The Roots: How I Got Over

posted by dpm on 01/18/2011


At a mature 23-years in the industry, the hip-hop ensemble called The Roots have damn near seen it all. They’ve gone from self-producing (which earned them a record deal with Geffen Records) to their current platinum seat on Def Jam Record’s impressive roster of musicians. They’ve endured critical acclaim and grave disapproval; they’ve laid the ground work for future generations of rap musicians to come, and they’ve managed to corner the market on what’s what in the world of urban acumen. Whether laying down velvety-smooth rhythm and blues, or turning up the amps, and sweating over the gritty wail of ?uestlove’s drumming, the boys from the City of Brotherly Love invariably rely on a thick braid of sophisticated musicianship and a brand of music that’s steadily improved over the course of nine extraordinary albums.
                How I Got Over , without question, is the Root’s dominant tour de force. It’s a new high watermark amongst a field of composed excellence from a band that’s recently become the house band for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Through the presence of mind, body, and soul, HIGO invites audio-philes to ride atop a gargantuan wave of genre-blending satisfaction. Not only are you treated to a list of songs that flow seemlessly from one to the other like some next level new age elevator music, but the cast of artist composing the good deeds herein speak to the broad range of influences and interests The Roots so honestly want to spoon out. We hear cameos from the raw R&B/rap talents of Dice Raw, Blu, and Phonte. Jumping from the indie train, Monsters of Folk and The Dirty Projectors are worked into the musical milieu flawlessly, while the purring vocals of R & B alley cat, John Legend, adds a tasty layer of sugary groove to an already grandiose offering.
However, If you’re not a diehard fan of rap music, like myself, I’d recommend listening to the loungy 70’s ear pleaser, “Now or Never”, and the from-the-heart celebration of desire called “The Fire” as an introduction. The title track, “How I Got Over”, has that do right R & B vibe, and “Right On” ponders social awareness in a world flooded by despair and ignorance. 
From juvenile wisecracks hidden, smartly, in cultivated poetry, to spotless nostalgia, The Roots have sorted out what it takes to make an irrefutable champion-of-an-album. And in just over  41-minutes, this heavenly trail of savvy wordsmithing will work well post-climb, or while traveling between destinations unknown. Available at at a very manageable, dirtbag price of $7.99.