Do You Want More?!!!??! by The Roots (1994)

21Feb11

The Roots are usually a pleasant surprise to new fans…undoubtedly if you are borrowing this CD from a friend, they are a rap music fan and you are expecting something with studio beats and thugged out lyrics. Instead you are treated to a unique musical experience that you simply are not gonna find anywhere else today. Yes, frontman Black Thought is a rapper, but there’s something much more musical and creative about his rhymes than the average MC. And there’s nothing “studio” about the backing band, led by drummer extraordinaire ?uestlove, which plays each song as if it’s a jazz session before worrying about the rap. The end product is beautiful music, made fun and entertaining by the fusion of old and new. At the point of their career when the band released Do You Want More?!!!??!, they took a minimalist approach to writing their songs, adding nothing but the absolute necessary ingredients to each track. It’s a bold approach if you don’t have the talent to pull it off…fortunately that’s not an issue here!

Do You Want More?!!!??! is the first major-label record from The Roots (following independent release Organix) who have since become hip hop royalty, and most recently have taken on the role of house band for the Jimmy Fallon late show. The first single ‘Proceed’ is a classic track, and if you’re doing your Roots homework this is the obvious place to start. Deeper cuts like ‘? vs Rahzel’ and ‘Essaywhuman?!!!??!’ are going to be way over your head if you haven’t yet removed your Roots training wheels…so fire up ‘Proceed’ and then proceed. Tread lightly through the meat of this album…while each song carries its own identity, allow yourself to fall head-first into the flow and stop worrying about which song you like better than the others. Overall, Do You Want More?!!!??! is definitely a “grower”. You’re not going to fall in love with it at first listen, but in time the simple beauty becomes more clear (look at these dummies, for example). The typical evaluation of rap music includes picturing what party/driving/dancing moments you will want to hear these tracks again, and at this point in the Roots’ career they were not really writing songs for that kind of occasion. Instead try to envision a relaxed evening in your favorite concert hall or jazz bar, with these guys on stage while you bullshit with your friends about which bar is next up. Choose your timing wisely with this record. You wouldn’t drink red wine at spring break, would you?

Let’s assume that you’re new to The Roots…take a listen to ‘Silent Treatment’ without pause, to see what it is that you’ve been missing. I’ll wait…

…all sunken in? I apologize if you were looking for something with a Jackson 5 sample for the hook, or some other kind of musical identity crisis typical of modern radio rap. This is rock solid confidence on record, not for the weak. Studs. This record was the starting point…surely you didn’t download one Roots track thinking that your journey was ending. Do you want more?!!!?!

music turtle recommends: YES, YOU WANT MORE!

What do you think about this album? Comment below

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