Roots come back after the Game Theory
with Rising Down, an album with
more hints of darkness and reality. Featuring
production by The Roots, Ahmir "?uestlove"
Thompson, Khari Mateen, Ritz Reynolds,
Tahir Jamal, Radji Mateen, Richard Nichols
and James Poyser, this piece of Hip Hop
work is decidedly tilted to the simple
makes best adage. Hard beats with descriptive
and elaborative flows make this a great
work in a world of popcorn beats and rhymes.
album marks the first since Leonard Hubbard
left the group. It will be interested
to see how the sound changes, if it does
album starts with "Intro", a
sound of a conversation that happened
in the 1990s regarding The Roots and their
place in their record label and in Hip
Hop. Tensions get high as voices try to
defend their position and it fades to
black. This is brings you to the first
song. Styles P. and Mos Def join Black
Thought on the title track "Rising
Down" and it sounds like The Roots
are coming out of a dark tunnel and trying
to explain why they are who they are,
what they think and the world they live
It's especially good to see long standing
veterans like Styles, Mos and Thought
get together on this track. Thought said:
"Yo I don't wanna floss, I done loss
my passion and I don't wanna climb I lost
my traction!" Styles P. said: It's
hard to claim the land when my great,
great, great grands was shipped to it."
Powerful stuff! Throwback rappers get
heavy on this beat.
The Roots bang out a track that sounds
like it comes out of science experiment.
"Get Busy" features long time
Roots co-hort Dice Raw and Peedi Peedi.
I'd play this at a party as the chorus
asks the people to get busy!
is Black Thought freestyling and it's
vintage Thought! I mean Thought always
seems to flow about his surroundings and
can take you someplace you may have never
seen. It's a nice prelude to "75
Bars" another track Thought. Featuring
excellent guitar and drum play, "Criminal"
is another journey through concept rap
as Thought, Truck North and Saigon take
the baton from the preceding one and talk
about being seen as a criminal. I can
this track being revisited on a Sunday
drive through the neighborhood when things
are slower and you can how this world
makes fantasy a reality and the opposite.
"I Will Not Apologize"
features newcomer Porn and Dice Raw as
they talk about not giving people who
look down at some people a break. An example
I pulled out was not apologizing makes
people in disadvantaged situations think
of doing. This song reminds me that old
quote (I'm paraphrasing): "If you
stand for nothing you'll fall for anything!"
The track uses a Fela Kuti sound recording
and composition to its best!
host of talent comes to say "I Can't
Help It"! Malik B. Mercedes Martinez,
Porn; Dice join Thought and do the thing
on this track that sounds like a track
from that old Nintendo Metroid game…real
Sci-Fi like! The end lets ?uestlove get
a nice drum solo on as the song goes off
and the chorus is repeated. This is music
not gimmick and that's what is missing
in music these days in my opinion.
Man " features Dice, Truck North
and Porn and Thought coming together and
talking about war, youth and loss. The
show goes on is the theme despite how
it happens.The future is now and "Unwritten"
attempts to express that and the fact
you only truly know what you are doing
now. A short track this goes immediately
into "Lost Desire", a track
that talks about the reality many urban
youth deal with and how that leads to
lost hope. Malik B. and Talib Kweli do
a nice job and this funky track and the
chorus is particularly poignant. Peep
the notes Malik B. and Thought drop about
their hometown of Philadelphia.
Show" comes after a brief interlude
and you will appreciate as two of the
rap games best lyricists: Common and Thought,
join and spit about the music and life
game needing to move forward despite the
other distractions and life happenings.
Dice Raw spits the simple but real chorus
and Thought in his last verse talks about
what he does on the stage and how he makes
D.C. newcomer Wale and singing queen Chrisette
Michele join The Roots crew on "Rising
Up", a track about the radio and
finding that soulful music somewhere else.
The track definitely has that D.C. sound
filled with percussion sounds and the
lyrics give you a message but it sounds
like they had fun making it too!
another banger from The Roots team because
it's life music you can play doing different
things and with different people.
album receives four GeoGlobes.
your own review on GeoBoards