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The Roots

The Roots Come Alive  Hear it Now

RS: 3.5of 5 Stars Average User Rating: 4.5of 5 Stars

1999

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When it comes to presentin' this hip-hop shit to you in its most pure form, me and my brothers . . . are the ultimate level," the Roots' Black Thought tells a crowd in Zurich, Switzerland, on "The Ultimate," song six of The Roots Come Alive. It's not an empty boast: Unlike most DJ-based crews, Philadelphia's finest thrives on performance, using its own live instrumentation and old-school freestyling to create a charged atmosphere that's more like a block party or community rally than a concert. This live album - recorded on tour in New York and Europe - captures some of that charisma, whether it's Black Thought spurring the audience into an impromptu call-and-response singalong on "Adrenaline" or human beatbox Rahzel tremulously crooning on an extended jam of "Silent Treatment." This isn't the definitive live Roots document - you don't quite feel the electric mood that makes a Roots show unique - but it still dances circles around many studio hip-hop albums. (RS 826)


NEVA CHONIN



(Posted: Nov 25, 1999)

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