14 Songs, 42 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

With their new late-night TV gig in 2010, The Roots were suddenly America’s most visible hip-hop group. But instead of going mainstream, the Philly group’s ninth album uses the platform to deliver sombre, direct raps overlaid with the textures of neo-soul and indie folk. “Right On” deftly flips a Joanna Newsom sample into hypnotic boom bap, while the title track has a laidback but powerful funk groove over which Black Thought both sings and raps, advocating against apathy.

EDITORS’ NOTES

With their new late-night TV gig in 2010, The Roots were suddenly America’s most visible hip-hop group. But instead of going mainstream, the Philly group’s ninth album uses the platform to deliver sombre, direct raps overlaid with the textures of neo-soul and indie folk. “Right On” deftly flips a Joanna Newsom sample into hypnotic boom bap, while the title track has a laidback but powerful funk groove over which Black Thought both sings and raps, advocating against apathy.

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