Just when it seemed safe for wack MCs to pick up a mike and drop redundant philosophies on being a player in the hip-hop game, Philadelphia's The Roots storm in with a banging addition to their three-album legacy, "Things Fall Apart." One of the phattest manifestations of an organic hip-hop band, The Roots blend live instrumentation and an acrobatic verbal assault into a juice that can soothe or rile any conscious listener.
"Act Too (The Love of My Life)," featuring hip-hop peers Common Sense, is the perfect addition to any aficionado's Saturday-morning soundtrack. Erykah Badu lends her sultry assurance to "You Got Me," and hometown poet Ursula Rucker delivers gripping spoken word on "Return to Innocence Lost."
The Roots have surged from the underground circuit and remain true to its foundation, forcing critics to once again evaluate the notion of hip-hop as an art form.