Stepping into 1999 where The Roots rush into the whirlwind of Things Fall Apart which was considered one of the major stepping-stones of the transition from underground to mainstream. From the beat selection to the guest musicians that make up the backing work of Things Fall Apart, there is a large range that comes from the keys to the vocalization. It is the collection of the records that feel the hiss of the vinyl that works in tandem. With one of the tracks that start “The Next Movement” where the splash of the cymbal opens up the incoming rap rivers that work so well to create a sudden influx of the classic motions.
“The Dalai Lama of the mic, the prime minister of thought, this directed to whoever in listening range” describes Black Thought over this all-star cast of features and intricacies. With the lyrical assault that creates the realness behind, it is somewhere between the memorability of hooks and the familiarity of becoming rap lines that generations can relate and work together on. From the Mos Def rhymes or the Grand Wizzards and Scott Storch production that frequently makes appearances.
One of the more interesting features is the pre-Roc-A-Fella Records Beanie Sigel that taps into the soon hardcore roots that would span a lifelong career. “Transform, from the norm, start to brainstorm. Yeah Malik B from The Roots, he ain’t gone. I took the wrong exit, the sign said Langhorne…” Sigel goes on to describe “Pivot on this concrete Earth until I rot, didn’t figure how to conquer it yet but still I plot, once again.” Through the works of The Roots, there is a real connection between the listener and the world that is created between the production and lyrics.
As The Roots start to finally wind down the action with the spoken word on “The Return To Innocence Lost” that takes the listener to the silence. That silence that becomes the last memento before breaking into the new millennium with the incoming Y2K craze. The golden era of rap would come to a last close and see a new dawn on the horizon.
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