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The Roots Game Theory

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The Roots Game Theory

The older a tree gets, the stronger the roots grow. If that same logic applies to music, then the Roots' roots are hitting one of Dante's circles by now. Game Theory is a much darker album than their last two, Phrenology and The Tipping Point. Black Thought comes through sharp as usual, spitting his most memorable verses on "Don't Feel Right" where he combines flow with real-life issues, a lost art today. Peedi Peedi steals the show on "Long Time" as he comes through to tell us his hip-hop roots (Ultramagnetic MC's) and rep for the struggle with Black Thought, as they proclaim everybody's "50 cents away from a quarter" where they come from. One of the funny things about Peedi's verse is he told me he doesn't even think it's one of his better verses. Sly and the Family Stone lends a hand on the one of the more upbeat cuts, the title track "Game Theory." Black Thought murders the horns and ?uestlove's hard snare, even finding time to shout out David Hasselhoff (maybe he can be in the video?), but it's Malik B who makes the lasting impression on this track. It's hard to say what's the "best" track on this record is. I don't even think anyone should do that, because they all stand out in their own way. Instead of saying "the best," one of the most memorable tracks is "Can't Stop This," the most touching tribute to J.Dilla to date. The Roots collected quotes on the underappreciated legend before Black Thought rips Dilla's "Time: The Donut of the Heart" off his unforgettable Donuts. A fitting way to end my choice for album of the year, The Roots prove the strongest storm can't tear their roots from the ground.

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