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The Tipping Point

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Editors’ Notes

The Roots found themselves at something of a creative impasse after the underdeveloped psychedelic experimentations of 2002’s Phrenology. Though that album received a warm critical reception, many fans felt that the group’s self-conscious efforts at experimentation were beginning to wear thin. 2004’s The Tipping Point was something of a return to form that found The Roots back in the seemingly casual, but impeccably constructed jams of classics like Illadelph Halflife and Things Fall Apart. If The Tipping Point lacks the incisive urgency and stunning sense of purpose that propelled those classic albums it still finds ?uestlove and company returning with grace and assurance to familiar musical territory. The punishing old school breakbeats of “Boom”, the staccato sample based urgency of “Guns Are Drawn” and the druggy Sly invoking brilliance of “Star” are the album’s obvious high points. Were it not for a handful of relative missteps (like the awkward electro experiments of “Don’t Say Nuthin’”) the album would be an unqualified triumph. Even so The Tipping Point is another excellent outing from one of Hip-Hop’s most consistent groups.

Customer Reviews

ah yes the "Black Thought" album

this album proved that you didn't have to use trickey and flash to make quality product. and while i would chose Do You Want More or Things Fall Apart as desert island discs, This album still had the Juice to be better than most of what is described as "hip hop" in 2004. i also admit after their fiery statement which was the Phrenology album i was expecting something more experimental. so the striaght aheadness threw me for a loop. but then again. this is a group well known for throwing you off every album. So I still am along for the ride.

Check this out...

The whole album is amazing (you wouldn't expect anything less), but i gotta say "Boom!" completely blew me away. Check out the second and third verse where hip hop legends Big Daddy Kane and Kool G Rap make guest appearances - or do they? No, it's actually Black Thought impersonating both of them - yeah even the Kool G Rap lisp - so well, that you may mistake the verses for actual guest spots by Big Daddy Kane and Kool G Rap. That song alone made me think of Black Thought on a whole new level (he was already amongst my most respected emcees). Anyways, the whole album is dope - highly recommended.

Another great album by the Roots

I am convinced that the Roots are incapable of creating a bad album. Some performers will stumble at one point and release a bad album, but not the Roots. From Organix to The Tipping Point, consistency, quality and creativity have defined the Roots. And while some rap artists get worse with age by selling out or attempting to sound like whatever awful trends are popular in hip hop at the time, the Roots deliver with another quality album. In The Tipping Point, Black Thought, one of the most gifted rappers in lyrics and vocals, is sharp and aggressive. He is brilliant in "Web," "Somebody's Gotta Do It" and "Duck Down!" The Roots have a little fun in "Boom!" as Black Thought is spectacular in mimicking rap legends Kool G Rap and Big Daddy Kane. The beats are solid in this album, and the band is great. This album is a must buy. I am eager for Game Theory.


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 successive...
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