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!