You may have read the title to this post and thought to yourself (or out loud), “but Zack, The Roots are from Philadelphia. Philly hates D.C. and D.C. hates Philly. How are The Roots giving D.C. love?”. Well, allow me to answer that question. Listeners attuned to the sounds of the Washington, DC Go-Go music scene, or anyone who loves percussion-heavy instrumentation, will definitely find Rising Down a pleasant surprise. This is because ?uestlove, Black Thought, and the gang have obviously been listening to go-go pioneers Rare Essence, UCB, and the godfather Chuck Brown. Take the highlight track “Rising Up”, for example. The beat is obviously crafted out of traditional go-go rhythms, and even features one of the hottest verses of 2008 contributed by none other than D.C. up-and-comer/genius/prodigy/demi-god Wale. Nobody in hip-hop right now uses metaphors and pop culture references with as much comfort and style as Wale does, and it shows on “Rising Up”.
So enjoy The Roots’ newest album, whether you be from Philly, D.C., or anywhere else. Rising Down features more guest appearances than any of their other LPs, which makes sense as this album seems to be inclusive, eclectic, and heavily influenced by multiple cultures, genres, and musicians.
The album dropped today, so go get yourself a copy.