The Roots are an Philadelphia based experimental hip hop group. Black thought(MC), Scott Storch (KEYS) Leonard Hubbard (BASS) and Brother ?uestion( Later on changed to ?uestlove) (DRUMS). Malik B. was later added on as a second MC. At the time of So Do You Want More's release, old school hip hop was officially out and Gangsta Rap was hitting the mainstream airways. Most hip hop acts were based around the glamorization of street life, women, and other thug like activities. The Roots brought a refreshing outlook on hip hop with a various messages from just chilling with friends, Philly life, the demoralization of women, and the music that they hold dear to their hearts: hip hop

Organix was their first "official" album which was only released in the UK in early '93. With constant touring, The Roots quickly became one of the most talked about hip hop groups in the UK and the east coast of the USA. They came back home and impressed crowds with their improvisational jazz fused brand of hip hop. Fans of The Roots, as well as numerous critics have been known to say things along of the lines of : "You haven't heard The Roots unless you've seen them live" To this day The Roots vigorously tour because of the love of the art of the live show.

So Do You Want More?!!!??! is highly regarded as The Roots landmark album that helped propel them into underground hip hop super stardom. Although they have progressed in many different directions over the years; many fans always go back to this album as a reference point and a must have for any fan of music.

The album kicks of with an introduction that starts of with the words " You are all about to witness some organic hip hop jazz, 100% groove and you don't stop" It lets you know your getting yourself into not just any ole hip hop record, but something that might be a bit out of the norm of computer programmed beats and overtly unintelligent pitter patter.

Proceed kicks of the album with a sweet laid back groove that shows the lyrical prowess of Brooklyn/Philly based Black Thought. The song starts off one of many great smooth jazz based beats. A typical theme through out the album is the clever way of using vocal harmonies. Distortion to Static shows their love of old school rap with their own edge to it. The album overall has a very unique sound provided by keyboard master Scott Storch with the use of organs and trumpets and various creative relaxing vibes.

Mellow My Man is the next track and it is held by Roots fans as an all time favorite. With a complicated yet catchy chorus. ?uestlove's drumming is very prominent in this specific song that provides a real organic sound. He has a great way of using his bass drum and snare drum in combination that most drummers wouldn't even think of. The beats change at will and this track truly shows their jazz roots and it really shows the quintessential formula for a great underground track. I Remain Calm is the next song and it is a bit more uptempo and really shows off their love for old school soul and 70's funk. The keys are marvelous and make you want to sway all day.

Datskat is another very fun song with some blazing jazz horns and includes some crazy lyrical and vocal skat skills with. The dirty but poppy snare just cuts right through. Lazy Afternoon is my favorite track on the album. With a beautiful soulful woman's vocal cuts in after a coordinated band intro. The song interestingly repeats the same verse three times, the first in Black thought, the second is Malik B. and Black Thought finishes off the third. The song structure is interesting and the various vocals and off timed chorus really draw me in personally. A beat boxing/ mouth track is a bit of an intermission for the album.

The title track So Do You Want More is really awesome. It features bagpipes and has a real haunting feel aggressive feel. The Chorus has some intense gang vocals that are hard to resist. Just a great intense track. What goes on continues with the bagpipes and has a really sweet piano sound accompanying it. A real sweet laid back track.Essaywhuman is a live recording of the band doing an improvisation in the Troubadour in Philly. It really shows what The Roots are all about, a great live show.

Swept away has an awesome bass line with that jazz horn kicking in so so smooth. Another favorite of mine, very simple drumming, but it is so appropriate. You Ain't Fly is just a really fun song, you can tell they had fun making that one. It is also the only song that ?uestlove has ever rapped on. It basically goes over them failing at picking chicks up.

Silent Treatment is the moist soulful song on the album. The voice on that song with that phaser is just a very pleasurable experience. Its so raw, yet so real. Definitely one of my favorites, a real call back to the 70's.Great use of effects. The Lesson part one is interesting because it is done by all vocals. All instrumentation is beat boxed even though it sounds like instruments. Very, very interesting for all of you recording and sound nuts.

The Unlockling is a huge statement song for the group. It goes into the chauvinistic mind state a lot of people posses. It goes into the female perspective. What the life of a hoodrat, very hard to listen to on many aspects because of how graphic the female poet is. A very blatant sexual message.

Why should you get this album:

This album follows in the footsteps of well educated hip hop. Its not a run of the mill album filled with whatever was cool back then. Almost 15 years after its release it holds water today. Although the lack of guitar (The Roots eventually added guitarists into their lineup and now base many songs around Captain Kirk's playing) may be a bit of a reach for some, the bass playing is great and overall musicianship is unrivaled. Black thought's and Malik B's words go in for the kill.

Some might not recognize The Roots from their mid to late recordings to date because of their ability to experiment and try so many different things. This laid back chillaxed album is just the start of their great career. They are still at it today and just released an album called Rising Down in 2007. I have seen them live twice in the last 6 months and they have blown me away and I hope they do the same for you.

Who would appreciate this album: Hopefully all of you. Jazz fans, rap/hip hop fans, alternative fans, and etc. The Roots have a strong following in many Indie circles for their experimentive approach and hopefully you enjoy this album as much as I do.

Peace and enjoy,
Originally posted by J_Dizzle
THAAAANK YOU GoodCharloteSux is god
Last edited by GoodCharloteSux at Nov 10, 2008,
Nice review. I have 'Things Fall Apart' but wasn't sure what to get next. I will definately have to check this out.
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love The Roots. i haven't listened to this album much, but i will definitely revisit it.

and you are absolutely right about them being a great live band. best hip-hop show i have ever seen and probably in my top 15 shows ever.

rap and hip-hop usually don't appeal to me in the slightest, but i do quite enjoy The Roots
i havent actually listened to this album at all yet. ive only really listened to a few of their songs before, but they seem pretty good.

on a side note, Black Thought went to the university that im at right now.
Yeah great review, will have to try and check it out now.
Congratulations on getting 'chillaxed' in there as well
Quote by Mia (Pulp Fiction)
Why do we feel it's necessary to yak about bullsh*t in order to be comfortable?

That's when you know you found somebody special. When you can just shut the f*ck up for a minute, and comfortably share silence.

great review and great album.
This album is awesome.

Any more stuff like it?
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A Tribe Called Quest is the first that comes to my mind. It is a very original sounding album. Illadelph Halflife was a step in a different direction but I think its not insanely far off. Its not as "live" sounding but it does the trick as well.
Originally posted by J_Dizzle
THAAAANK YOU GoodCharloteSux is god

Will be left open, hopefully some more comments will come as there are certainly more Roots fans on this board... somewhere.
Quote by Mia (Pulp Fiction)
Why do we feel it's necessary to yak about bullsh*t in order to be comfortable?

That's when you know you found somebody special. When you can just shut the f*ck up for a minute, and comfortably share silence.

If you like this album I recommend checking out Illidelph Halflife (as someone else mentioned). It has a less improvised feel to it, but some great tracks in there, particularly the ones with guest appearances by Common and Q-Tip.
i've just got into the roots when i picked up rising down after hearing so much about them. any thoughts on where i should go next?

Quote by wilty00
Aren't you kind of scared walking around in the dark with a carniverous loon on the loose?
Its hard to say because Rising Down is so different from any other Roots album out there. It matters really what you are going for overall. The first 2 albums (this one) and Illadelph Halflife are intensely jazz influenced. Things Fall Apart and Phrenology are a mix of old school hip hop, jazz and rock. The Tipping Point is a mix of everything under the sun and Game Theory is this Dark rock-hip hop-RnB album.

Basically you can't go wrong but I'd check out Things Fall Apart since it is their most popular album or this one or Illadelph because they are just amazing
Originally posted by J_Dizzle
THAAAANK YOU GoodCharloteSux is god
alright, i love jazz so i might check out there first 2 albums to start with. thanks!

Quote by wilty00
Aren't you kind of scared walking around in the dark with a carniverous loon on the loose?