observations, reviews and ramblings about Hip-Hop culture, sports, politics and the industry and life in general.

Monday, May 22, 2006

The Roots Friday night

Thanks to my man Joey for reminding me to post the review of the Roots show on Friday
I am battling a fever so instead of the wonderful prose that Straight Bangin’ gave us on Friday I will give you lazy man’s bullet points

First off, I was very impressed by the production of the show. Sound was incredible. Mics were clear as a whistle.
I like the fact that they added a DJ to the mix. I always agreed with my man Djinji Brown that The Roots lack of recognition of electronic instruments as a core of Hip-Hop smacked of elitism. Live instrumentation is dope, but so is motherphunkin’ Jazzy Jeff Townes.
Besides the pied piper on drums there was a percussionist on the bongos.
Live horn section was great.
Kamal had a whole ensemble of keyboards, etc

As Joey said it is kind of sad that the highlights of the sets were songs that are 5 years old and up.
Mos came out and thankfully did not do a full Jack Johnson set. He did do that ‘Boogeyman’ song that was not bad. Then he rocked ‘Universal Magnetic’ and ‘Umi Says’
Now I love ‘Umi Says’ in no small part because it came out around the time my mom passed away and was the last song on my wedding CD. Absolutely beautiful.
But I was kind of like ‘Universal Magnetic’ has lost some if its shine in the 8 years since its release.

The truth is that the late 90’s were such a magical time. It was the 1st time people who grew up on Hip-Hop became content producers.
And it produced songs that our generation will always revere. So as much as I wish there were new classics I’ll take the old classics any day

Just like Thursday The Roots played the house band and actually didn’t do that many of their own songs. The did rock ‘Mellow My Man.’ I think that was only joint from ‘Do You Want More!!??!!’
They were sharing the stage more than not.
I was hoping to see Nasir and Lonnie Lynn but instead got my faves the S to the V-e-e.
In a tribute to the great J Dilla they ran out to ‘Raise It Up’ and I lost my mind. Then after a quick chorus of ‘Fantastic’ they rocked ‘Tainted’ I wasn’t expecting them, a real treat.

Jazzy Jeff’s ‘There It Is’ routine was insane. He is still one of the best.

Then I witnessed J Davey shooting themselves in the foot. Went to take a whiz and grab a Henney on the rizocks. As I walked back in I was like ‘why is everyone leaving?’ The reason was J Davey. Now I don’t know how it all started but when I walked in there was girl on stage in hot shorts and a Native American headdress. More screaming than singing.
It was bizarre. I had heard a buzz on them but similar to the Sa Ra show I think they lost some fans. Now you know the SC is not a spiteful cat so I won’t sh*t on J Davey. Just like Sa Ra is better than the reviews of the show I will hold off on judging J Davey. There is no doubt that they lost cool points though.

Then Dave Chapelle came out and we got am impromptu stand up routine. Now Dave was funny, but he is so popular he could walk and fart and people would be rolling on the floor. What is good is that he is funny as hell and deep. The routine he did about Iceberg Slim was serious. Go to YouTube I am sure you can find it; my recap won’t do it justice sufficed to say it was awesome. I have to read that book now.

Then they brought out Bilal, no doubt one of the strangest cats of the night. After singing a song called ‘Everything’ which had one word lyric sheet he launched into ‘Sometimes’ and killed it. Definitely one of the best R&B songs of all time. But it was also Questlove who shined during Bilal’s set. Quest is nice on the drums, there is no denying.

Badu came out and did her hits including ‘On and On’ which I didn’t expect. But like I said Quest must have made everyone rock their hits and keep it moving. During Badu’s set The Roots slipped into jam band mode which got to be a bit much. Their guitarist began to channel a grating Jimi Hendrix and the SC wished he had another Henney on the rocks handy. Like I said about the SummerStage show I am probably one of the most progressive dudes you’ll ever meet, but sometimes I just don’t want to go to a Hip-Hop show with a 5 minute guitar solo

Not really sure what Rahzel was doing up there

Finally Big Homey Sean Carter came out. Now that was crazy. I wasn’t throwing up a diamond or anything but I got hype. He picked the perfect two songs to rock, ‘PSA’ and ‘Encore’
With the full band behind it was something to behold. I had never seen Jay live so I was geeked. He did a verse a piece and bounced. Short and sweet. Nice.

All in all it was a good night. It wasn’t the Phish Roots of the Summer. It was more like the group I first saw in ’95.
I am glad they are back and I hope that record on Def Jam does well, but honestly who cares. Their fan base is so solid and their track record is so strong even smart alec bloggers like the SC will support the record regardless.


Blogger POPS said...

they didn't rock "double trouble" with mos there?! oh the blasphemy...

May 23, 2006 2:59 PM

Blogger Swifty said...

my bad. They did do 'Double Trouble'

May 23, 2006 3:12 PM


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