The Roots & A-Trak Perform "Never" On 'The Tonight Show'

With some backup from the Fools Gold frontman and The Metropolis Ensemble, The Roots were the musical guests on their own show last night. Dopeness. As you know, their new album …and then you shoot your cousin is out now.

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  • God

    There is no such thing as a bad Roots album.

  • marty mcfly

    Is this Roots album DOPE though? Honestly? Outta all the Roots albums, which one(s) is this new album better then? Im all for experimentation and shit but the Roots got way too much talent for this kinda album imo. Its like they just went with whatever ?ueslove said and just forgot about Black Thought being an MC for most of this album. Their songs for the most part in the last few years as been below their actual potential and skill level.

    • AC

      I would strongly disagree. Being a Roots fan for the past decade and knowing their catalog like the back of my hand, I would say they have evolved into exactly what they always intended to become. 'Undun' is not only my personal favorite 'Roots' album but also one of my favorite albums from any genre of music. I love the elements of classical, and opera, fused with hip hop on this album, and while 'and then you shoot your cousin' isn't pure hip-hop, It is truly an outstanding progressive collection of muisc. --And as always I can't wait to see what The Roots will do next. Bravo and cheers to a progressive Hip-Hop Album that is meaningful from a cultural and societal context.

      • marty mcfly

        This album is far from Undun but even if you wanna go there? I look at the Roots and can obviously see the potential in musicality and then I'll listen as the beats come across as basic as possible and Thought spit some slow burning not too spectacular raps and be like wtf is going on? I mean I get that some people hear this and think its incredible but people do you honestly know what Black Thought is capable of as an MC? So you mean to tell thats what he's giving you on a Roots album? Have you ever heard a jam session where the music escalates, changes form, progresses, doesn"t hit the same vibe over and over on the same album? Its like you take albums like Things Fall Apart and Rising Down, half of Undun and you listen to the last few years of the Roots overall and its like they dont wanna do anything different or show too much skill on a record. They want plain simple and boring for as much as an album as possible and if thats progression to you then hey thats your opinion. Changing the style of music doesn't mean its progression, it just means changes were made. Kanye going from Two Words to Diamonds to Cant Tell Me Nothing to Power to No Church to Black Skinhead... THATS progression. The Roots puttting less hip hop and more alternative elements is not necessarily progressive just cause the sounds are from other places. The Roots make Hip Hop now if they wanna jump into Opera and Classical thats fine but they gonna have a really hard time competing against full orchestras that have mastered their craft and I can tell musically thats not really the Roots expert area of music cause that would be Hip Hop and even in that department the music is getting more depressing, the verses are getting more simple and I wish they team would just keep it real with them at this point.

        • AC

          A. I never said it was as good as undun

          B. progressive is different from progression. This is a fusion of music based from the genre of hip-hop. By any definition that counts as progressive.

          C. I know that you are not comparing this to a jam session. That is ridiculous:

          D. I don't believe you have to go overkill on the punch lines to be a terrific lyricist. It is far more impressive to me when the song has context, the verse fits the context of the song, and then a few punch lines that are within the context of both the song an verse are included. To me that is true lyricism.

          E. Are you saying that any of Kanye's albums are superior to the roots albums? If so, which one? Also, I would be curious to know any Kanye verse for that matter that can stand toe to toe with any of black thoughts verses from 'and then you shoot your cousin' (I'll try to give you a chance with this one).

          • marty mcfly

            You could name all the letters in the alphabet, the bottom line is Thought is about 3x better then the verses he writes for a Roots album and also they can make way better music then that do if they wanted and thats crazy to me why they wont show their true skill and potential. As far as Kanye goes? Id say all Kanye's rap album except for Yeezus would completely destroy most of the Roots albums. Things Fall Apart would probably be their best bet against Kanye. First we can start with beats, now if you wanna go toe to toe in sound? Id say Kanye got the edge on the Roots. Now personally, I think Kanye has produced better lyrics for the most part then Black Thought and here's why? Your comparing a battle MC verses a song writer. Now thats not to say Black Thought doesn't write songs but vs Kanye? Kanye gotta lot of tricks and wordplay and range in subject matter from a song point perspective that Thought is not gonna be able to out do. You talk about verses between the two? You pick what verse you want me to use from Kanye and I'll show you why it cant be fucked with by Black Thought (and pick a dope one).

          • marty mcfly

            You got...

            College Dropout
            Late Registration
            and MBDTF

            Now at the end of the day you could pull out the best four Roots albums and yes the battle will be close but Kanye is gonna take the win cause within his four albums its just overwhelmingly too much creativity going on for the Roots to match or outdo.

          • marty mcfly

            Man im bout to be out. All this shit im saying is not to say The Roots is wack cause we all know they dope but I cant give em the win for this album. Its not a bad album but imo its time for the Roots to make that epic classic shit at this point and they was alot closer with they other albums in my opinion. As for lyrics I know Thought is very clever and sneaky with the meaning to his humble and very humanizing raps but after all these albums imo its time to just crush shit and drop bangers. You speak on "context" in rhymes? While that is a very good quality to have, it can also box your verses in to the point where you start rapping below your actual skill level and I feel thats where Thought as been for the last couple albums. FIN

          • AC

            Just a difference in taste. I was in highschool when Kanye came with College Dropout... It meant more to me then than it does today... where as The Roots make timeless music. I'm an adult, with a different perspective than a person in their early twenties... Kanye is a walking hypocrisy in my opinion. I don't care much for his music or lyrics. I don't think saying a shocking punchline makes you great... How an emcee attacks the synchopations in the music, what they are saying, does it stand up socially and consciously to the decay of society... those are things that make a great lyricst IMO... whether we're talking about Bob Dylan, Black Thought, Pink Floyd, or Jay Electronica... the meaning is what stands the test of time, as impressionable youth always fades away in every individual.

          • AC

            Trust me, you won't be listening to Kanye when you hit 30.

          • AC

            One last thing re: songwriters... The Roots are musicians, they play and perform their own records... Not true for Mr. West.

          • marty mcfly

            and you said you dont believe that you gotta go overkill on punchlines to be a terrific lyricist? Well thats what makes Kanye who he is as an MC so in comparison to Black Thought thats just something you gotta deal with. Kanye can alos rap in context as well as throw outta context punches so either way its whatever. The thing is though once it comes down to memorable verses and statements made in record? Thats when you'll see why people know the verses to songs like Cant Tell Me Nothing and Power more so then verses off the last few Roots albums. Kanye is going overkill and thats his edge over Black Thought at the end of the day. Thought will spit a verse and people will say thats nice but anyway moving on. Kanye will spit a verse and its like people listening intently so they can memorize it and spit it themselves along with the song next time and that is also "true lyricism"

          • marty mcfly

            oh and btw, its not just about the fact people know his verses. You could take the meaning behind his punchlines and not only to they sound cool but they also worth their weight in substance as well. Just saying

          • marty mcfly

            You wanna use verses off Then You Shoot Your Cousin? Man, New Slaves could give any one of those verses a run for their money (let alone some shit like the verses from Gorgeous). Id say Any verses from off any other Roots album are better then this latest Roots album. You shoulda went 75 bars and just stopped at that cause anything else? Kanye can compete with lyrically.

          • AC

            Personally I didn't care for Kanye's album... Seemed a bit contrite for my taste. I disagree with your statement about Kanye having better verses. Narcissism is usually bellied by ignorance though. As for 'new slaves ', I thought its aimed to provide a good message but comes up short in the follow through, it seems disjointed. I also looked it up an noticed that it is listed as a song preformed by Kanye... Not written just by Kanye... Infact, there are quite a few writers credited to the creation of that song. Nine people wrote new slave ... Ten if you include Kanye.

          • marty mcfly

            Ok thats cool. If you think Kanye is ignorant then thats your opinion but again, the underlined meaning of what alot of things he has to say is based in thought and layered with intelligence and thats regardless of how narcissist it comes across. There are writers for Kanye and there are also other writers and MCs in the Roots besides Black Thought.

          • marty mcfly

            excuse me, I mean.... alot of what he has to say is based in TRUTH and is layered with intelligence.

  • Sinatra♠Royale

    Amazing. The album is just as amazing. We gave away rock and roll, abandoned Jazz and are losing HipHop. I applaud this artistry.

  • Guest

    I would strongly disagree. Being a Roots fan for the past decade and knowing their catalog like the back of my hand, I would say they have evolved into exactly what they always intended to become. 'Undun' is not only my personal favorite 'Roots' album but also one of my favorite albums from any genre of music. I love the elements of classical, and opera, fused with hip hop on this album... It's truly a progressive piece and as always I can't wait to see what The Roots will do next. Bravo and cheers to a progressive Hip-Hop Album that is both meaningful from a cultural and societal context.

  • ha

    the roots one again put together an amazing album


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