Things Fall Apart, the Roots album that bumped the Philadelphia band from hip-hop underdogs to the favorite rap group of thousands of white kids (this one included, for awhile), celebrated its 10th anniversary on Monday. With the band being installed as the house musicians for Late Night With Jimmy Fallon next week, I’d like to take a moment and remember how shockingly great the album sounded on first listen (on the way home from the local Circuit City), with its live rhythm section and Rahzel doing whatever he does and an all-star team of underground rap on nearly every track.
Since then, it feels like the personnel changes and the everyday challenges of making music in this business have changed the group a bit, and their performance at Coachella in 2007 just didn’t feel quite right. I guess touring as often as they have get to a band after awhile. (Plus, I just don’t know if I’m a big sousaphone fan.) Still, man, it’s hard to not like Things Fall Apart, an album that seems relentless at times, with energetic track after track. It’ll be strange to see them fall into the Doc Severinsen and the NBC Orchestra role, but I can’t fault guys for getting paid, and maybe the net result will be a good one.
A few tracks from Things Fall Apart:
The Roots [Official site]