By Keir Bristol
• For those of you who need a break from urban radio this week (Usher and Will.I.Am’s “Oh My Gosh,” Drake’s entire album, B.o.B and Hayley Williams’ “Airplanes,” etc.), hip-hop legends The Roots have released their ninth album today, “How I Got Over.”
The Roots can always be counted on for several things: thought-provoking, politically and spiritually charged lyrics, beautiful hooks and simple live-band beats. Sometimes they throw in some surprises. For example, their previous album “Rising Down” featured Patrick Stump (of Fall Out Boy fame) on the internet-sensation track “Birthday Girl.” With “How I Got Over,” we have a range of expected collaborations like associated rapper Dice Raw and soul crooner John Legend, and not-so-expected ones, like folk sweetheart Joanna Newsom, supergroup Monsters of Folk and the female vocalists of the Dirty Projectors (Amber Coffman, Angel Deradoorian, Haley Dekle).
In terms of sound and lyrics, “How I Got Over” is exactly what is to be expected of the Roots: inspiring music about everyday life, love, family, government, politics, and religion, and this album is no different. The Roots have a way of coming out with new albums and putting a new twist or theme on them, but they are all undeniably the Roots’ signature music.
To listen to the album for free, visit The Roots’ Myspace.
• For a contrast to serious hip-hop, see this video featured after the second episode of True Blood’s third season on HBO. Snoop Dogg is apparently a big fan of Sookie Stackhouse, one of the main characters of True Blood, played by Anna Paquin. Here is his tribute to her, complete with “Sookie Stackhouse” background dancers.
Picture courtesy of Wikipedia.org.