnarl Barkley's The Odd Couple.
Yes, there's a lot of horrible debris to criticize out there but if you keep your ear to the ground, you can hear hip-hop's faint pulse still beating. Let's applaud the heroes.
From Rolling Stone:
"On its tenth album, the Philadelphia crew explores dark territory. "Criminal," which includes verses from Saigon and Philly newcomer Truck North, takes on police brutality; "Singing Man" is about Middle East terrorism and the Virginia Tech shooting.My favorite track thus far, 'Get Busy' f. Dice Raw & Peedi Peedi:
Drummer and bandleader Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson says the album, which also features Mos Def, Common and Fall Out Boy's Patrick Stump, was inspired by watching lots of CNN on the road. "It's not a party in 2008," he says."
I'm kinda like W.E.B Du Bois/
Meets Heavy D & The Boys/