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Music, Reviewed The Roots

The Roots

If the recent Smirnoff showcase in New York — at which Common, Q-Tip, and KRS-One disconcertingly sold their skills to the vodka company for some quick stacks — is any indication, the state of "conscious" rap is in serious flux…
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Music, Reviewed The Roots

The Roots

Sometimes in order to move forward, you have to step back. Shying away from the cracked, free-form jams of their previous album, 2002's Phrenology, the Roots return to the more traditional boom-bap-cum-Native Tongues aesthetic of their previous work on The…
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Music, Reviewed X-Ecutioners

X-Ecutioners

While the four turntablists in the X-Ecutioners appear God-like onstage behind the wheels of steel -- pawing at breakbeats and twisting tempos into a rhythmic frenzy -- their work as producers has been pedestrian, ranging from the decent-but-simple to the…
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Music, Hear This Hear This

Hear This

Not many foreign rap artists find their way to American ears -- and even fewer hang around for a decade. But against all odds, Japan's DJ Krush is closing in on the 10-year mark with his seventh proper album, Shinsou:…
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Music, Reviewed The Roots

The Roots

After paying dues with two fine albums of homemade rap-jazz jams, the Roots took hold with 1996's gritty Illadelphia Halflife and that album's subsequent tour. With the success of 1999's Things Fall Apart (which featured the mesmerizing "You Got Me"…
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