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...And Then You Shoot Your Cousin

The Roots

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iTunes Editors’ Notes

For all the fun they have as the house band for The Tonight Show, The Roots get down to business when they enter the studio. Billed as a concept album, ATYSYC features rappers Black Thought, Dice Raw, and Greg Porn relating vignettes about income inequality and spiritual bankruptcy within the African-American community. Brooding amid layers of soul breaks and the kind of erudite samples that fans have come to expect from music encyclopedia ?uestlove ("Black Rock" borrows funk chestnut "Yeah Yeah"), the album is more meditation than celebration. With its mournful piano and slumping beat, "When the People Cheer" is a representative sample: "Everybody asks if God is all that/But I got a feeling he ain't never coming back," sings a children's choir on the hook. Longtime fans will be familiar with this somber side of The Roots, while newcomers used to them as Jimmy Fallon's sidekicks will discover a whole different side of this legendary hip-hop troupe.

Customer Reviews

coming up short

I have come to expect a lot from the roots and with that said, I can barely call this an album. First off there’s only 11 “tracks” which is fine if they were actually all songs. There’s like 4 interlude and a song at the end that doesn’t even feature black thought(but would have been prefect for at least one of his verses). The songs that Thought is featured on, he only has one verse! although they are up to his usual excellent standard. After my first Listen if feels as if thought has maybe 4 or 5 verses on the entire album! This “album” feels like it was the start of something exceptional and then half way through someone said “lets just put it out like this!” All and all you will get about 5 songs worth putting on a regular spin in your listening rotation, not what I expected from a roots album especially after the relatively shot but exceptional Undun. This is pretty much a roots Ep not an album.

Chew

Don't be too quick to judge this album. Each song, note, and lyric is intentionally placed. You can't simply hear and swallow this album, you have to listen and chew.

J Turn

Call me a nerd, but the lack of Black Thought made me want to track how much time he actually appears on this album. Here's the breakdown:

Black Thought's involvement
1. None
2. 56 seconds
3. 57 seconds
4. NONE
5. 22 seconds
6. 33 seconds
7.NONE
8. NONE
9. 1 min 28 seconds
10.31 seconds
11. NONE

Total= 3:47

Would you buy a Roots album if you knew that beforehand?

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...
Full Bio