Three years after the concept album that told the life-story of fictional character, Undun, The Roots are back with a new album: …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin.
According to the declarations made by Black Thought, one of the founding members of the band, this work is a critical analysis of the American society especially of the hip-hop world. There are many featuring tracks on this album so everyone can find something according to their taste.
The first track, Theme For The Middle Of The Night, interpreted by Nina Simone is beautiful but does not sound like The Roots. Nicely and slowly, Never (feat. Patty Crash), the second track is taking us back to a sound that was originally expected from them. The album is full of different shades and colors: some jazz there, some gospel back-up vocals here etc.
The band was founded in 1987 in Philadelphia by rap singer Black Thought (Tariq Trotter) and drum player Questlove (Ahmir Thompson). At the time, they stood out from the other rap bands because they were the first to mix rap with other genres such as soul, jazz or funk. In the hip-hop world of the 80’s, it was very rare to hear rap singers accompanied by real musicians even if bands like A Tribe Called Quest started to do it as well.
The Roots also stands out from the other bands of their genre through their sobriety, their will to step aside from rap stereotypes: no bling bling video clips and no gangsta style. The absence of clichés makes the music at the center of their work and it is worth it.