Happy New Year and stuff! I almost let the first friPod of the year slip past me. Last friDay was intentional, I was on vacation. Technically I’m still on vacation, but whatever. ‘Twas the Day After Christmas and much celebrating had to be done in the form of playing Wii and eating the still delicious leftover Christmas dinner.
Anyway, for the past few weeks I’ve been back to back friPodding TWO new albums of 2008, but I couldn’t talk about them due to my trailer trash posts… which were so much more fun at the time. Perhaps what I’ll due in vain of all the “Best of…” lists we see every year, I’ll throw out a Best Trailers list. I know they have their own award show, but I never know when or where I can see such an event. Seriously, if I ever get the chance to work on movie trailers as a profession, I may put film making on pause. But I’ll talk about new career plans in a future post, since I actually have post-worthy news.
Back to the new albums! Today, or actually the past two weeks, I’ve been dissecting the lyrics and music to what can be classified as my favorite hip hop band on the planet. And yes, it is real hip-hop and they are an actual band because they play live instruments. Who am I talking about? Who else? The Roots.
Their newest album is called Rising Down which I haven’t completely figured out why… other than the song on the album. But I bought this album via iTunes and read the entire liner notes to understand the process in making this album. And it was indeed a process. Reading such materials makes me appreciate the album as a whole even more. And I’ll be honest with you, with the first listen, I wasn’t feeling a lot of the music. It had to grow on me. But like ?uestlove says, it’s a darker album, perhaps the darkest… and most people know I’m generally a happy, bright person… even if I sometimes have a morbid or sadistic sense of humor. I jest, I don’t hurt people intentionally anymore for a laugh. Well, not as much.
For the happier tunes on this album, I recommend getting the iTunes version and checking the last two songs Rising Up and Birthday Girl (which is only found on iTunes) even though Birthday Girl isn’t exactly a “happy” song if you listen to the lyrics. Also on that song there’s a guest spot by Patrick Stump from another new favorite band of mine, Fall Out Boy. But again, that’s what I love about The Roots–the lyrics! Black Thought is like… genius. Even that is an understatement. The wordplay and rhyming… he’s a master. And it’s weird how there are so many “best rappers alive” battles and no one seems to mention him. Odd. Anyway, I recommend checking out this album. Maybe not everyone since he and the many guest stars do use choice words that many may not like, especially the infamous n-word. But you almost kinda wonder, what Black rapper doesn’t?
Regardless, I’ve been a fan of the Legendary Roots Crew for a number of years now and it’s safe to say, they are in a class of few artists on my list that I will buy their album without hearing a single single, and still know it’s awesome. Others on my list included John Legend, Outkast and Joss Stone to name a few.
Happy New Year to you!
I would love if at some point you do a Top 10 List favorite albums, maybe 10 old, 10 current.
Your wish is my command. Check out the next friPod episode for the first volume of t. sterling & iSaac's Heavy Rotations.