Listen to The Roots’ New Album ‘…And Then You Shoot Your Cousin’
When it comes to putting together concept albums, The Roots have pretty much mastered it, and that not an easy feat at all. For one, sticking to one theme throughout the whole project without deviating from it is a must, and two, the listener's attention needs to be grabbed at all times.
The veteran hip-hoppers pulled it off with their 2011 LP 'Undun,' and this time they've proven they've got another hit on their hands with the new album '...And Then You Shoot Your Cousin.' And the best part is, you can stream the entire project on Pitchfork before it actually drops on May 19.
The album consists of 11 tracks, and features the usual cast of guest appearances like Dice Raw, Greg Porn and Mercedes Martinez from the Jazzyfatnastees. Plus, fans will be treated to the brilliant rhymes of Black Thought, who's probably never spit a wack verse in his life.
Last month, the group revealed the album's cover art showcasing two faces put together by a bunch of random photos. This image gives the project a very high art appeal, which is what we expect from The Roots at this point.
As far as the concept of the album, Black Thought says the characters they've created are based on folks they knew growing up.
"We created some of these characters that we kind of see," he explained in an interview with Okayplayer. "We as artists, musicians, Philadelphians, New Yorkers, we as black men, we're familiar with very many of these characters, and we kind of introduce them to the rest of the world in a manner that makes them more easily understood than maybe seeing it."
Like in the song 'Black Rock,' where Dice Raw takes on a character who seems to be down on his luck. "Now what's for breakfast/The same as yesterday/Oh that's right a cheeseburger and a 40 ounce/And what's for dinner nothing n---a/But last night I had dreams of a porterhouse," spits Raw over a voice sample that moves perfectly around a guitar riff.
Then there's the cut 'The Dark (Trinity),' an organ driven track where Thought paints a picture of a person willing to murder those who don't pay him. Again, describing someone who uses the streets and street justice to his maximum benefit. The title of the song is perfect too, as the track has a very dark nighttime feel, which serves as the ideal soundscape for the talented MC's lyrics.
On Tues., May 20, The Roots will be the official musical guests on 'The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon' promoting their new album.