Getting Busy

April 28, 2008

The Roots: Rising Down

Rising Down is the groups eighth full-length and is their second effort on Def Jam. This is one album I’ve been anticipating for quite some time now. The tracks that hit the net in recent weeks are very promising (except for “Birthday Girl”), and are reminiscent of The Roots that I grew up listening to.

The title track starts the album off with a blast. Complete with dirty drums, eerie guitar riffs and potent lyrics, this is the vintage Roots I’ve been waiting for. The train doesn’t stop there either…Followed by “Get Busy” and “75 Bars,” the listener gets slapped in the face with two of the best Roots tracks to come out in years:

“Get Busy:”

“75 Bars:”

Black Thought is killing it here…

Got news for you all, let me show you how to ball/ see the legendary fall? I ain’t heard of that/ Y’all n***as is of the wall like Arsenio Hall/ I’m a put you right back where the dirt is at/ 450 Fahrenheit pon the thermostat/ somebody stalkin’ like the white John Bernadette/ but she’s not an earner yet, she couldn’t put in no work for Nat Burner yet/ the black microphone murder vet/ I’m in a class of my own/ if I got beef with you you’re the last one to know/ I arrive on time I’m never fashionable/ you late I’m already internationable”

Where Black Thought is usually the smooth, jazzy type MC, here he gets his grimy on. I’ve never heard Thought get down like this, and as far as I’m concerned this is the illest he’s ever dropped…Hella internationable.

However, the level of intensity begins to seriously dwindle after “75 Bars.” Followed by “Criminal” and “I Will Not Apologize,” the mood of the album changes immediately. While the aforementioned tracks are solid efforts in their own right, you definitely lose the high gained from the first three tracks.

The steam begins to pick up again six tracks later with “Lost Desire.” It’s another track in the vein of “Rising Down” and “Get Busy,” including dirty drums and solid lyrics (with some help from Talib Kweli and Malik B). Black Thought goes off again too:

“We on some casualties of war shit/ what you stand for kid?/ we in the city where they definitely lost it/ you open your eyelids and get capped in the ribs/ your funeral they have your 12th grade portrait/ pretty corpse and casket/ pear shaped orchids/

said he 19 and left a self-made fortune”

What? I don’t know if Black did nothing but listen to old Biggie and Mobb Deep tapes for the past year or what, but he is seriously letting it all out. All in all, I’m really liking this reconstructed sound from The Roots front man.

“Rising Up” finishes the album on a strong note. This is definitely the party track from Rising Down and gives the same feeling as Jay-Z’s “Roc Boys:”

“Rising Up”

This is a very solid album from the legendary Roots crew. There are definite stand-outs (“Get Busy,” “75 Bars,” and “Rising Up”), while there are also some forgettable tracks (“Singing Man,” “Unwritten”). That being said, Black Thought takes his lyrical ability to new heights, and I would definitely like to see more of this from him in the future. Hip-hop wouldn’t feel the same without a new Roots album every two years, and their eighth LP is a great addition to their already impressive catalog.

Any fans of good music will appreciate this album and I strongly encourage everyone to grab a copy when Rising Up hits the shelves (4/29).

Overall: 7 (out of 10)

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One Response to “Getting Busy”

  1. […] dope record all the way through…Check the review HERE.  Notable tracks are “Get Busy,” “75 Bars,” and “Rising Up (feat. […]

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