‘Rising Down’ is the eighth full length album for The Roots who by 2008 had proven that as a collective, a fan base would always be present for anything they do. Their celebrity had grown by hit songs they made, touring they had done and collaborations with everyone from Dave Chappelle to Jay-Z and everyone in between. This album seemed to be something different just from the cover art and as it contrasted to the first single off this record ‘Rising Up.’ The song was very upbeat and fit the true Roots sound while being assisted by the R&B vocals of Chrisette Michelle and continuing a Roots tradition of putting on upcoming rappers who would be bigger stars, with Wale. The album begins with an “eye-catching” audio clip of Black Thought and ?uestlove arguing over the direction of the group at some period during The Roots career. The album title and album art start to make sense but will this be the start of the last album for The Roots? The title track welcomes listeners back to a Roots experience with Mos Def and Styles P., while ‘Get Busy’ goes a bit more hardcore in it’s music approach with Dice Raw and Peedi Peedi a.k.a. Peedi Crack. This project is showing a darker side of The Roots but at this point it is looking upward in terms of songs. The Hip-Hop archive appreciates the ‘@15′ track where fans get to hear the legend Black Thought at the age of fifteen showing why his “10,000 hours” have brought him to the legendary M.C. he is currently; which is then followed by him displaying that on ’75 Bars (Black’s reconstruction).’ This album seemed to be on track as their best since ‘Things Fall Apart’ but then a couple songs bring that “Metacritic” score down a bit. ‘I Will Not Apologize’ and ‘I Can’t Help It’ are not up to par with the music The Roots are known for or can do. These songs started to feel like the album was going in a ‘Phrenology’ direction but the group picks up the “loose ball” and from ‘Singing Man’ until the end of the album, fans get to hear the real Roots. As a bonus to the very personal and dark ideas of this album, it closes out with another audio clip of the group as they are discussing very real matters only for their rental vehicle to be wrecked causing all tension to be quelled by laughter. This is the most ?uestlove way to end a dark album on a light note. What did you think of the album?
‘Rising Up’ ‘Get Busy’ & ’75 Bars (Black’s reconstruction)’
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