The Roots - undun

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"undun" is not an album for the faint of heart, nor is it an album for the one-dimensional Hip Hop aficionado.

Years back, Canadian Rock band The Guess Who released a song called “Undun.” The song starts with the line, “She’s come undun / She didn’t know what she was headed for / And when I found what she was headed for / It was too late.” Sharing a title with The Roots’ 14th studio album (including the recent release of Betty Wright: The Movie) is befitting – as The Guess Who painted a picture of a woman who spirals downward in a manner similar to Redford Stephens, the lead in The Roots’ first concept album. After close to two decades of music, world tours, Jimmy Fallon, and Grammy Awards, The Roots have crafted an album that not only elevates Hip Hop, but raises the bar for anyone who dare call themselves a “Hip Hop Band.”

It’s difficult to pinpoint one particular song on undun, as the entire work moves fluidly as one cohesive soundtrack. It begins where the story ends (as evidenced through the psychotropic opening instrumental “Dun”); Redford has already reached his “tipping point,” and the rest of the album moves counterclockwise. Each piece forms a puzzle that ultimately contributes to Redford Stephens’ downfall. Sure, there are standalone cuts – the smoothly dark “Make My” shows Big K.R.I.T. flanking Black Thought with lines like “Addicted to the green / if I don’t ball, I get the shakes.” We learn early on that Redford is tethered to the streets by both money and drugs. It’s a familiar concept to most successful top-tier rappers, though few tread the territory of self-destruction in the manner that The Roots are here. The heavy-hearted keys and cymbals on tracks like “One Time” (with Phonte) and “Stomp” provide the sonic backdrop that compliments the intense bars relaying a very specific message. Fans of the Roots crew can draw many parallels on undun to prodigal member Malik B (The Roots made previous innuendos to Malik’s demons on “Water” off Phrenology). There are also similarities to Jill Scott’s “Rasool.” They all hover around Philly, but anyone can understand the tales. 

“Tip the Scale” begins with a flawless drum intro from ?uestlove, similar to that of “Silent Treatment” (off Do You Want More?!!!??!), with Dice Raw’s welcomed commentary: “A lot of niggas go to prison / how many come out Malcolm X / I know I’m not / Shit, can’t even talk about the rest,” adopting the role of the protagonist who at this point is at the wake of his cataclysm. The remainder of undun speaks through the instrumentals, where innocent pianos and violins turn into reckless percussions that fade into searing strings suggesting Redford has died.

undun is not an album for the faint of heart, nor is it an album for the one-dimensional Hip Hop aficionado. Like The Roots accomplished with Phrenology, this is a work to prove that they could do it, and they’ve done it tenfold. Many assumed mainstream success and a house band gig with Jimmy Fallon would evolve into an inevitable stasis for new Roots music. They couldn’t be more wrong.

531 Comments

  • d

    GOAT album, still listen to it once a day

  • Anonymous

    one the best albums ever

  • the games been good to me

    5 stars!

  • Anonymous

    GREAT ALBUM!!! 5/5...but still gotta give Tha Carter IV rap album of the year

    • Anonymous

      And undun, Section.80, Hell: The Sequel, Oneirology, W.A.R. (We Are Renegades), Success Is Certain, The Greatest Story Never Told, R.E.K.S. (Rhythmatic Eternal King Supreme) The Dreamer/The Believer, All 6's And 7's, Charity Starts At Home, L.A. Riot, XXX, Free Agent, The Wonder Years & When Skies Fall are ALL better than both Watch The Throne & Tha Carter IV...

    • Throne

      your dumb. watch the throne was 10x the album of the carter 4

  • Joe G

    One of the best albums of the last five years!

  • thatrealshit

    already one of my favorite albums ever

  • jasonnn

    Just a great album

  • Anonymous

    STUNNING!! This album is amazing, how it shows a life from birth to death. Everything about this concept album is perfect, and i don't say that much. Five stars one of the most artistic albums of all time i am simply amazed

  • mbongeni

    good album but the concept was not well executed... stop promoting mediocrity..

  • loco73

    Great album. Together with Common's "The Believer/The Dreamer", "Undun" is yet another solid piece of work and an encouraging sign that maybe, just maybe, hip-hop is returning, even if on a small scale, to good, old-fashioned, quality hip-hop, solid beats, rhymes and relevant subject matter!

  • YoungOutlaw

    Man HHDX was high reviewing this one, yeah it's a great album, but it's a 4.5 at best, Section.80 was way better, The Dreamer/The Believer too. Not hating on The Roots though, they're awesome too, but this album ain't a 5 star album.

  • julian ayala

    best album of 2011

  • Jamie

    I loved this record but I really don't understand what's so challenging about it. It's just 9 beautiful songs that are very, very accessible. And I'm sorry, but I don't see how an album of only 9 tracks can be a 5 star record. I'm not hating on it, I just disagree with some of the comments made about it. If you don't own it, though, go buy it.

  • Anonymous

    Classic...but the hatas gon hate, this is expected and always projected. The message is clear, the music is great...anything less than 5 stars and you need your heads checked.

  • #45

    Really good music, released at just the right time. I highly recommend this CD, it isn't for everyone though, but it is worth a listen.

  • Anonymous

    WOW. Already a fan. Scooped release day. Pleased. I like it more than HIGO almost as much as Rising Down. But that had Kweli Def and Peedi Crack so comparing ain't fair. The Roots are like fine wine. They were great when they came out. But as they grow they keep adding different tastes and flavors than brings together a more complicated and better product. Congrats. Anyway. It's New Years and I just noticed that this album is highest rated user, editor and most discussed. That never happens. Congrats again.

  • serv500

    all the way 5 should be a 10 tired of the garbage finally some real hip hop about life and the world.. hip hop ain't dead it's just nobody listens!!

    • Me

      lol.. wats worth listening to!? besides a few creative lines this album reminds me of a trip to a gym, fukn hot headed rap, sorry excuse me.. should not be considered rap, it should be considered a haiku due to lack of bars. B-E-A-UTIFULL beats to listen to though.

  • foursix

    it was decent, didn't think it was brilliant though

    • you

      You've got f'n ish in your ears. You're ego controls too much of you and inflicts with your ability to listen.

  • talksick

    I agree it could have been longer and certain songs left me wanting more but it's like a fine wine. You don't chug it until you're drunk cuz you'll miss it for what it is. You sit back and slowly drink it in and enjoy it for it's unique flavor. We can get punch drunk off of all the other "discount liquors" but if you drink this in too fast it'll only leave you wanting more. Let this one breathe a bit.

  • zen

    this and watch the throne - album o the year

  • anthony

    Hell of an album, but short. Although it pains me to give such a high rating, the content in this album makes up for the abruptness of this work of art. classic roots with fresh music. Definite buy.

  • Anonymous

    Great critique of the album!!!!

  • Mu

    AMAZING ALBUM! The Roots are in a creative place right now that is not matched by many in hip-hop right now. Lyricism (4/5), Production (5/5), Execution of the concept (3/5). My only critique of this album is that the concept could have been executed a little better. That could've been accomplished by having less Greg Porn and more Black Thought verses. I also thought they could've done a better job of making the story of Redford feel more like an actual story. Instead, it feels more like a series of songs about his thought-process during different phases of his life. Basically, the character could have come alive more if there were more details about how be became "undun". I never thought I'd say this, but the lyrics are at times too poetic instead of explicitly discussing the pros and cons of street life. That's just nit-picking tho... cop this album NOW if you haven't done so already. One. 4.5/5

    • hellyes

      agreed. still a 5 star album, but take out the features from greg porn and that one from truck north and you have a perfect album. really, they should just add dice raw back to the group he was on like half the songs anyway. but yes, more black thought where wack features are.

    • Swordz

      Fuck critics. Music is about feeling. Shit felt like a 5!

    • Anonymous

      Greg Porn killed it on Kool On, even beat out Black Thought on that one IMO, but I'm not sure he needed three guest spots. Overall, the album was too feature-heavy for me. Roots albums are pretty much the only time we get to hear Black Thought rhyme, so I think he should have held most of it down himself. I'm pretty sure most people tune in because he'll be rapping, not to hear loads of features, even though Dice Raw and others are dope in their own right.

    • Anonymous

      Lyricism 5/5 Production 5/5 Execution of the concept 4,5/5

    • Ben

      Good critique, I'm with you.

  • TanyaMorgan

    I feel like i felt with Kendrick's Album (section 80)... It's a good lyrical hip-hop album, but sometime's the choruses get soooo cheesy it takes away from the whole song (one time, lighthouse, I remember)... I feel it could have been more raw, less preachy. I liked the features, they've added a lot to the songs (Big Krit's verses is one of my favorite) and I liked the whole concept (which is kinda hard to figure out if you just listen to the album without researching or listening to interviews). Favorite tracks : Sleep, Tip the Scale, Stomp, The Otherside, the last 4 instrumental tracks.

  • khordkutta

    The Roots last four albums have mirrored life in general for most Americans and those affected by the worldwide economic crisis. The tone of these albums, save for a few songs have been dark and brooding, IMO they have crafted consecutive classics with each of those releases.

  • mac

    Good album, not a perfect 5 though

  • 1love

    CLASSIC!FUCK YOU LIL WAYNE!

  • jg

    a lot of you guys are hating on Brian...and Brian you are kinda stepping out of your lane by saying this album sucks and its background music...but it def lost my interest halfway thru. I dont feel that this broke the boundaries of hiphop whatsoever. I dont know how you guys gave Boy Meets World a 4.5 but then hail Undun as the perfect album. HHdx ha shown a lot of inconsistency because of this.

  • jg

    why did this get a perfect rating? I hear no story other than the one implied by the roots. There are def some great tracks on there, but this is not a hiphop classic

  • NEKE4206TL

    yeah i feel it its cool but i was suprised and how short it was. honestly i didnt think it was that good to have a 5. action bronson and statik selektah was better than this.

  • J Nice

    The album is cool, but the story is incomplete...its like Big's READY TO DIE, but without "Me and My B****" or "Suicidal Thoughts"...we dont even know how Redford Stephens died, nor did we know his name was Redford Stephens unless we read an interview about the album...my non biased opinion as a ROOTS fan.

    • j not

      Your opinion is biased. You compared to Ready To Die? WTF? The music is encrypted. That is the beauty of it. Seek and you shall find.

  • MetaWorldPeace

    Corrected: I will give it a criticism...It should have been longer. This album left me wanting to hear more verses in sleep, more verses on the 2 minutes joints. To be honest, since first few albums (Do you want more!?!!!, Illadelph Halflife), I thought the Roots were trying too hard to live off the fact that they were rappers with a live bands instead of focusing on the vibe of the album. But honestly, the last albums starting from Game theory have been pretty, but Undun is the only Roots album that has left me wanting more and wishing it had been longer. My taste - I personally didn't think they couldn't reach the level of Illadelph Halflife again. They may have surpassed that level though its hard to compare the albums because the stylings of the two albums are so different.

    • Anonymous

      How I Got Over was a classic and superior to this. It was just as good as Illadelph Halflife IMO, however they are difficult to compare since The Roots sound has evolved so much since then.

  • MetaWorldPeace

    I will give it a criticism...It should have been longer. This album left me wanting to hear more verses in sleep, more verses on the 2 minutes joints. To be honest, since first few albums (Illadelph Halflife), I thought the Roots were trying too hard to fit stand out because they were rappers with live bands instead of focusing on the vibe of the album. But honestly, the last albums since Game theory have been pretty good and honestly, on this albums has left me wanting more and wishing it had been longer. My taste - I personally thought they couldn't reach the level of Illadelph Halflife again. They may have surpassed that level though its hard to compare the albums because the styling are so different.

  • Anonymous

    People are commenting about all the haters. But The Roots have always had more groupies than haters. And all these comments prove that further.

  • DR_Jam

    Great album. Instant classic. It feels so The Roots, yet also like something I've never quite heard before. Every is sublime from the sounds, to the themes, and the flow of the album. Only a few lyrical mis-steps by Black Though, such as rhyming life with life without wordplay or prior words pairing each other. 5/5 as for the review, very well written, bu Feel like it could have been more in depth. I made sure I'd only read it after buying the album and jamming for days nn-stop.

  • JD

    I agree with the rating i would probably give it a 4.5/4.75 myself but i have no problem with it getting a 5 .... also i think people need to realize that since the album plays out like a movie its hard to do a detailed review without spoiling it for peopl who havent listend to it yet ...part of the fun is figuring out whats going on ...

  • The Roots

    Haters everywhere... This is the greatest album of 2011.

    • Thanks Mu

      Thank You Mu for your well thought out comments!

    • Mu

      The Roots last two albums "How I Got Over" and "undun" are the type of albums that REAL music heads know are special and deserve the high praise they are receiving. The rest of yall muhfuckas will realize it when you're like 60 years old listening to old records trying to reminisce and shit. For Brian to even mention a fucking producer's album (9th Wonder's Wonder Years) in comparison to this shows what type of ear he has for this music shit. Wonder Years was created by like 20 different artists and the only common theme between any of the songs was that 9th produced them. I'm sure 9th himself would tell you not to compare one of his compilation albums to an album by the Legendary Roots Crew, let alone one of the best of their career.

    • Mu

      ^^ How is this album pushing the limits?? Ummm... 1. It only ended with a 4-movement instrumental that had pianos, an ill drum solo from Questlove, and string arrangements. 2. It was a concept album that told a story BACKWARDS, and addressed a serious issue in the black community without coming off as "preachy" or "conscious". 3. Musically, the album had everything from boom-bap LIVE drums, string sections and electric guitars, which are soooo common in hip-hop (obvious sarcasm). I guess you're right, the album pushed NO limits.

    • Anonymous

      How is this album pushing the limits. There is nothing on this album that is pushing the limits. And that one-dimensional comment is narcissism at its best. 'Oh, I listen to the roots, so I must have a higher IQ.' It's ridiculous. I listen to a wide variety of genres, but I ain't feeling this. They need to go back to some harder shit. Their last 2 albums have been a bore.

    • Psyntax

      @Brian You know how it says "'Undun' is not an album for the [...] one-dimensional hip-hop afficianado"? He is talking about you. This album is NOT for you. The albums you mentioned are all solid. The thing is that most of them stick to hardcore or battle rap. They aren't pushing the limits of their music or of the genre. That's great because each of those artists is being himself. But from a critical standpoint, the albums that deserve higher scores are the ones like "Undun" that will satisfy the listener who is interested in a wide range of music. There is nothing wrong with your taste dude, but that doesn't mean that your opinion is perfect.

    • Anonymous

      good job making the list, but this album is better than most of those mixtape caliber albums that you mentioned. You see that's the problem with hip-hop fans. You don't know what real music or a real album should sound like.

    • Brian

      this is my last comment on this issue......................so you're telling me this album is better than cold corner 2, cats & dogs, a world with no skies 2.0, greatest story never told, honkey kong, dr. lecter, population control, the wonder years, well-done, sparta...the answer is NO FUCKIN' WAY. PERIOD.

  • Rj James

    that's brians daily life... bitch ass

  • Brian

    well it's time for me to go to sleep so i guess i'll put on The Roots new album "Undun"...less than 5 minutes later ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

  • Jota

    Loved the album although I had to listen to it from start to finish about three times before it all clicked. I do miss their old, more energetic style though. Get Busy might've been the last song they've released that could get played at a get-together without killing the vibe.

    • Mu

      Brian, you're ears are just not developed enough to understand it... I get it. And it's ok, because you will one day. And when that day comes, you will feel like a dumb-ass. Let me make it clear for you: This is a CONCEPT ALBUM. It was not the Roots' intention to get you dancing to it or to have your neck snapping like its some Lex Luger shit. It was meant to tell a story, give a message and have you listening to some beautiful instrumentation while doing so. I'm sure they will get back to rocking out on their next project

    • Brian

      ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

    • Anonymous

      @Briand ...boring as fuck? Really? You don't know anything about Hip Hop.

    • Brian

      exactly...it's boring as fuck...take that Starky Love.

  • Starky Love

    ayo brian.... shut the fuck up. if you put up 70 fuckin comments about how you don't like the album and not one person agrees with you then maybe its time to try a different website. How you gonna reply to every positive comment, have nobody agree with you, and still think you're the smart one? Eat a dick you fuckin loudmouth

    • brianislame

      Brian..... You act like a child. Please excuse me if you are. But if not pulled your head out your....

    • hellno

      hey brian actually that's pretty awkward cuz it's been two weeks and i'm still listening to this album nonstop every day.

    • Bitch Brain

      ayo brian.... shut the fuck up. if you put up 70 fuckin comments about how you don't like the album and not one person agrees with you then maybe its time to try a different website. How you gonna reply to every positive comment, have nobody agree with you, and still think you're the smart one? Eat a dick you fuckin loudmouth

    • Brian

      two weeks from now no one will be listening to this album...you know it, i know it, EVERYONE knows it...it's new so everyone is jocking it but it will soon be collecting dust like 95% of the so called hot albums that came out in 2011...PERIOD.

    • Brian

      u would like me to eat a dick wouldn't you...faggot.

  • Brian

    how about we just give every album a 5...kinda like how every kid that plays little league baseball gets a trophy. seriously...yall (hiphopdx users) need fucking help...i'm not sure what kind of help yall need but i would probably start by giving ya a bullet in the head.

  • Brian

    2 weeks from now no one will be listening to this album...you know it, i know it, EVERYONE knows it...it's new so everyone is jocking it but it will soon be collecting dust like 95% of the so called hot albums that came out in 2011...PERIOD.

    • 4child brian

      Still listening. Your prediction was wrong. It's okay to be wrong but you should learn from it.

    • hellno

      again, hey brian actually that's pretty awkward cuz it's been two weeks since release and i'm still listening to this album nonstop every day.

  • Slruim

    Listened to it once. Did not disappoint. 2nd Listen is always the best. Top 3 Album for Me.........

  • Andre Stepurlifegameup Cooper

    The roots have found there holy grail with this album. And the last classic i heard before this was the fix so that is saying alot.....This is real as hiphop can get!!!! Open your ears people

  • Brian

    also for the record this album is boring because it sounds boring...not because it doesn't sound like the bullshit on the sucker free countdown

    • briwakeup

      Brian! Have you ever experienced any degree of enlightenment?

    • Anonymous

      Yo Brain... Bitch, get out of here. If you don't like the album, you don't like the album. 1 is 1, and you are a cock suckkah. Shut the fuck up now.

    • Anonymous

      haha shows what you know.. killing me softly is just a cover ms hill did of an older song by roberta flack. if thats the first song you think of when i say fugees then go educate yourself a lil more.. im done with this until then cause you clearly don't know what your talking about

    • Brian

      so Fugees "Killing Me Softly" is hip-hop??? Nope. No Fucking Way.

    • Anonymous

      Exactly anony1, that's the movement real hip hoppers i was speaking of that real hip hoppers understand.

    • Anonymous

      did you even understand what they were trying to portray from this album? this is such a complete piece of art, that tells a story that so many fans can relate too.. and you just said"hip-hop = rapping/MCing not singing" ... first of all hip hops a culture, rap is just a part of it, and i didn't know there was a rule book on what qualified as rap. no singing? guess the fugees aren't hip hop then..

  • Anonymous

    Brian is probably man who's trying to kill this movement because he wants us to stay dumb, deaf and blind. Brian: Keep listening to Jay Z talk about how he sold coke and look at where he is now. That's backpack music. Don't listen to the Roots explain how a lot of folks end up (the other side of the story) from living that way.

    • Enuff

      Brain-->Hardest ass of all time.

    • Brian

      i didn't hear one line on this whole album that made me hit the rewind button...PERIOD.

    • Anonymous

      yes a movement that started and stop - intelligent music that isn't dumbed down. There haven't been many albums as intelligent as this in a minute.

    • Brian

      movement??? you're really gonna call the roots and this album a movement??? what??? did you start listening to music yesterday or something??? the roots have been around for what seems like forever. i like how yall get all emotional and want to get all deep by saying something is bigger than rap...nothing is bigger than rap you fucking moron.

  • Anonymous

    This album is eerie especially if you're from the hood. Now whenever I walk down the streets to the train, I feel like the kid walking through his hood. It's whatevert to Brian. This is indeed not backpack rap. This is something bigger than rap. It's like Marvin Gayes What going on Album. This albums captures the essence of hood life in 40 mins. It captures the essense a 25 yrs of life (Redmonds life) in 40 minutes. Its always harder to explain a complex problem with less. Think mathematics and efficiency - trying to solve a problem in the least amount of steps. That's what the roots did. They captured a 24 year tragedy as efficiently and emotionally than actually having lived it.

    • Brian

      you call the beats "somber", but me...i call them boring. hip-hop isn't supposed to put u to sleep...if anything it's supposed to wake u up...obviously you are still dreaming.

    • Anonymous

      So Brian you just ignore the efficiency of the album? Also take a look at the mini movie that comes with it. The beats are hot. Maybe you like the new beats of Drake (that electro synth sound everyone's using) but I like a good RZA beat (Sleep sounds like something RZA could have used on Kill Bill or Ghost Dog soundtrack. To understand you better, what do you call good hip hop? What album is better? The beats aren't boring by the way - they are somber to create a somber/nostalogic mood.

    • Brian

      i like how yall get all emotional and want to get all deep by saying something is bigger than rap...nothing is bigger than rap you fucking moron.

    • Brian

      so hood life's soundtrack would be slow r&b sounding shit??? i don't think so...maybe in your hood, but not in mine.

  • Brian

    first off this is not a hip-hop album...this is a Emo-Rap album. second, this album is boring as fuck...just a bunch of slow or mid tempo tracks that pretty much all sound the same. and third there is more singing and instrumental tracks on this album than actually hip-hop tracks. hip-hop = rapping/MCing not singing. people say this is a concept album...so what exactly is the concept...is the concept to make boring sleepy ass sounding album??? also, just so u know, this is not back pack rap this is emo fag rap plain and simple...yall can call it whatever you want, but me, i see things for what they really are. in closing it got a 5 out of 5...i wonder if that had anything to do with all the advertising dollars def jam pumped and continues to pump into this site.

    • briuranitwit

      Seriously! Emo Rap? You must have a little little brain. Have you ever thought of any music conceptually? Or do you just minimize everything you don't understand? You've got a long way to go buddy.

    • Anonymous

      brian, brian, brian... You sound foolish professing your unwritten rules of hip hop. You spend waaaay too much time hating on the roots album. Brian the dictator!

    • Brian

      DON'T MIND ME Y'ALL... I TAKE DICKS UP MY ASS... I'M JUST UPSET BECAUSE MY UNCLE JOE RAPES THE SHIT OUTTA MY SKINNY ASS... THEN HE MAKES ME GIVE HIM ORAL SEX LIKE JERRY SANDUSKY... MY LIFE SUCKS..

  • thatrealshit

    pitchfork gave this album a 7.3 outta ten....thats .6 more than wale's album and less than drakes. needless to say i hate that website. along with section 80, return of 4eva, and house of balloons this is one of the best album ive heard this year

  • vtt2

    One of the best albums i have bought this year.

  • ali

    decent album, no classic

  • LEX

    ......time to dig in my pocket and shell out some cash for this one......

  • Vincent Byronic Hero Salamatino

    Masterpiece of an album from the Legendary Roots Crew. The musical sequencing of this album is to be heard to be believed. When are they gonna start getting recognized as quite possibly the greatest act in Hip Hop history? Musically they have few if any peers, they are a REAL BAND. And lyrically Black Thought has no peers. Philly in the building!

  • Real Words

    wow, great album.

  • Dick B

    It's a good, solid release from the Roots. They have better though, some of y'all are overrating it a tad. Still one of the better albums released this year.

  • killaaaaaaaaaaa

    Great album. 5* all round. The Roots >

  • william brown

    first to say...the four words that get my underwear moist are "the roots...concept album"

  • Anonymous

    One of the best...ever...to be honest...

  • Anonymous

    amazing album... i thought true hip hop was dead but the past 2 years especially 2011 had some real great artist putting out high level rap..just ingore all that young money mainstream bullshit..theres some real great shit out there n this one might be the best of them all

  • Weez

    Easy to listen to Album,this is the first "The Roots" album I've heard, and i was really impresed. Real Hip-Hop right here.

  • Big Trevor

    I enjoyed "How I Got Over" slightly more, that deserved a 5 as well

  • Akula Akwabi

    C'mmon! XXL! Give yourselves a break and re - rate this album. You know it. I see you! You know it's beyond a 5!

  • So Icy Boi!

    C4 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

  • last

    This album is a fucking CLASSIC!.. yea that word gets thrown around allot.. Go and listen to ANY FUCKING hip hop song or album that has come out recently.. THEY ALL SOUND THE FUCKING SAME. {drugs - sex - money -} "I HAVE THIS AND YOU DON'T KNOW ANY THING ABOUT THAT" modern hip-hop is like a gay-ass commercial encouraging mindless consumerism.. "go and buy champagne you fucking morons" anytime something comes out that isn't following that formula and it comes from a talented source and from the heart it will be a fucking classic. no matter what it sells.

  • slarvin

    This music is incredible. Absolutely mesmerizing. A must have for any fan of music in general. WHAT ARE YOU WATING FOR, GO GIVE IT A LISTEN!

  • Matt Sullivan

    I think words like "CLassic" get thrown around too much. I liked the album but this aint no perfect 5. More like a solid 4 or 4.5 for me.

    • Matt Carr

      I disagree with it being a 4, or a 4.5, this album is a 10/5. Classic gets tossed around a lot, so I'll just say it is a masterpiece. This is the Roots magnum opus.

  • Juan Molinar

    this album is a classic

  • Pajamarama

    The legendary roots crew have outdone themselves. Incisive, hypnotic beats with soulful straight talking lyrics. Take a bow sirs, I believe you deserve it

  • hip hop citizen

    love DX, the only hip hop site that actually takes peoples criticism as constructive. you have a life long fan.

  • VOR

    Kind of puts Drake's "talent" in perspective doesn't it.......

  • Anonymous

    top 5 hip hop releases of the year

  • G

    Best album of 2011. The concept is amazing. The video clip is amazing. The soulful beats with Q's dope drums are amazing. Black Thought.... I don't even need to talk about how great he was. Verse after verse he stays the most consistent rapper in my book. All the features were dope and consistent. Black Thought was lyrically mesmerizing throughout. This is the type of concept album that really gets in your head and stays there. 5/5 is right.

  • Andrew Malik Lee-Smith

    This is an amazing album.I would love to see any of the ringtone rappers try to get on the level that this album's on

  • Joel Mailei

    What's this I hear in my eardrums? finally some real hip-hop. its been on repeat for the past week. shit don't get stale. I'm waiting for that com' joint to drop but IMO album of the year.

  • bc146

    Flawless victory...Fatality.

  • ziploc

    if you want to rate this album,compare it to older Roots albums. By comparing it with game changers and such you are not doing it justice.The shift of hip hop from artform where you would be challenged by the music and lyrics is long gone,so to compare it to that is wrong,it's 2011..how does it hold up now?..based on what is now more or less the standard,this album is as important as Illmatic,not because it changes how you feel about the artform,it shows you that there is room for the artform to progress and mature,a word that isn't used a lot anymore..by anyone in this artform..that makes it a classic by my standards..

  • j. riot

    Had this on repeat last two days, gets better every time

  • Jakk

    Great consept album. The Roots never did wrong. 5/5

  • Donnie Wesley

    A classic album without all the media-hype!!! I give it a 4.5 4.7, which, makes it a 5.

  • doljadan

    a masterpiece regardless if it is game changing or not. Excellent music will always be recognized and appreciated. Best concept album ive heard in a while. great follow up. The roots are on a roll dropping very commendable music. respect. Now go cop it!!!

    • Donnie Wesley

      This is exactly why I gave this album a 5-Star rating...This album does not get lazy, but, more conceptual and guess what; IT'S REAL HIP-HOP!!!!

  • Il Do Che

    I've lost a lot of sleep to dreams.... Album is slick as it gets. Eclectic sounds, tight ass lyrics just all round dope.. album of the year.. Goes to Lil B.. i mean lil Wayne.. i mean GTFOH.. The Roots Bitches! Take notes young players from the Coaches. Dope Album all the way!!

  • Mr Flamboyant

    Man... (listening to the album now) I have to play this joint 3 times straight when I finally got to listening to it. This reviewer doesn't do it justice. Basically this LP is Nasir Jones' "Rewind". The instrumental suite tells the LP in regular forward motion. The production on here is just amazing. The concept is just amazing. The lyrics. Amazing. My God. This is such a beautiful LP. This also is so transcendent in so many ways as far as the LP caters to many situations that people go through in life and the decisions made based upon the struggle within. I always say "Life is about the choices you make and the experiences you gain from them". Just a wonder LP. This is so far LP of the year. Ok, Common. You have fierce competition to get LP of the Year. This LP is beautiful.

  • sun_god7

    5 means that you don't skip a track - it's all quality - a classic. 4.75 - 5.0 /5.0 Even the Redford Jazz Suite (last four tracks) at the end is ill. This SHOULD a grammy nod and HOPEFULLY push them for a grammy win. And I mean for Album of the year - not just for best HipHop/Rap album.

  • bong water johnson

    classic material

  • Larry Alvarez

    album is perfect. flawless

  • RIP_Proof&Dilla

    Amazing The Roots again prove why they are my favorite band of all time

  • Vincent D. Finney III

    I love this album it definitely deserves the 5/5 rating! This is not only of the best albums of 2011 but also one of the best albums to come out in the last decade

  • Scott

    Gotta hand it to The Roots, they made yet another great album, the only thing is- while it's a great album, I don't think it's quite a 5. 4.5 sounds more in my area code and this would be album of the year if it weren't for CunninLynguist's "Oneirology", one of the most slept on albums in my opinion. That shit was a perfect 5. But nonetheless I'm glad that The Roots are still making great music. One of the most consistent music groups in history. I tip my hat and say thanks once again.

    • pajamarama

      Im a big fan of both myself. I think undun might tilt the scales over oneireology but in terms of a best album between the two, id go with a piece of strange everytime.

    • Goose

      The Cunninlynguists are my fav artists ever and I loved Oneirology. But damn I think the Roots might just have topped it. It's def close. But Im glad HHDX gave the roots a 5. unfortunately they messed up the CL review and gave it a 3.5 or 4.

  • Miguel Thomas

    Amazing album. If you don't get it then it's not for you.

  • I come in peace !

    Love this, but Saigon dropped my favorite album of 2011.

    • Mr Flamboyant

      Funny you mentioned the Saigon joint because I thought of that LP after hearing this. Saigon and Just Blaze executed that LP very precise and nice as far as the sequencing goes. I give it to this Roots LP just because they went from the death and every event rewinded. But I can't knock if Saigon is your favorite LP of this year at all. It was a very damn good joint.

    • j. riot

      agreed, greatest story never told is a classic, i love undun also but saigon had such a long album

  • Bubba

    I agree that this is a very dope album, but I would think that albums that receive 5 stars should be game changers. Dr Dre's The Chronic, Nas' Illmatic, Wu-Tang Clan's Enter the Wu-Tang, and Tupac's All Eyes On Me come to mind. These albums changed the face of hip hop as we know it. The Roots album is dope and is rare in this day and age, but I dont think it will have the appeal and the lasting power of the albums I previously mentioned.

    • achpe

      Game changer? Just cause its not a game changer does not mean its not classic. The albums you mentioned were the first albums from new artist (except for Dre, new in a sense that this was his first solo album) who were going in a different direction than the massses. The Roots have always gone in a different direction from the masses, their whole concept is game changing. Artists could try and imitate the artists you mentioned, but the Roots cannot be imitated or duplicated, which is why they are the Roots of HIP HOP. They are the standard of a HIP HOP Band. It good to see the good reviews of the Roots. People have criticized the Roots in the past, just because. I hope people will see that they are living legends and should be given their respect. 215 RESPECT!!!!!!!!

    • Anonymous

      Albums don't need to be game changers to be perfect. Someone mentioned above about Liquid Swords and 36 Chambers. Just because albums like Liquid Swords and Cuban Linx... came after 36 Chambers doesn't mean they don't deserve perfect ratings. Back to this album. It deserves a perfect 5 because it is one of the best albums released in the last decade and plays through flawlessly.

    • Mr Flamboyant

      I understand Bubba clearly and that's actually how I rate my LP all time and over time and the present time. To say this LP is a 5 is something that will take time. Basically to say this is a classic LP. I can't say that yet, but I can indeed say this is a very superb joint. Is this LP going to be game changing as the others mentioned and some forgotten to be mentioned? Can't say for sure but I'm going to doubt it. And no Madvilliany doesn't not go into that class, either. If any LP that doom did, it will be Operation Doomsday but then again that didn't set a precedence become RZA and Wu-Tang set that element years ago.

    • Jacob Crim

      Madvillain for the 00's

    • Chris

      I see what Bubba's saying exactly. It's all about timing. It's about being revolutionary in the grand scheme of things (when people are looking back at "hip-hop"). It gets harder and harder to change the game because everything been done, but that shouldn't deter somebody away from listening to such a great piece as this. That's kind of like saying don't listen to Liquid Swords because it wasn't the game-changing album that 36 chambers was.

    • Bubba

      I think me not mentioning the 2000s might tell you something about where I see hip hop right now.

    • ageisold

      You just aged yourself 2 decades ago. You didn't name 1 album from 2000 and beyond. Your opinion is seen as invalid because you haven't been paying attention to the last 10 years.

  • lol@allthesecomments

    What this perfect album rating means is that 95% of HipHopDX readers should not listen.

  • Ricardo Gonzalez

    this album is so dope i loved how i got over but this is slowly becoming my favorite

  • Luke Davis

    5/5 - album of the year for me. So rare to have a cohesive album as one entity in music today as opposed to an album of "hits".

  • E.Z

    How can anyone compare the Roots to Kanye West? Whats the point, for real? I wouldn't even be comparing this album to previous work by the Roots. Its different, its refreshing, its a hit in my book. These guys cant help but make epic albums back-to-back. These guys are some of the best to ever do it. Period.

  • Undun 10x better than MBDTF

    MBDTF aint 5 stars, at least not on a rap platform. That album was just mixed genre with short rap verses.

    • Mr Flamboyant

      Colin obviously is a Kanye stan. Or his secret gay lover. Dude you can't even be seriously regarding MBDTF as an upper echelon piece of work. That LP is very overrated and damn near trash. Over produced. Over saturated. And just a train wreck really. Hell...it's not even Ye's best LP. It's not his 2nd best. He hasn't made a LP worthy of seriousness hip hop standard since Late Registration. Undun is better than MBDTF hopes to be. If Ye stuck to his original script for that LP, then maybe (fact that "Chain Heavy" was ommitted is a crime punishable by stoning) we can talk. But no... NO!

    • Colin Rinehart

      Wow that's a dumb thing to say. I guess anytime someone decides to make a hip-hop album that isn't chock full of cliches, that negates their validity as a hip hop artist? Get outta here with that closed-minded BS. MBDTF is as much of a hip-hop album as any album The Roots have ever dropped.

    • Agree with Undun 10x better than MBDTF

      Undun 10x better than MBDTF. Hands down.

    • sunspect

      How can you even say that? Where do you build your argument from.

  • Anonymous

    Big K.R.I.T's verse on the first track gives me chills !

  • jack johnson

    5 rating from hiphopdx >>>> 5 mics in the source

  • Right On

    listen to "the other side". i just cringe and bop my head when black thought says "step in my arena let me show you who the highness is"

  • Evolve Learn Revolutionize

    Blackthought and the Roots are the ONLY group that i know that has NEVER EVER EVER come WACK!

  • Anonymous

    last 5 star album i heard was MBDTF

  • JakeUpMySnakeUp

    This album was the titties but idk about a perfect 5 rating. Love the Roots' refreshing perspective and simple laid back sound. I thought How I got over was nicer than this tho.

  • Darius Huggins

    finally listened to it and was very impressed by the entire project. worthy of the all the praises this album has garnered.

  • macmajic

    You nailed it! Rather they nailed it! This Album is DEF a *5*! I have been a Roots fan since they dropped their 1st album. I have seen them live on 3 different occasions! They are like no other! They just keep on evolving! Todays artists lack the creativity that the Roots capture, album after album! Refreshing to the ear! After hearing this joint, I cant wait until the next! Do Want More?? Y YES!!

  • Anonymous

    I give it 4.5 because of all the instramentals at the end. But it was a good album.

  • Dwight 'D wiz' Anderson

    I can't stop listening to this!

    • Blaklex

      Called HMV yesterday and the bastards said they didn't have it. Called today and they said it came in yesterday. Pickin it up today after work. Can't wait!

    • Anonymous

      I know, I gave it 3 spins in a row earlier & it's been in the car for days.

  • QB

    Just because something is "different" or "experimental" doesn't means it's actually GOOD. I respect the Roots earlier work, but no way in hell is this a 5 mic album.

    • Anonymous

      SMH @ the "shut up hater". people cant even have opinions anymore. he wasnt even hating. the fuck is up with these teenage girls calling everybody that disagrees with them a hater this year?

    • Anonymous

      how the fuck was he hating? that was the most sensible shit ive read. and why the fuck are you bringing up young money and drake? people he doesnt like what you like? nigga grow up you sound like a hating ass bitch. acting like anybody who does agree with you must be a young money fan, fucking outta here bitch ass hating ass nigga. fucking nazi fuck your opinion

    • Bdidly

      Shut up hater, you must have you face resting on drakes nuts. You obiviously don't know what classic means. It means in ten years this album will still e getting played, while people will be saying young money who? sort of like Steady B, who? exactly.

  • ps

    solid LP definitely in top 10 this year, but slightly overrated 5/5 for this?? really...??? 4.5 at best my rate is 4/5

  • Jun Rodriguez

    One of Top Album Of the Year!!

  • Njck Atkins

    the only thing i don't like is the sonic cacophony at the end. should have just stuck with the symphonic sound. and why are people complaining about it only being 40 minutes. back when records were popular most every album was less than that. "Talking Book" only had 10 songs and is one of the greatest albums ever made

  • LebronJamesBond

    I agree with the rating, not so much the review. I do think this is the hip hop album of the year. The minor grievances here and there pale in comparison to the how flawlessly executed this album is. The brevity of it (only 40 minutes) is masked by the fact that the album flows so incredibly. It really is meant to be digested as a complete piece, and as such, it is a refreshing change of pace from the albums that have come out. The arrangements at the end (I won't call them instrumentals because I want to give Questlove legit credit as a composer) continue the narrative with no words spoken and are beautiful from a music, not just hip hop, stand point. That, my niggas, is art to the highest degree. The Roots have always been the group that I refer to people who have a negative image of hip hop music/culture. They continue to make genre expanding music. Salute for this shit.

  • Rafael Gonzalez

    AMAZIIIIIIIIIIIIN

  • Scarface

    This album is dope but you have to listen to it carefully not just go through the tracks to just listen to the beats or hook. This is real rap/hip-hop none of that Lil Wayne or Drake shit so if you don't feel it cool don't hate go listen to those wack ass pop artists. That's right I said pop cause anyone can say what they want but I know as a true Rap/Hip-Hop fan and also as someone who writes poetry/raps for fun is artists like Wayne, Drake, Nicki, Rick Ross are fake and for the most part pop and they are not Hip-Hop and do not represent real Hip-Hop. Now as far as the rating I would give this album a 4-4.5 because its not perfect such as some of the hooks which were good but some could have been better and my main criticism of this album which is its length and the album being to short. But I can see why this album got a 5 cause it's one of the best albums I have heard in a long time the beats, the concept, the lyricism and even the fact that something as small as the album cover. It's clear that these actually put time into this album and I listen to all the old school shit and the good new school from 2Pac, Nas, Biggie, Big Pun, Big L, Common, The Game, Dr. Dre, Eminem, Twinz, Warren G, Kendrick Lamar, Wu Tang, Cudi, DJ Quik, Outkast, Mobb Deep and so many more so I can say without a doubt that this album is one of the best I've heard in a while and the last album that I thought was this unique and amazing was Cudi's Man On The Moon. The only album that can match this albums level this year I think is Common's Dreamer and Believer and that remains to be seen.

    • Scarface

      Na I disagree. I'm not trying to hate but drake and wayne are pop artists tell me this how can you call these guys dope when there not even doing music coming from the heart it's all about making money, fame and publicity. Nothing wrong with trying to make some cash but artists who are fake and not even hip-hop like Drake and Wayne shouldn't be selling 900 000. The Roots, Common, The Game, Kendrick Lamar these guys should be selling that amount. How can you be dope when what your doing is fake or not even part of the genre like Drake. I agree with you on the 90's rappers carrying the torch they should keep doing there thing keep real hip-hop alive

    • Anonymous

      stfu 2 much reading, wayne dope drake dope, but 90 cats carrying the torch for hiphop,

  • Right On

    this is just so fucking refreshing

  • R2die

    wow a 5/5 rating.. i havent seen any of those on HHDX in.... never! but after hearing this album i completely understand why.. its incredibly put together! Roots forever!!!!!

  • rootsfan

    incredible album, don't know about 5 stars considering nothing has been since 07, but better this than say a drake album.

  • rain

    Light house is the best song on the album to me

  • rain

    Light house is the best song on the album to me.

  • rain

    After my first listen I can say how I got over is a better album. This is good but honestly the 5 instrumental songs kinda killed it for me. I understand what they are trying to do but I rather have actually song cuts. I'll listen to it again. So far I give it 4, right now it's no where near a Food and Liquor rating.

  • Johnnie at GentlemanREDUX

    This is an amazing album - my only complaint is that it's so quick; about 40 minutes from beginning-to-end, but worth every second.

  • Yellow Thought

    The Roots dun did it again!

  • DJJ

    LEGENDARY. Classic. Dope. Hip-Hop. 5 STARS, YES! THE ROOTS CREW BABY! Love this album! I dig full ALBUMS, where you listen through each track and get a whole piece of music that connects the whole story like this. THANK YOU ROOTS. There is not too much real stuff left like this.

  • Anthony Wallace

    I NEED TO HEAR SOMETHING LIKE THIS! HAPPY TO HAVE THIS IN THE PLAY LIST, BUT FOR NOW IT IS ON REPEAT.

  • Josh Holmes

    Roots Crew done did it again.

  • honest truth

    man im a huge roots fan but i'm not diggin this album. kool on is dope i can't bear the other shit black thought should just do a solo with madlib 9thwonder and dilla beats. they fuckin up with the white rocker suicide music.

    • daman

      If you a true roots fan then you know their albums grow on u and get better with time, understand it more, deep ass album - story backwards got damn and Black thought has so many quotables!

  • Anonymous

    Incredible album. 4.5 or 5 to me. This and How I Got Over are two of the best albums I've heard in the last decade. How I Got Over is critically underrated IMO.

  • Z

    One of my most anticipated releases of this last half of the year, The Roots' already 13th album undun is finally here. undun is a conceptual album, it's a story about a fictional character named Redford Stephens. But what makes this different, it's that is reversed, it starts from the end and ends with the star. Nas made a song with that format, The Roots take it on the next level. Sonically, it's following the footsteps of How I Got Over, but taking maybe a lighter sound. I don't really mind, How I Got Over is one my all-time favourites, so a follow-up is welcome. The only thing I'm worried that if the Roots stick with this sound. It shouldn't really be a problem, but not changing is against the concept of the Roots itself, if you ask me! It's always been about changing, and if they change to a group that stops changing (wait what) I'm not really happy. Until their next album, we will see. Now let's get to undun. undun begins with a short instrumental and then proceeds to a sad, introspective "Sleep". After that, "Make My". After twenty listens I'm starting to feel that it's one of the greatest tracks this year. Big K.R.I.T's evolutions as a rapper are fulgurant, and the song is just great from every aspect. The sad piano, the evolving bass and the overall vibe of the song! I'm looking for these, because it fits the winter so well. Basically, every song is good here. Musically, it's full of pianos and it just sounds like an evolved version of How I Got Over. The run they make from "Sleep" to "The OtherSide" is nothing short of great, and there are some gems later on to come. Musically, this album is great, and the rapping too. Technically Black is still bringing it, although he has calmed down these days. There is a storyline here, but I haven't fully understood it yet. I tried playing it backwards, normally and every other way, and I still haven't fully got it, but I'm gonna get the plastic copy so we'll see if it helps. This certainly feels like a "normal" album, and I wouldn't have noticed a storyline if I hadn't known it. There are still some flaws. Dice Raw is still unable to sing, and let's face it, P.O.R.N is not a good rapper and the hook on "I Remember" gets a little redundant. I still think of this as one of the strongest releases of this year. Replay value is big to me, always looking forward to hear it again. I understand why people tend to not like this and wanting a different Roots album, but what you're gonna do? I'm just as scared as you are if they don't change for the next one, but I'm happy for every album they have released. undun is sure to receive more plays from me. The music is great on every track, it's just flawed by some hooks and passable verses, but otherwise, it's great from beginning to end. I hope I'll fully understand the story one day, but it's still highly enjoyable without it! Rating: 4

    • Anonymous

      Dice Raw's chorus on Tip the Scale is incredible. I disagree with the unable to sing part you said, however he was a little annoying on lighthouse.

    • Darius Huggins

      Great honest review, as a matter of fact, most of the reviews I've read in the comments section have been very positive. I haven't heard the album yet, but in due time.

  • HERMANO

    The songs I have heard been great. I can't wait to peep this in full.

  • whatever

    stop the bullshit you fake fans the roots got albums released on tape so i doubt if you are old enough to be a REAL fan most of you kids treat hiphop like it just started when you got into it most of you dont bother to listen to old albums or even do research on the history of a artist.

    • Anonymous

      The Roots are one of my artists. I've bought almost all their albums on CD. I first got into them when I bought Things Fall Apart back in 2006. Shut the fuck up with that kids shit, I'm only 20 but I can appreciate The Roots just as much as you can.

    • Suggamatic

      I'm 20, And I've heard every single roots album. I even own a few physically. Why is it so hard to believe that the roots have fans?

  • daman

    If this album doesn't sale 100k plus first week hiphop officially dead! I'm 33 been listening to hiphop since 86

  • Ilya Morozov

    Best album of the year.

  • Luzh

    HHDX reviews have been lacking substance of late. For example on the Drake review they were quite non-committal on whether the album was good. They have also been off the mark on a couple of record this year. Most notably, the 4.5 stars on the Joell Ortiz album, Free Agent and the 4 stars on Game record. This review is unfortunately both. There is a lack of substance because there make no effort to justify the 5 star rating and I also think that they are overrating it. The review reads like a letter from a Stan. I have listened to the album a number of times now and I simply do not agree that it is perfect or that it is even better than How I Got Over. The Concept is cool but it is the videos more than the songs that bring it to life.

    • B

      Word up Suggamatic. Well put. Picking a favorite Roots album is like picking a favorite sexual position, none of them are bad

    • Suggamatic

      Newsflash, music is subjective. everyone have their own opinion. my favourite roots album is do you want more, where as most people like illadelph and things fall apart. There's nothing wrong with not agreeing with a 5, I don't think it's the best roots album, but I'm Glad SOMEONE out there has the balls to give it a 5/5

    • Anonymous

      LMAO y u mad

  • Renard

    Best album of the year. It "undid" kendrick for first.

  • NJ

    Apart from Ghostface I can't think of anyone with as strong a catalogue as The Roots, so consistent.

  • S-Ro

    About time. 5 Stars all day.

  • Spobes

    Can't wait to go buy this album, ive been raised on the roots music and love it with all of my heart

  • NoNameNeededforThis

    this is a true masterpiece from what I've heard so far. and it couldn't have come at a better time for myself. music is the power

  • bigtybeatdowns

    Um wow. This is an album much deserving of a 5 from this website. Album of the year? I would say so.

  • bigtybeatdowns

    Man I pre-ordered this on Itunes and I just got the notice that I can download...I'm pumped to hear what it's all about!

  • Yezzir

    I knew it!!!! I knew dx would give this album the perfect 5!!! This album is a classic! The roots DUN it again with this one. Great, GREAT concept album. Loved every minute of it

  • Anonymous

    Jus finished it, concept is good, the beats are good, all tracks flow reallly well together, thats something that many albums cant do. ie., games red album. this album is solid as fuck.

  • kennyken

    so you mean to tell me you have to explain why you gave this album a 5? you already know this album wasn't a 5...but i have yet to hear it. but the cuts ive heard has already dropped it from 5 in my zone

  • Anonymous

    I refuse to listen to more than 'Make My' at the moment. That would be like digging through my Christmas gifts three weeks too early. I'm this far from getting dressed and running to the store. Da Roots crew has done it AGAIN.

  • Anonymous

    Real talk: I don't know if any group/artist has bigger stans than The Roots do.

    • Anonymous

      I think nas fans are Stans and I think he is the GOAT at the same time. Nas fans seem to think everything he has done is perfect, Nastradamas was a bad album but in today's standards one verse wrecks every mainstream album and that was the last words verse. Although eminem fans take worship to a whole new level, not only can he do no wrong and everything he releases is golden even relapse(lol) but the actually think that because he raps faster that makes the lyrics better as well...

    • Real nugga

      The fact is The Roots are one of the dopest and most consistent Hip Hop groups ever, so they deserve all the praise they get. Not sure this deserved a perfect 5, but probably a 4.5. I thought How I Got Over was superior, that was a perfect 5 to me.

    • 2 hod_guy

      I'm gonna find you bitch! im gonna find you and rape you... JK

    • @jackjohnson

      ur fucking ignorant.... id definetly call myself one eminems bigger fans if that makes me a stan so be it but i listen to all hiphop dumbfuck and have been my whole life just cuz i kno hiphop well enough to kno damn well that shadys one of the nicest MCs on the mic dont mean i dont listen to all hiphop... how u gonna come out n say most of his fans are little kids who dont kno shit... most little kids who dont kno shit listen to wiz khalifa, mac miller, n meaningless music like that... ur livin in a damn box if u dont recognize the skill set eminem brings to the table

    • jack johnson

      Eminem, 2pac and lil wayne have the most stans, but Eminem's stans are the most annoying because most of them are little kids who don't know shit.

    • Anonymous

      Okay, maybe you got me with Eminem. But my point was that this group could release anything and it would be praised like it's 36 Chambers.

    • hod_guy

      eminem has the biggest stans, some guy told me he'd track me down and beat me up on hhdx 's fb page because I sad eminem needs to retire

    • Anonymous

      and its funny how "nastradamus" is better than most of the bullshit thats coming out now... #HIPHOPISDEAD

    • Anonymous

      I think that most Nas fans will admit that Nastradamus is a weak album.

    • Anonymous

      Actually Nas and Eminem have WAY bigger stans than The Roots. Especially the Nas stans. They defend him so much that they are oblivious to the fact the guy once made two albums called "I Am" and "Nastradamus".

  • micah dancy

    The Roots have always drop classic cd's from 94 til now and still making great music i havent heard that album undun but i dont have to listen to their to know it's good like outkast's music only two rap groups that i can say that about

  • N.B.

    I completely agree with the rating, and I'm typically the one to let an album stand the test of time before handing it such an honor. However, there are just times when an album just hits you and you know it is special. This album is unlike any other album I've ever heard. It's quintessentially a hip-hop album, but it's also a 60's soul album, a rock album, a jazz album and wraps up as an orchestra. It is flat out beautiful music. Each song is composed with purpose from start to finish with each rhyme and chorus holding a distinct meaning not only to the song but the broader concept of the album. While the concept of the album isn't groundbreaking in itself (plenty of rappers and other musicians have broached the topic before), the way it captures the total story by displaying the raw emotions and complexities of Redford Stephen's inner struggle is unmatched. You hang onto every word, and for good reason. Each is important to the deep and complex story being told. It is a complete story from start to finish, and I love how they took the time to make the sequencing right and force the listener to think throughout the entire record. The Roots are simply amazing. Just when you think they are on top of their game, they raise the bar again. If you love hip-hop or just great music, you have to listen to this album.

  • R.Pgh

    funny how so many so called 'real' Roots fans already have an album that's not even out yet on repeat.

  • Joshua Bechard

    5 stars !? checking this out asap

  • Anonymous

    i said it again, ill say it before..if its a "mainstream" album, the review will rate it horribly on HHDX..if its an old school rapper/rap group or something indie, hhdx will rate it high...fucking scam

    • LordLamickTheEmperor

      I hope this is just shitty sarcasm and not total ignorance. Mainstream albums aren't given poor/average reviews because they are mainstream, it is because the overwhelming majority of mainstream music follows the same unoriginal forumula's labels have perfected with the occassional risky track but always with one thing in mind - appealing to the majority. Which leads to popular music, but not great music, just much of the same. But you can still have a mainstream album receive universal acclaim - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy - that just takes the rare touch of genius and brilliance that doesn't come along too often, e.g. Michael Jackson. But to cut myself off short, you need to become a true fan of music plain and simple. Because repetition isn't music.

    • Stfu

      stfu and go listen to your Riff Raff tracks.

    • Anonymous

      so this is the first time you've said this or...what? i'm confused.

    • Anonymous

      it's The Roots my friend, they are on television. how are they not mainstream?

    • truth

      yo mainstream artists dont know how to put together albums nevermind come up with concepts within their music, dipshit.

  • baladeva555

    Perfection. Genius. Art.

  • Daman

    who's better then Black Thought? Been listening to the roots since 92 baby! Your favorite mc will tell u he can't fuck with Black Thought. If you disagree peep the following this yr alone (Last verse on Shaolin vs Wu Tang Master of Fate and So Long, last track on Saigon's greatest story never told! Now let the haters and the debate begin.

  • Joshua El-Tigre Padilla

    TRASH!!!!!!!!! OverRated

  • CAL DRO

    this shit weak more white people music 1/5

  • K.S.

    I've been bumpin the Roots since their real 1st Album "Organix" and I told cats DO NOT SLEEP ON THIS GROUP. Even when they dropped "Do You Want More?!!!??!" I told People the same thing these Cats are so underrated especially Black Thought who's in my TOP 10 EMCEE'S OF ALL TIME yes I said it. My favorite Album of all time from them is probably "Illadelph Halflife" but either way they got CLASSICS for days so I'm not surprised this Album got 5/5. Congrats on the new Album Roots and I sure hope y'all are spitting over a couple of J Dilla Beats. Peace to all the Roots Fans World wide and RIP J DILLA aka King of the Beats. And yes I know DJ Premier and Pete Rock are Kings when it comes to the Beats too. One!!!

    • d

      well said - black thought doesn't get enough credit as one of the great mc's. for one, the band has stayed true throughout the years and black thought has driven that. wordplay, insight, flow, passion, realness and rawness, black thought is absolutely one of the best of all time. top ten is warranted; maybe even top five - guy is that good and that important to hip-hop in the context of its short history.

  • dope

    even though they are completely different

    • deadboy90

      Dude this group has long transcended hiphop, they are a group that makes spectacular music and they have risen above being labeled in a genre. Shady 2.0 is a hip hop group, when they make something like this or Cunninlynguist's new album come talk to me.

    • Anonymous

      thats so blatantly obvious that its unnecessary 2 say

  • FLX

    This album is one of those rare masterpieces that are not only great hip hop music but great music period. Whoever gives this less than 5/5 simply didnt understand it with his lil BJ.Coleflockadrake mindstate.

  • obatron-one

    This album is sick. A ghetto symphony of sorts. The Roots as a band keep getting better and better as time goes on. You can really see the progression from Organix/Do You Want More until now. Yeah I know this might miss quite a few people but if Phonte can put out an album about life and get a warm reception this joint is definitely worthy of praise. This albums moves and isn't your tipical linier turn the drum machine on hip hop. I hope The Roots never stop just like the great bands of old. Timeless music perfect for the times.

  • ciph3r

    5 is a BIT much id go 4-4.5 but not perfect. theres no such thing as perfect. this editor is trippen but it is an amazing album

    • Anonymous

      Illmatic is my favourite albvum of all time. But it isn't perfect. Every song isn't 10/10.

    • Anonymous

      I agree this deserves a 4.5, not sure about the 5. Still an amazing album regardless. But there ARE such things as perfect albums... Illmatic and Marshall Mathers LP are two that come to mind immediately.

    • B-Dub

      Hahahaha you fucking tripper! What the fuck is the point in the 5th star if you're never going to award it to someone?!? You FUCKING IDIOT hahahahahahahahaha

    • Anonymous

      So you're saying that no album should be given a perfect score... That is ridiculous. I agree that no album/film/show etc is prefect, but something deserves a perfect rating if it is the best of its kind. And a personal rating has nothing to do with being "undeniable by every fan in the world", it's what you, the individual reviewer thinks...

    • ciph3r

      absolutely not. because if you give an album a 5 your saying there is NOTHING AT ALL you would change or didnt like even a little bit. and your lying to urself or bias if you say that. call it what it is a great album but theres never been nor will there ever be a perfect album of music. perfection means its undeniable by every fan in the world.

    • joe

      I think only in time do things really deserve a 5. If this album matures well enough then this rating may not be too far fetched.

  • short.

    Black Thought is the single most underrated MC on earth. For Real.

    • Anonymous

      he may have skills, but he sounds like everyother rapper.

    • Anonymous

      big roots fan but i think Skyzoo & especially Pharoahe Monch are thee most underrated rappers currently.

    • short.

      I completely agree. I'm saying, that when I hear/read 'top MC' discussions from friends, blogs, critics, etc., whether we like it or not, he does get left out the majority of the time. but as long as the true fans know it, nothing else really matters.

    • 215

      He most certainly is not: hip-hop heads know he is one of the very best MCs alive, a technician with a mastery of flows, diction, breath control and every other aspect of MCing.I have never heard anyone who knows hip-hop say Black Thought is not one of the greatest, most intelligent, most complex MCs of his era.Well, sure the average mainstream hip-hop fanthose who like hip-hop as opposed to those who live for itmay not pay much mind to Thoughts work because hes too complex for them or because hes not consumed with image and marketing and limelight or because he doesnt wear his ego on his sleeve and demand all eyes on him or some other lame reason.

  • ErrorFile

    This album really is a 5-star wonder. "I Remember" is my new favourite song. I was supposed to go to sleep, but I've listened to this album.. Twice, and still haven't gone to sleep. It's catchy, you can't stop listening when you first press play.. This IS tue HipHop in it's best form, not that mainstream bulls*it. I truly recommend this album to everybody! One of the true gems of this year.

  • David Ivan Schwarz

    perfect album, great rating, oh myyyy

  • Jonan

    I'm really pleased to see that the one time HipHopDX does decide to give an album 5 stars, they give it to an album and a group that really does deserve it. I've been streaming this album for the past few days, trying not to over-do it. I'm buying it as soon as possible.

  • trizzle

    A well deserved 5 stars. This is a tremendous album that defies the realms and parameters of hip-hop. A fantastic effort; completely enthralling. This is how music should be, beautiful craftsmanship with a true purpose. Thank you.

  • J.L.

    This album really IS deserving of the rating it got. Melodies that haunt you and stay in your head, a strong cohesiveness, a good story to add depth, strong performances all around. This is a classic album.

  • Anonymous

    finally a 5 star album on dx i think the last one was food and liquor right?

  • Jacy

    I can't believe some people are mad that this got a perfect score. This album is going to be a hip-hop classic. A stature for any artist trying to make a concept album in the hip hop genre. The Roots have many classic albums and this new one may very well be their masterpiece. 'I Remember' is one of the best rap songs I've ever heard.

  • Bojan Mijic

    I normally don't ever post. But this album has been on repeat since the moment I heard it. It won't ever get da attention it deserves, but in a way, real hip-hop heads can appreciate it more. I'm sure The Roots are aware of this and God bless them for makin' real music time and time again. They've been holdin' it down since Tribe disbanded....

  • Damien Juen

    Nothin' more to say...Raw classic Hip Hop by a legendary band

  • J

    My god an album got a 5?! So glad it's The Roots, one of my all time favourites. Haven't checked this album out buy it's definitely on my to do list.

  • MattMusic

    Dope! Should have gotten a grammy nod

  • Brad Watts

    Cant say nothing bad about this...haters keep hating, Saying the album is boring?? go back to listening to little wayne, this is real msic over here.

  • jack johnson

    HOLY SHIT 5 Stars, this album really deserves it too, but it takes a few listens to get into, but there's no faults with this album

  • waylman

    Anyone else bored to tears listening to this? I can't be the only one...

    • Anonymous

      who said anything about black thought, lil wayne or drake? All he said was that he was bored listening to this album... You're making up things to argue bro.

    • Anonymous

      ^ true but man black thought's thoughts and vocabulary absolutely crush present day lil wayne or drake. You lack good taste then u fool

    • Anonymous

      to call someone simple minded because they dont like an album.... that is simple minded my friend.

    • Rafael Gonzalez

      That's the problem with you simple minded, bottle feed, crying for your mother, "one-Dimensional" RAP FANS. If a CD doesn't have a HOOK or some dumb as bragging, it's "BORING". RZA CALLED THAT SHIT R & B: RAPIN' BULLSHIT in 1997. REPRESENT This is a classic...i'm done talking.

    • Charles Benvolo Singletary

      What he said ^^

    • D. $cience

      "undun" is not an album for the faint of heart, nor is it an album for the one-dimensional Hip Hop aficionado."

    • Anonymous

      Once you learn how to spell, then come back and reply. I think that's more important than someones taste in music.

    • Anonymous

      ^best song on the album u tastle bastard is Cool On

    • Anonymous

      "This is music for people with a soul and a functioning brain" haha. hilarious..... meh. The beats go nowhere, the rapping is undistinctive, and there are a handful of wack poppy hooks. The best song on the album is redford which sums it up. It's not a bad album, but there is nothing amazing here. I don't get the hype....

    • ErrorFile

      You are kidding.. Right? Or you haven't listened to this album at all. This is near perfection, not boring. Get your mind right.

    • murdock

      this guys nuts this beat was dope it has feeling to it my man what are you thinking?

    • Anonymous

      This is music for people with a soul and a functioning brain. Step your music game up man.

  • ahmayheco

    Great review for a classic album

  • godisawoman7

    Yeah...this album reflects exactly what is going on in the hood. Mad ni99as get locked up or killed by 25. All for the champagne taste. This is truth and I thought I would not like it. I don't think it would be popular for the radio - but people got to listen to the whole album - not just tracks.

  • thought dog

    The Roots never disappoint. Any Drake fans wondering how an mc or hip hop act can sing without compromising their manhood needs to go thru the Roots entire catalog for evidence.

  • sun_god7

    The album is a sad movie. It needs a film to go with it.