Music Review: undun by The Roots

By Vanessa Butler

The Roots 13th studio album 'undun' is their best yet.

The Roots 14th studio album, undun, has secured a seat in the theoretical hall of fame the most innovative hip hop albums ever created. With 14 tracks clocking in at 39 minutes, The Roots recount the 1974-1999 life span of a poor kid from Philadelphia named Redford Stephens. undun is a passionately crafted album that keeps you entranced with thick and rich musical tracks, while violently tugging at your heart strings.

That being said, it does feel like The Roots are breathing new life into what they brought to the table with their album, How I Got Over, so one dimensional listeners are invited to enjoy ?uestlove’s drum beats and Black Thought’s voice, without paying attention to what is going on in the story. As much as it is a rap album, undun also tips its cap to other genres.

Jam packed with jazz, soul and Sufjan Stevens, all arranged by the unparalleled genius ?uestlove, it is as if they’ve reinvented the sounds of the 70’s-90’s to team perfectly with Black Thought’s lyrics.Narrating a life that many kids fall victim to, Black Thought gives an elegant view point on a life that is accustomed to the world’s back. You can’t help but feel a pang of guilt for not opening your heart sooner making Black Thought’s rhymes the focal point in this particular album. 

Upon listening, we realize that The Roots have introduced us to some of the greatest musicians, styles and musical periods in such a humble laissez faire manor we didn’t notice they have taught us the way of composition, melody and prose. These guys know music and have no qualms about being the ones who introduce great music to seasonal hip-hop enthusiasts we all started out as.

Be sure to check out The Roots website for any upcoming tour dates.

Best Tracks All of them.

Skip These If you skip anything, it would be deemed sacrilegious.

Best Feature Rick Ross

Best Lyric “Addicted to the green / if I don’t ball, I get the shakes.”


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