ARTIST: The Roots
TITLE: Illadelph Halflife
YEAR RELEASED: 1996
CHART ACTION: #21 US, #4 R&B
SINGLES: Clones (#101 US, #62 R&B, #11 Rap), What They Do (#34 US, #21 R&B, #5 Rap, #49 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Lord, no
LINEUP: Black Thought, Kid Crumbs, Dice Raw, Rahzel, Hub Hubbard, Questlove, Kamal Gray with guests Bahamadia, Raphael Saadiq, Common, D’Angelo, Q-Tip, Urusula Rucker, and Cassandra Wilson.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The Roots begin to become a force in the music community with their beats, raps, and inventive arrangements.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The sound of the Roots is like no other group, as they incorporate so many elements yet remain unique. That started here, with the production and direction of Questlove and other producers.
They were also quite anomalous for the time, as instead of acting hedonistically gangster, the Roots tackle several serious topics with street smarts still in place, but actual coherent political thought replacing mindless braggadocio.
The Roots started to get notice in the pop world as well, with a Top 40 single, and guests collaborating as equals to the band and not overwhelming them. A fantastic album.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: A few copies had the track list starting at #34, with their first two albums being tracks 1-33.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: A: The Roots sound of today is here.