The Roots Essentials
With a live-band lineup that opens up hip-hop's bohemian possibilities, The Roots have been injecting the genre with their signature Philly cool since the late ‘80s. "Silent Treatment" has Sade-like grace: Soft-focus Rhodes piano chords, a smooth-jazz sax line, and Questlove's delicate backbeat lay down a sensuous canvas for Black Thought's tale of romantic anxiety. The band shows their chops on funky Cody Chesnutt collab "The Seed," a rough pop release that's almost punk rock. The galloping "Boom!", meanwhile, pours an intoxicating mix of nimble rhymes, funky samples, and live drums.