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Rising Down Explicit Lyrics
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|1. The Pow Wow|
|2. Rising Down featuring Mos Def & Styles P|
|3. Get Busy featuring Dice Raw & Peedi Peedi|
|4. @ 15|
|5. 75 Bars (Black's Reconstruction)|
|6. Becoming Unwritten|
|7. Criminal featuring Truck North & Saigon|
|8. I Will Not Apologize featuring Porn & Dice Raw|
|9. I Can't Help It featuring Malik B., Porn, Mercedes Martinez & Dice Raw|
|10. Singing Man featuring Porn, Truck North & Dice Raw|
|11. Unwritten featuring Mercedes Martinez|
|12. Lost Desire featuring Malik B. & Talib Kweli|
|13. The Show featuring Common & Dice Raw|
|14. Rising Up featuring Wale & Chrisette Michele|
2008 release from the Grammy Award-winning Hip Hop trailblazers. Garnering critical praise throughout their career, The Roots have firmly established themselves as a band with uncompromised artistic control and integrity. With Rising Down, the band's 10th album release, The Roots continue to take bolder steps adding new depths and range to their repertoire. Standout tracks include 'Criminal' (a reflection of life on the streets and unjust persecution), 'I Will Not Apologize' (a tribute to Fela Kuti that discusses keeping dignity in the music biz) and 'I Can't Help It' (a look at addictions and urges that compel us all). The Pop-infused first single, 'Birthday Girl', features Fall Out Boy frontman Patrick Stump. Additional guests on the album include Common, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Saigon, Dice Raw, Wale, Chrisette Michele and others.
Top Customer Reviews
There are some great collaborations and typically hard-hitting lyrics, but while it prides itself on being far removed from the generic `gangsta' sound dominating mainstream hip-hop at the moment, it lacks some really killer beats.
The usual cast of cameos makes its appearances - Common, Dice Raw, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, among others.
Maybe they got lost on the politics, though, as there seems to be more emphasis on the lyrics than usual. As drummer and band leader Amir "Questlove" Thompson puts it: "This record is about 2008 being an election year, about record crime figures, high school drop-out figures, about being in your mid-thirties and working 300 nights a year".
Indeed, the political nature of "Rising Down" is not only heard in the music, as the title of the album comes from William T Vollmann's treatise on violence, entitled "Rising Up and Rising Down".
As such, it's an album of its time, that has plenty to say to those willing to listen.
It is mature and The Roots certainly seem to be growing in confidence with each new release.
But while its admirable in content, it would have been better to hear a few more killer cuts.
It is not the easiest or prettiest album to listen to. The Roots demand some attention,
My highlights: "Criminal","Singing Man", and "Lost Desire".
And there's a laidback quality to the sensual "Rising Up", featuring some fine swirling piano and a good vocal trade-off between Tariq's urban flow and Chrisette Michelle's soulful backing.
While the aforementioned tracks really do stand out, the album could have used more of them.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
They may fall off someday, but not today. By my count, that's now SEVEN classic or near-classic records from the Roots, not counting Tipping Point, which let's face it wasn't their best effort, "Star/Pointro" aside. Does Rising Down top Game Theory? It's close, but yes it does. This is their best work since Things Fall Apart, I'm not playing. It's not flawless...but it's close.
There's a similar dark vibe between this one and their last one, and I like the way they've come to use texture and synth on both albums. What struck me about Rising Down on first listen though is ?uesto's beats - on an individual level, I think this might be his best work ever on a Roots album. The beats on Illadelph Halflife have always been my favorite from the Roots, but I'm rethinking that now.
Lyrically, it's quality as ever. I don't even know what to say about Black Thought, the dude is a machine. He just spits and then spits some more. Peedi, Malik, Dice, Common, and Talib do their thing. There are a few weak verses here and there, what can you do. But Saigon, Truck North, and the aforementioned Mos pretty much kill it on their verses.
Go buy it.
EDIT: By the way, this doesn't include Birthday Girl. I think the only place to get that is the import version.
Illadelph Halflife was released in 1996. The first single, Clones, is easily one of my favorite Roots' tracks of all time. Black Thought, Malik B, Dice Raw & M.A.R.S. provided nice verses and Kelo provided phenominal production on the track. Things Fall Apart was released next and that clearly is my favorite Roots CD of all time. You could play the CD from beginning to end and rappers such as Mos Def, Common, Beanie Sigel and Eve contributed to quality verses as well. Phrenology was released in 2002 and was clearly different than any other Roots CD that I had ever heard before. It definitely took more than one listen for me to become a fan of this CD. The Tipping Point took the Roots back to basics with tracks like "Star", "Guns Are Drawn" and "Boom". A year later The Roots or should I say Geffen released Home Grown! The Beginner's Guide to Understanding the Roots, Vol. 1 and Home Grown! The Beginner's Guide to Understanding the Roots, Vol. 2. The best parts of both of these CDs are the alternative versions that are featured on both CDs and "Proceed 2".
Game Theory would be the 1st CD that The Roots released on Def Jam Records. The CD wasn't marketed properly but if you were a fan of The Roots you were able to tolerate the "dark" energy that came with the CD. Tracks such as "False Media", "Don't Feel Right", "Long Time" w/Peedi Peedi, and the tribute to J Dilla, "Can't Stop This" were my favorites and "Game Theory" was my 2nd favorite rap release of 2006 next to Ghostface's "Fishscale".
"Rising Down" was released on April 29, 2008. Before the CD was released I was privleged to have already heard "75 Bars", "Get Busy" w/Dice Raw & Peedi Peedi, "Rising Up" w/Wale and Chrisette Michele, and "Birthday Girl" (which you can only find on Itunes now because it's not on "Rising Down") on their myspace page and "Rising Down" w/Mos Def & Styles P. and "Criminal" w/Truck North & Saigon on hiphopdx.com. Other than "Birthday Girl" all of the other tracks that I heard were definitely tracks that would be right up there with your favorite tracks from The Roots. "Rising Down" features Mos Def, Black Thought & Styles P on a lyrical free for all that has them talking about things that are going wrong in the world we live in today. All 3 rappers have quality verses and this is my 2nd favorite track on the CD. The energy of "Get Busy" will definitely catch your attention as Black Thought rips this track to shreds with the help of Dice Raw & Peedi Peedi. "75 Bars" has ?uestlove giving an outstanding performance on the drums and Black Thought takes care of things from there. "Criminal" may take a few listens because of the Kevin Hanson chorus but once you listen to the lyrics, especially Saigon's verse, then this track will also be one of your favorites. "I Can't Help It" will just have you going crazy the first couple of times that you hear it. Malik B, who I am glad is back in the MC rotation again, gets things started and Porn ends things on a nice note. Mercedes Martinez of the group Jazzyfatnastees and Dice Raw do a nice job on the hook as well. "Singing Man" has Dice Raw giving an energetic chorus and Black Thought, Truck North, Porn and Dice Raw all giving nice verses as well. "Unwritten", which also features Mercedes Martinez, is more of an interlude that you will wish was a full length track. "Lost Desire" has Malik B, Black Thought & Talib Kweli on the verses and
?uestlove on the hook. You will be impressed with the energy and subject matter of this track. "Rising Up" is the first video that I saw from "Rising Down" and it features Wale & Chrisette Michele. The song employs a DC go-go beat and Black Thought and Wale will have you doing a 2 step every time you hear the track.
Overall, I feel that "Rising Down", is right up there with the rest of their top notch material. However, "Rising Down" contains the same "dark" energy that came from "Game Theory". In my opinion, if you are not a fan of "Game Theory" then you may not like "Rising Down". Because of the way sales are going and the push that is being made to make B.S. mainstream rap the focus of things in 2008, it seems that The Roots are doing their best to buck the system and make the type of music that they want to make, which I feel is the best way to go. If you are a fan of the majority of The Roots' previous releases, then you shouldn't pass up on "Rising Down".
James' Top 5
1) Get Busy w/Dice Raw & Peedi Peedi
2) Rising Down w/Mos Def & Styles P.
3) 75 Bars
4) Criminal w/Saigon, Truck North & Kevin Hanson
5) I Can't Help It w/Malik B, Dice Raw, Porn & Mercedes Martinez
Rising Up w/Wale & Chrisette Michele
Lost Desire w/Malik B & Talib Kweli
Singing Man w/Dice Raw, Porn & Truck North
I Will Not Apologize w/Porn, Truck North & Talib Kweli
I caught the video to the lead single "Rising Up" featuring DC-born Nigerian MC Wale (he's definitely one to look out for in 2008) and Chrisette Michele, and fell in love with it immediately. I already knew I wasn't the only one who's sick and tired of the trash that's played on the radio all day long but it's still nice to hear someone else echo the same sentiment. The video was on heavy rotation on BET while I was on vacation in the US, so hopefully, the single and the album should do well.
Other standout tracks (for me) include the jumpy title track featuring Mos Def & Styles P, Black Thought's one-take mic attack "75 Bars (Black's Reconstruction)", the hauntingly hypnotising "Criminal" featuring Truck North & Saigon, the Afrobeat-tinged "I Will Not Apologize" featuring Porn & Dice Raw, "I Can't Help It" featuring Malik B., Porn, Mercedes Martinez & Dice Raw (I don't know how to describe this one but I did find myself dancing around like a fool when it came on - and it's the only track I played twice, the first time I played the CD), the plaintively vocal "Singing Man" featuring Porn, Truck North & Dice Raw, which takes a humanising look at the perpetrators of violence, and the very musical "Lost Desire" featuring Malik B. & Talib Kweli.
Flawless production by Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson, James Poyser, The Roots & Ritz Reynolds, Tahir Jamal, Radji Mateen, Khari Mateen & Richard Nichols. The Roots are as consistently thought-provoking as ever and thank goodness for that. This is another instant classic.
PS. Make sure you don't miss the 'telephone' monologue on the hidden track.
Best Tracks: Get Busy, Rising Down, 75 Bars, Rising Up, The Show
Seems odd now, to me, that a mere 15 years on since their debut, this amazing band seems to still have to justify its artistic originality and be judged by other hip hop acts' standards, as they are more and more unique and without fearing serious contenders in their category. Category ? Well, that could even sound weird or irrelevant in the case of The Roots, who've been through proto-Acid Jazz meanderings ("Do You Want More ?"), hip-hop live fusion of the highest order ("Illadelph Life", "Things Fall Apart"), experimentations whose limit could only be the sky ("Phrenology"), classic club cuts redefining dancefloor ("The Tipping Point") and wry, darker, commentary on the sour moods of our times in the shape of their last record, 2006's "Game Theory".
That last album, oddly enough once again, was their Def Jam debut, and A&R man Jay Z seemed to have allowed them maximum freedom, as they both never sounded so relaxed AND unafraid to push further the boundaries of their extraordinary musicianship and inventiveness. Now comes "Rising Down", their 8th studio release proper, and the title itself sums perfectly the whole spirit of that follow-up; after having sampled Radiohead and took a much darker direction both lyrically and sonically, The Roots have at last found a niche where they are both at home and rewardingly creative like they've never been before.
Its starts off with an explosive intro consisting in a one-minute angry argument over a phone conference followed by 2 of their harder grooves to date; the desolated title track, featuring the great underrated Mos Def, and "Get Busy", all saturated drums and pulsating bass. One could have thought that signing to Def Jam would have The Roots slightly more preoccupied by chart success, but for the second time, they're challenging the trust put upon them by squeezing all cliches expected from a hip hop act in their situation. Hell, "Criminal" even sounds like the artful american trio Blonde Redhead (albeit on a very happy day...).
Guest featurings have always been the cherries on their cake, and this time around there are plenty of them, and stars at that (aforementioned Mos Def, but also Talib Kweli or Common). But, as on "Game Theory", its the new generation that takes the mic to devastating effect; when Porn delivers the line "My mother's had an abortion with the wrong child" on the martial "I Can't Help It", you can feel the anger roaring out of your speakers (although I strongly advise anyone to hear this CD on headphones, to fully appreciate its abrasive sonic scape).
Main men Black Thought and drummer Ahmir ?love Thomson are in high gear, too; the first grabbing the mike like he's been deprived from it for years, and the latter pushes even further his incredible talent in rhythm and style over drumbeats that could fulfill some of The Roots' peers for entire careers.
Anyhow, "Rising Down", at least in the music, ends on a lighter note in its last two tracks; the aptly-titled "Rising Up", featuring the promising Chrisette Michele sounds like a twisted "You Got Me" (still their biggest hit to date) and the pop slab "Birthday Girl" (strangely missing on the US import I saw in shops in my country), featuring a great chorus courtesy of Fall Out Boy's Patrick Stump, could well be provide the chart success they so largely deserve without even faintly attempting.
Such a creative bunch of people should at least get the credit for appearing so unaware of the ambivalent state their playground genre's creativity's been through for the last decade (even Vampire Queen Madonna's worked with confirmed hip hop craftmen on her last effort. No offense, but that just showcases where the genre's at, at the forefront of the mainstream). On "Rising Down", they both recall us what hip hop was all about in the first place, while painting once again a fascinating musical puzzle to illustrate their own personnality.
The late and great Jacques Yves Cousteau once said "When you've got an extraordinary life, you've got to share it". The same can be said to describe how this band's legacy should be appreciated by the buying public.
'Nuff said, now enjoy.