The Roots – Things Fall Apart

This is a much bleaker sounding album than their last. The first track ‘Act Won’ is sort of ‘Mo Better Blues’ set to music crossed with the message of Consolidated’s ‘Play More Music’. Overall, the feel is sort of a cross between the Pharcyde’s ‘Labacabincalifornia’ and the JBs ‘Wit The Remedy.’ It’s the complete antithesis of all the pop hip hop about (which isn’t necessarily a compliment). The rapping’s very jazz, broken in weird ways over lines and unafraid of taking risks. ‘Step Into the Relm’ is probably the most contemporary sounding, being a cousin of Nas’ ‘Illmatic’ with a Wu harp line. There’s a lot of old skool name-dropping and even a bit of classic ‘szh szh szhing’ Bambaataa style 🙂 Buy this album if you like the Pharcyde, Digable Planets, Gang Starr, Native Tongues or Hieroglyphics. Avoid it if you’re looking for ‘my jimmy weighs a ton’ type stuff.