The Roots Phrenology

The Roots have been rightfully placed on a pedestal as one of hip-hop's finest creations, after consistently releasing fantastic records - pretty rare in the rap game. After dropping the classic Things Fall Apart, everyone was looking towards the Roots to lead the way towards a more pure hip-hop outlook and brighter future. However, three years off in the rap world is a long time and numerous artists have stepped-up their game, expanding the higher standings of hip-hop's elite crowd. The Roots needed to advance their sound and that's exactly what they've done with the much-anticipated Phrenology. Their latest piece of work is a rawer and dirtier-sounding art form. Cuts like "Rock You" and "Thought @ Work" are definitely some of the crew's most bumping tracks, showing that Philadelphia's finest can rock mics with the best of them. Then these cats throw a nasty curveball and drop something like "!!!!!!!," which would make Minor Threat proud, as hip-hop fans scratch their heads for 20 seconds and then realise that the Roots are definitely on to some next shit. There are times where the Roots get a little adventurous and let experimental joints last for ten minutes, but the majority of Phrenology is straight-up hip-hop gems that makes their credibility grow even more. Their lead single, "Break You Off," may have given us the impression that the group had fallen off, but that's truly not the case, as the rest of the record proves. The Roots have definitely answered the call of future hip-hop and they've proven they're still right up there with the best of them. (Universal)