The Roots: Black Thought (rap vocals); Captain Kirk Douglas (guitar); Kamal Gray (keyboards); Leonard Hubbard (bass guitar); Questlove (drums); Frank "Knuckles" Walker (percussion).
Despite what critics might have said about their two previous efforts, true hip-hop heads know that the Roots never fell off. On their seventh studio album, Philadelphia's favorite sons continue to elevate their signature sound that has for years appealed to rap purists and staggered the more critical listeners who love to lament the lack of musicianship in hip-hop.
Fans who were worried about how the crew's style would mesh with the Def Jam formula will be relieved from the gate, as the intro (an eerily ambient reworking of the Jay Dee-produced "Fantastic" intro) gives way to the upbeat, drum-driven "False Media." Equally relieving to longtime Roots fans is the return of Malik B whose aggressive delivery again provides balance to Black Thought's more measured cadence. On the whole, GAME THEORY contains heavier subject matter; the politics of the day pervade virtually every track, while the tone ranges from heated urgency ("Don't Feel Right" and "In The Music") to the uplifting and soulful ("Baby" and "Long Time") to sad introspection ("Atonement" and the bonus track tribute to the late Jay Dee). GAME THEORY is hip-hop with a message and shows us an angrier, more impassioned group of artists eager to tackle the issues confronting their community, yet still doing it with true bounce.

  • Format: Vinyl
  • Genre: Pop