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Event Archive - The Roots

Fri. February 2nd 2007 The Commodore Ballroom (No Minors)
10pm doors at 9pm
Sold Out
If you really understand The Roots, you'll know the brilliance of the Philly hip-hop act isn’t that they are "real musicians," or that they make insightful literary references in their album titles, like 2004’s The Tipping Point. You’ll understand they’re about the shifts they constantly make, which make them analogous to time—always moving. It’s the list of what the band has yet to explore (speed metal, electronica, drum and bass, Stones-style rock--done, done, etc.) that ?uestlove creates and crosses off while The Roots record an album. The real secret in watching The Roots progress is in what you think they will do vs. what they do. It's the gap, the space between things that they bridge--tried/ not tried, expected/ unexpected—like the silence between beats, which makes music.

The Roots have been carving their own unique niche in hip-hop since 1989, when founding members ?uestlove and Black Thought first began perform-ing on corners of Philadelphia’s South Street using buckets, pans and pots for percussion. Even today, The Roots' live show exposes their rigorous training ground, rocking it despite hecklers, police, thrown objects, and competing artists. Meanwhile, that resourcefulness and creativity, not to mention talent, has informed records like the near-platinum breakthrough Things Fall Apart and its ambitious follow-up, 2002’s Phrenology.

Game Theory, The Roots’ follow-up to The Tipping Point, is filled with 14 hard-hitting tracks expressing the group’s views on the state of the world Their most thought-provoking, incisive album since Things Fall Apart and the group’s debut for Def Jam Recordings, the disc is “very mature, serious and very dark,” according to lyricist Black Thought. The band addresses everything from their uneasiness about society on “It Don’t Feel Right” to troops at war on “False Media” and government monitoring on “New World.” The band also honours producer James Yancey, a/k/a J-Dilla, whose death from kidney failure in February devastated the hip-hop world. And all tracks are wrapped around dynamite beats and murky grooves deploying samples from Sly Stone, the Ohio Players and the Jackson 5 among others, making this one of the best hip-hop releases of the year.


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