Artist of the Week: The Roots
The Roots are quite an unique American band: a rap outfit with several instrumentalists, prone both to collaborations and to create a vast and innovative catalogue of platinum and gold records and an act that keeps challenging listeners while gaining a worldwide audience through their partnership with television host Jimmy Fallon.
Over the last three decades, the only members to have stayed in the lineup since the beginning are the same two who founded it (MC Tariq Trotter, aka Black Thought, and drummer Amir Thompson, aka Questlove), which should definitely account for why their records never went stale. From 1999’s classic Things Fall Apart and 2002’s genre-defying Phrenology to their most recent concept records, The Roots managed to cement their reputation as one of the most innovative, progressive, and influential acts in the history of hip-hop.
The recently released …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin is another concept-heavy and dense record that satires some of the stereotypes perpetuated mostly by the hip-hop community. Though the mood may feel a little bit too sour or bleak for some, this is The Roots’ best sounding record to date and probably Black Thought finest hour as a rapper.
João Pedro da Costa is a web studies scholar and a music fan.