The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Lisa Frankenstein was released to theaters Feb. 9th and was released to digital platforms Feb. 27.
"Lisa Frankenstein" Review
February 29, 2024
The program for SMU Lyric Theatres performance of Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi, Dallas Texas, Sunday February 18, 2024
Love, loss and laughter
February 27, 2024

The Roots sink into new CD

Just under a year ago, The Roots announced they were rolling with the Carter Administration (Jay-Z). This was a particularly risky move, because they were coming off their most unsuccessful release to date. It made many Okay players scared that they would completely sell out. However, you can’t count out a band that uses a photo of Malcolm X as the cover art on their most blatantly commercial record. Well, ?uestlove and the crew have returned to silence everyone’s doubts.

“Game Theory” is the band’s best release since 1999’s “Things Fall Apart” and it is arguably their best to date. With this album, they have finally found the balance between the dark, gritty tone of “Illadelph Halflife” and the musicality of TFA.

GT starts out with a brief homage to recently deceased producer J Dilla (Common, Busta Rhymes, Slum Village), but the spacey keys soon give way to the hard-hitting drums of False Media. This song seamlessly mixes a spoken-word chorus with rapper Black Thought’s haunting lyrics about Big Brother-esque propaganda. The opening track lets you know this isn’t the same happy-go-lucky band we’ve heard before. The ways of the world have finally caught up with The Roots crew and the result is dark, melancholy and beautiful.

The title track integrates a Sly Stone sample into a heavily percussive track that morphs into The Roots doing their best Public Enemy impression sans Flava. The song does mark Malik B’s return to the fold. He was not on the last two albums due to his battle with drug addiction, but he’s back and sounding better than ever.

Another highlight comes from “Game Theory’s” most unlikely collaboration. The song “Long Time” features ex-State Property rapper, Peedi Peedi, and Philadelphia soul legend, Bunny Sigler. The track starts with a guitar and explodes into a soulful, psychedelic head-nodder. Thought flows effortlessly, but Peedi steals the show, sounding better than he ever has before. The Roots actually managed to convince me that he isn’t hot garbage.

The most somber and moving moment comes from the J Dilla tribute “Can’t Stop This.” For those of you that have heard Dilla’s beat-record, “Donuts,” it starts with Thought flowing over “Time: The Donuts of the Heart” and he absolutely rips it. The track then morphs into phone messages of various artists describing what Jay Dee meant to them. It was a fitting tribute to a man whose music reached many without them ever knowing his name.

The album closes with the bonus track, “Bread and Butter.” The song is a commentary on the Hurricane Katrina debacle, which directly affected Black Thought because his children were living in New Orleans at the time. The song has a handclapping, Delta blues sound that finishes the album perfectly.

With “Game Theory” The Roots managed to trim all the fat without losing the elements that make them one of the most unique groups in music today. To put it simply, if you are a lover of real Hip Hop, then you need this album. This is Hip Hop at its finest.

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