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The Roots - Game Theory

If you could stick a self-styled philanthropist and world-saver who loves his own brand something fierce in front of The Roots, they would truely be hip hop's answer to U2 or Coldplay. A huge band that everyone loves, or more accurately, loves to complain about. If you can find two people that can agree on whether Phrenology or The Tipping point were good albums, well bully for you.

Luckily we don't have to worry much about who's fronting The Roots, as Black Thought is still ripping the mic track after track on this album. Thought is one of the smartest, most naturally talented MC's working today, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't get enough credit for it. The rest of the band is in fine form as well here, re-staing their claim as the best band in hip hop. Which actually doesn't give them enough credit, because unless Stetsasonic are still working and I don't know about it, there really aren't any other hip hop bands doing anything of note these days.

Game Theory isn't being released until the end of August, but dues to the magic of the internets, we can have a sneak peak now. False Media leads things off as a Chuck D influenced track that rails against the American media's sensationalistic tendencies. Game Theory gets things really rolling with Black Thought firing at suckers over bumping drums and soul vocal samples. Thought also gets German bonus points for mentioning The Hoff. Former Roots MC collaborator Dice Raw also returns to contribute a quality verse.

Don't Feel Right keeps things rolling with a quality piano laced beat that suits Thought just fine. "If you don't got the paper, then steal the CD". That should answer anyone who was worried that The Roots Def Jam debut would see them getting their commercial rap on. Things slow down for a bit until the frantic Here I Come kicks in with it's driving drums and crazy electro synths. Another former Roots MC, Malik B, does the cameo thing on this crazy track which I happen to enjoy. Another of Philly's MC champions Peedi Peedi (aka Peedi Crakk) makes an unlikely and decent guest appearance on the smoothed out Long Time.

Once again things get quiet with 3 similar sounding tracks that feature some forgetable singing on the hooks (Livin' In a New World has a poor man's Beck doing the chorus, which is adventurous, yet doesn't work for me). Luckily the album finishes with a poigniant tribute to J-Dilla, which grabs your attention once again (The intro, Dillatastic, is also dedicated to Dilla). This isn't lip service either, you can tell this is a sincere tribute to a very talented guy.

So is game theory the solid Roots album we've been waiting for? Acutally, I don't know. This album definately has an edge, and The Roots seem hungrier than ever, but there does seem to be a little bit of filler on here. I think it's a good album though, and if the filler-esque songs grow on me with repeated listens, it could become an excellent album. But there's nothing like this coming from any anyone else, so I'm guessing you'll be checking for Game Theory yourself.


@ 2:16 PM, myouknow kicked the following game:

this is one of those albums u know is good after one lisen but the real treat is when the shit sinks in godam

 

@ 12:09 PM, m chip kicked the following game:

to many groups who know the codes are selling out the first thing you have to have is skills and most of these niggas dont i come from the launch room table fuck mty and bet its a mess wake up its more going on than how much you paid for grills hip hop is not dead yet and will never die the roots are what hip hop is or did you all forget Game theory 8/29 is a beast they killed it i really fuckin mean it

 

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