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Organix

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Album Review

The Roots' low-profile debut set out many of the themes they would employ over the course of their successful career. An intro, "The Roots Is Comin'," is barely over a minute long, yet long enough to exemplify the band's funky bassline (here played by Leonard Hubbard), their dreamy and emotional organ chords (thanks to Scott Storch), and their ferociously swift yet clear rhymes from the group's focal MC Black Thought. The song that follows, "Pass the Popcorn" would have been called a "posse cut" in 1993. Everyone could've used a little more practice before stepping up to the mic on this song, but the spirit of the song are not lost in the amateurishness. The creative venture "Writers Block" is an example of just the opposite, as Black Thought flows with spoken word, comically and creatively expressing the experience of a day in the life of a Philadelphian using mass transit. The instrumentation is appropriately frantic and punctuated by [cymbal] crashes (like any mass transit system). Fans of Do You Want More, the Roots album released immediately following Organix, will recognize the music of "I'm Out Deah," "Leonard I-V," and "Essawhamah?" Another track to note is "The Session (Longest Posse Cut in History)," — no false claim at 12 minutes and 43 seconds. This album should be a part of any Roots fan's collection — not so much because it is an example of their artistry at its best, but because it allows you to see where they came from and how fruitful of a journey it's been. ~ Qa'id Jacobs, Rovi

Biography

Formed: 1987 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the most prolific rap groups, the Roots were also among the most progressive acts in contemporary music, from their 1993 debut through their conceptual 2010s releases. Despite the seemingly archaic practice of functioning as a rap band with several instrumentalists — from 2007 onward, their lineup even featured a sousaphonist — they were ceaselessly creative, whether with their own material, or through their varied assortment of collaborations. They went platinum and gold with...
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Organix, The Roots
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