Quote of the Week: Roots Maneuver

From the title track of the brand new Roots album, Rising Down:

Look at technology they call it downloading I call it downsizing somebody follow me Does a computer chip have an astrology? And when it fuck up could it give you an apology

The most accomplished rap act that consists of a traditional rock band lineup, the Roots are the rare group in hip-hop to generally forsake sampling in favor of live jams. Given hip-hop’s basis in non-traditional musical equipment — tape loops long ago, then beat machines, now digital sampling — it’s often interesting to listen for critiques of technology in their music.

In the liner notes to another song on Rising Down, “Becoming Unwritten,” Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson, the band’s drummer and producer, penned a critique of densely produced hip-hop: “Unless you’re working on a Bomb Squad production for the 20th anniversary followup to ‘[Public Enemy’s album It Takes a Nation of] Millions [to Hold Us Back’ then the rule of ‘100% Power!’ need not apply. Sometimes as a musician you have to play the back and supplement your main subject.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *