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coverpic flag US - Pennsylvania - Full Moon 98 - 09/28/04

The Roots
The Tipping Point
Geffen Records

The Roots have been the favored group of a new wave of hip-hop enthusiasts. To this new wave, guys like 50 Cent and Eminem are too pop and too accepted by the Abercrombie crowd to be appreciated by the true underground fanatics. They're also a group that rock heads can chill to: their arrangements and performances are ornate and more sophisticated than say pop-rap sell outs like G-Unit and the Yin Yang Twins. Also, by playing their own instruments they put an end to the notion that all rap groups are slaves to the monotonous drum machine.

The Tipping Point features the 103rd to 112th songs realeased by the Roots in a track list jumps back and forth from potential genius attack rhymes to following old pop-rap cliches. "Web" represents a very minimalist form over a Public Enemy lyrical agenda. They play the African-American victim to a white man's world, as usual, but "Somebody's Gotta Do It" shows they're willing to play that game - only if they have to.

This record reverberates with that distinctive Philly sound, but remains too modest to be the profound statement everyone is expecting from the Roots. Elsewhere The Tipping Point shows a definite art and promise to the rap underground sophisticate, and never ceases to be addictive.

Copyright © 2004 Matthew DeMello e-mail address

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