The soothing sounds of J Dilla, The Roots and BJ The Chicago Kid accompany the Pro Era emcee on this journey. “Like Me” from B4.DA.$$ gets the video treatment and features a love triangle which is brought to a violent conclusion as Joey, the last of the three to meet their untimely demise, is gunned down in the streets by a pair of New York’s finest. As Joey’s spirit raises up, he is greeted by Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin amongst some of the countless others who have lost their lives due to senseless acts of violence at the hands of those who were sworn in to protect them. #BlackLivesMatter
**wait I thought of something, I have said it before and I will continue to say it until I have no more breath in my lungs. Black Thought is one of the best to EVER do it. EVER. PERIOD. SHUT. YOUR. FACE.
As Philadelphia’s legendary Roots Crew prepares to drop their latest album, And Then You Shoot Your Cousin, they give us another look into the project. “Understand” features Dice Raw on the hook with Black Thought and Greg Porn providing the lyrical content. Everything about this track is on point for me, from the beat to the content, this is everything I have come to love about The Roots. The album drops on May 19th and it is darker than Undun to me, if there is such a thing. Fallon’s house band by night and still one of the most important hip-hop collectives by day.
The Legendary Roots Crew drafts Raheem Devaughn for the latest leak from …then you shoot your cousin. A stripped down track with Raheem’s vocals taking center stage. This is like song you sing the day after your “Happy” binge, while nursing your Pharrell hangover. May can’t get here soon enough, it is going to be a big month.
“So when the beat intensifies/I become emotionally desensitized/like once i slapped a rapper with mace/then i spit acid in his face after he rinsed his eyes/ no wait, I actually grew 5 times my size/grabbed Mase by the thigh and slapped a rapper with him/now that’s practicing sacrilegious activism” – Pharoahe Monch
We are a week away from the release of PTSD: Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, the newest LP from Pharoahe Monch. What better way to get people amped up than to release a track with everyone’s favorite late night emcee? Few people can hang lyrically with Pharoahe on a track, and the same goes for Black Thought, so it feels like it’s meant to be. They both bring their A+++ game on this Marco Polo produced funky track. Be ready for PTSD next week and remember Hip-Hop is alive and well, so support it.
On May 19th, The Legendary Roots Crew will drop their 13th album & Then You Shoot Your Cousin. A satirical concept album, &TYSYC, is rumored to be a bit shorter and “more dense” than their last conceptual album Undun. If “When The People Cheer” is a fair representation, then that statement is very true. The bass line, the keys, the drums, the vocals, and everything else on the track seems to exist in their own space devoid of the rest, then come together to create the heavy end product. Sonically, this track is very much in the same vein as How I Got Over, if you ask me, and that’s a good thing. Lyrically, the Anti-Rap opera as the group is calling the album, is a pretty dope concept. Greg Porn and Black Thought each take on characters that shadow the general rap formulas used to sell records. The cliches lose their appeal though, something about the way these stereotypical verses are spit that expose the falsehoods of the rap game as opposed to glorifying them.
?uestlove & Capt Kirk of The Legendary Roots Crew are known in a very small circle in New York as Black Simon and Garfunkel. Last night on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” they took on Lorde’s hit song “Royals”.
When How I Got Over dropped, it seemed like every song on the album was speaking to me specifically. The title track did so especially. We got a lot of vulnerability from Black Thought on that album. The songs were personal, coming from deep within Tariq’s essence. His lyrics tugged on the very chords which play my heartbeat. It doesn’t matter where I am, I gravitate towards this album if it’s being played. I lose focus on whatever is at hand.
1996’s Illadelph Halflife is and will forever be a cornerstone to my life. I wish the video had the original subtitles in it, not sure why they took em out for the Vevo channel. The video is packed with hip-hop stereotypes and video cliches. Their video was meant as a diss to the turning trend in the music industry. Still a classic video.
I love hip-hop for various reasons, none of which are greater than moments like this. Another one of my favorite moments below, another Black Thought moment, this time with David Banner live at the Roxy in Los Angeles.