The 4-part video series (comprising “Tip The Scale”; “Stomp”; “Make My” and “Sleep”) that is the visual accompaniment to The Roots‘ audio-novel undun (out now–cop via iTunes or with extra goodies at the OKP Store) is now watchable in the form of this 9-minute black-and-white short film. Definitely satisfying to watch the story unfold in this seamless fashion and you could probably write your film school thesis about how the slightest changes in editing/framing can cause meaning to shift for the viewer. Studious OKP readers will note, for instance, that the story of (main character) Redford Stephens’ death plays out here in chronological order ie the songs come in the reverse of their placement on the actual album tracklist. We might have expected that The Roots and virtuoso director Clifton Bell would have Tarantino’d it to keep the story in a sort of flashback that more directly mirrored the LP. And perhaps they still will. In which case, maybe we’ll have to get CB on the bat-phone to compare ?uesto‘s cliff-notes with his own Clifton-notes on the film! Enjoy.


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  • I appreciate what the roots bring to hip hop (who doesnt) but i gotta say in my humble opinion (in terms of album drops in the last 7 years or so..they still havent topped my fav album from them..(thats my opinion) Game theory jus exploded with so much energy and tracks that still make me listen today….i still listen to the newer albums but nothing gets me like game theory (in terms of the roots catalogue 2006-present

    • MP

      I actually agree with you about the energy. I do think The Roots last few albums could used some of the energy touch they had on “Game Theory”. I was just listening to that album the other day saying that myself. But “Undun” really means a lot, I think; But I will admit, I don’t think it’s The Roots best album….[Like ?uestlove said it was]. I want to hear Black Thought go solo on more songs too. There’s features on virtually every song The Roots have done over the last few albums…..

    • Feather Indian

      I agree with you guys and also disagree, if that makes any sense… I have always loved Game Theory and its always stayed positioned at the top of all the Roots albums for me do to its great lyrics, and musicality, just that “energy” that it brought as you guys said, however this one (Undun) really touches close to home with me on a very personal and emotional level, which I don’t think any other peace of Art every has… So I really love this album, and I kinda hold it in a different bracket of Roots music then their other albums since it is a “concept” or “story” Album…

  • I don’t think their current work is about making “hits” or songs that would necessarily be something to listen to on the radio. The Roots are musical artists. So at this stage in their matriculation of stardom and the world music industry, and Black history for that matter, they seem to have transitioned into an artistic form of compositions. Personally, I love almost anything they create, truly a work of artistic excellence.

  • pipobimbo

    Highly inspirated by “La Haine”.

  • I personally think the mellow style brings out the best of the roots crew, wat am I sayin, luv it evrytym blackthought holds the mic, lyrics cut sharp like a razor blade under the tongue, he is the best thing to hiphop,…

  • M J

    I really love this short film .. I think The Roots needs to change their marketing/ promotion agency to get a bigger impact with their music. Sometimes its just a lack vision or support to get the running

  • Greenland

    I say The Tipping Point is still one of my best album experiences with The Roots, very diverse. Agree on them featured artists on a lot of songs, but gotta take my hats off to Jean Grae & Mack Dub.

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