I had How I Got Over, the latest Roots album for months now and just couldn’t come to a point where I would review it because I got a bootleg version that has fourteen tracks with track fourteen being called a bonus track. Now I found myself at Street Records two Sundays ago and saw that they sold records. At first I saw just old joints that were ten for two dollars then as I followed the rack I realized I was seeing new Rock and Pop albums, from there I checked for shit I really wanted. I saw and bought Jay Stay Paid as well Rakims’ last album. So then it hit me to try and make things right so I looked for The Roots album and saw that and the 12” with silhouette from the album cover on the record. So I bought those albums and a gang of jazz records. I have yet to open any of the Hip Hop records since I already have albums in my mp3 player. So I figure I’m even in the world of music buying, I hope.
Anyway it really doesn’t matter which version of this album you have, it does but you know what I mean, because it’s The Roots and you can’t go wrong with these dudes EVER. One thing I notice it’s really focused on faith, with that said my personal favorite is “Dear God 2.0”. I mean Thought has to have gotten quotable of moth for the first verse of that shit (I don’t fuck with The Source at all any more so I really don’t know) I mean he made one the better verses I’ve heard in while with that shit. Before that you get “Walk Alone” where Thought and company (Truck North & P.O.R.N) taps on the base of their faith with that track that is ill in it’s own right. Speaking of features on here it’s cool to see it comes off really well. I mean Blu, Phonte’ from Little Brother, Dice Raw, P.O.R.N, STD and Truck North show up on two tracks. My other track I love is “The Day” where Thought gets outshined if you ask me, I know saying that doesn’t sound normal because Black Thought is hands down one the illest to do it no matter who’s in your top five, flow for flow on any given day Thought is a problem for MCs. On “The Day” though Blu and Phonte’ get a bit deeper than Thought which is the reason I say he was the lesser of the three on that track. I love how after this song goes off “Right On” comes on and you swear Patty Crash who does the hook for “The Day” is still singing but it’s Joanna Newsom who is now doing her thing. The song is ok, only ok because I’m not feeling STD verse too much.
I love the approach to the album, the first single alone puts the album in perspective for me. “How I Got Over” is just dope, I love the fact Black Thought and Dice Raw sing on the joint. You add the fact the verses sound like some modern day Curtis Mayfield shit, no really listen to way they sing the song it’s “Keep On Pushin’” or “We People Darker Than Blue” all day and it just makes the message in the song that much stronger . “The Fire” doesn’t move me at all, well the hook doesn’t move me but I do like “Don’t It Again” which has John Legend on it as well “The Fire”, I will say both songs has me really wanting to hear the collaborative album between Legend and The Roots they’re working on. I even love how Dilla is still a major part of the program with these dudes as you get a Dilla moment with a nice little beat sliding through. I think every Hip Hop album should have a Dilla-lude on their, even that corny shit.
How I Got Over is one this best albums of the year if not the best in general that the average Hip Hop head doesn’t have in their collection. If things were like they were years ago this would be an instant classic album. I think I’m more surprised that The Roots maintained their artistic vision with their new venture as a late night show house band. They could have easily went the more pop route or even added more recognizable stars on the album and had Def Jam really push it for no other reason than because of the stars on it, I mean Jay and Em have done that. This album again is real focused on faith and getting ahead which is cool to do that, you have to touch on the fucked up shit to show what you trying to get away from. I know mad people already got this joint, if you don’t and you want that real good music you got to get this joint… Buy How I Got Over.