Favorite

The Roots 

Rising Down (Island/Def Jam)

2138628.t.jpg

Rising Down is an appropriate title for the Roots' eighth album. Coming off Game Theory, 2006's miracle of soundscaping, Rising Down sounds like the Philadelphia hip-hop crew's weakest record. There are some genuine beats here, but keepers like the spare, slamming posse cut "Get Busy" and the old-school freestyle spit by then-15-year-old Black Thought eventually give way to a back half-stuffed with too many guest rhymers, trippy guitar jams, and curiously indistinct songs.

It doesn't help that the Roots are touting Rising Down as both their tough-guy and smart-guy moves. Digging deep for radical political insight, all they can muster is the usual bemoaning about being treated like criminals. Still, Black Thought's flow remains razor-sharp, even when he's slicing through the superficial rhymes. And the bass hooks bob and weave in highlights like the Fela Kuti tribute and "75 Bars (Black's Reconstruction)," a nonstop freestyle featuring the excellently named Tuba Gooding Jr.

Speaking of CD Review

More by Dan Weiss

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Calendar

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Staff Pick Events

  • Rhea Butcher @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Wed., Aug. 24
  • Luenell @ Improv Comedy Club & Restaurant

    • Thu., Aug. 25
  • Drew Michael @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Thu., Aug. 25

Facebook Activity

© 2016 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation