Artist: The Roots
Year Released: 2010
As you can tell from the albums I choose to review, I don’t listen to that much hip hop. When I do venture out into the world of rap, and hip hop, my expectations are sometimes a little too low. That said, How I Got Over, The Roots newest release, was definitely better than I expected.
Uplifting, positive and truly musical, How I Got Over is an album that examines the meaning of success and the questions that come with that privileged perspective. Songs like “Dear God 2.0” ask “Why do we suffer?” and the fact that there is no immediate answer is a testament to the maturity of this group.
Other meaningful tracks, like the title songs, “How I got over” examine the path that leads to escaping the path of failure so many young people seem to be on. The song exclaims, without being preachy, “On the street where I grew up/ first thing they teach you is not to give a ****/ That kind of thinking gets you nowhere/ someone’s got to care.”
Along with these more contemplative tracks, there are a number of others, such as “The Fire” that are simply catchy and perfectly sing-along-able. As on previous Roots albums, the group mixes solid lyrics with catchy loops and melodic backing vocals.
Unfortunately, the album peters out a little towards the end, loosing some of its sharp edge and starting to sound a little more pedestrian and boring, but the first two thirds are strong enough to make up for this lag at the end.