The Roots drop "When The People Cheer," the first single from "...and then you shoot your cousin"

The Roots drop new music on a radio listenership thirsty for quality raps! Courtesy of DJ Kast One‘s radio debut of “When The People Cheer” on Hot97, we get our first official listen to the new Roots concept LP/anti-rap opera titled …and then you shoot your cousin. Actually, not to brag but WE heard the whole thing in the sitting room of a Philadelphia townhouse last Friday and we can say without hesitation its going to be a game changer. Black Thought and Greg Porn‘s verses here give you a pretty good window into the lyrical approach of the album which could best be described as “f*ck-that anti-rap” (would you believe un-rap?).

In place of the usual braggadocio, Thought and Porn occupy fully-realized characters that are distinct from themselves–and do many things besides the ‘win, win, win’ we usually expect from our fantasy thug avatars. The more you listen, the more you realize that this near-heretical violation of the G-code frees up the rappers to say things that couldn’t be rapped before, turning the “I Will Not Lose” logic of the genre on its head. Case in point, Thought’s line:

“I’m down to 95 dollars / That’s the extent of my riches / Out of 99 problems, 98 of ’em is b*&tches…”

Just one of many brilliant bars on the project which turn the genre’s canonical rhymes inside out and expose their guts for the world to see. We can’t say too much, but…even if some of what’s going on musically in this album is over the people’s heads, anybody who’s a serious student of the raps will be poring over every verse on here line by line.

Also: holy hell, The Roots are dropping a new album–get psyched, y’all! Hear the radio rip below and stand by for the official CDQ version.

UPDATE: scroll down for the official CDQ version!


  • troops!!


  • Black

    Dude, way to make a fine day to a great one. Long live the ROOTS!!!!!!!!!

  • Maccaveli

    I hope we hear some more funk and soul in this album than the last one, there’s an element of The Roots’ live show that’s really missing from their albums lately.

  • Monica C.

    Black Thought…his presence is amazing!

  • Dev DallasCowboy John


  • ruserious

    dope…The Roots are true icons…

  • Terrence

    This is dope.

  • Blair Stafford

    Much soul here!

  • Eddie Diaz

    How the hell did I miss this?

  • DSJ80

    Dope shit right here

  • TrillOGOD

    not gonna lie, tis coulda been on undun. very similar musical arragement. still dope, hoping for a kanye-like sound change with every album

    • DakoBoxes/ringmade

      Trill, man the Roots been changing their sound since way before Kanye was even making Music! talking 87 Truenotes!! There ain’t nothing The Legendary can’t do man that’s why we love them!!

  • Alexander’Ace’Scott

    Dude, I love the Roots but what the hell is with all these shitty sounding features!? Who is this chick on the hook? What happened to dope features like Erykah (or Jill), Eve, D’angelo… Not like the ain’t got the connections to make some shit happen. Also, the foofy art-house production is kind of extra to me…

    • Clarence Bridges

      Ok I’m a hard core roots fan and I thought it was just me about the hook on this one, but last album they did have some top notch features like phonte, Going back their “roots” with dice raw,and truck north and P.O.R.N. , they did have bilal too.

  • I AM Canada

    Over the years I’ve really grown to like Porn. Most of the time he brings the heat that warms you up for Thought’s verse(s). Whenever they’re spittin’ together its Robin and Batman; Pippen and Jordan. Also, Black Thought’s mind: how does one even begin to argue?

  • willy beams

    Yes sir thats the Legendary bringin quality every album….cant wait!

  • noice!!!

  • kevor007

    WTF are y’all talking about????? This shit is wack as fuck!!!!………and I am a HUGE fan of The Roots! #IlladelphHalflife4Life Y’all are afraid to admit it but these cats, sadly, have officially sold/souled out. :o(““““““

    • DakoBoxes/ringmade

      I dissagree Kevor The Roots have always changed up their sound from album to album, I mean I have been a fan since 96 bro, have all their albums and EP’s. Yeah the sound has changed since #Doyouwantmore!!!???!?! But man that is what makes the Roots who they are, they are constantly pushing the bounds and innovating their sound. Now yeah there is a funk/soul/jazz element that they don’t utilize as much in their music now, but that does not mean the sound they are creating today is not true or relevant! And their live shows are still the shit!! Enjoy the classics for the classics and enjoy the new for the new!

    • Alexander’Ace’Scott

      This is about as far from selling out as a hip-hop group can get. You think this single is going to make them money in today’s hip-hop landscape?

    • mack

      You are a true idiot.


    SI-LENCE . I hope sum how sum way they can get Malik B on this one cause thats what UNDUN was missing. A streets concept jawn without him this time iz more than I can handle. Still love THE ROOTS tho!!