Pormenores sobre Rising Down

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Pormenores sobre Rising Down

Mensagem  Leandro em Sex Fev 22, 2008 11:31 pm


On April 29, the Roots will unveil Rising Down — the latest
step in the six-member Philadelphia hip-hop band's 15-year
evolution on record. The darkly funky, politically charged
project is now almost done after more than a year of
ecording, though it is currently missing contributions
from planned guest artists Common, Lupe Fiasco, and Q-Tip.

Earlier this week, EW stopped by the Manhattan studio where
rapper Tariq ''Black Thought'' Trotter, 35, and drummer/producer
Ahmir ''?uestlove'' Thompson, 37, are working on some final
touches, and scored an early listen to the still unsequenced
12-track set.

''RISING DOWN'' (possible alternate title: ''Humdrum'') Guest
rappers Mos Def and Styles P join Trotter in unleashing a slew
of dystopian imagery over heavy, atmospheric synths. ''It's
ot an intro, but more an introduction to the topical theme of
the album,'' Trotter says. ''Mos kicks it off from one perspective.
My verse is about global warming and how the world is all
haywire. And Styles P is rapping about prescription-drug
campaigns, the stuff they advertise on TV, all the crazy
side effects. We're all dealing with different aspects of the
state of the world.''

''GET BUSY'' It's a Philly celebration, with verses from
longtime protégé Dice Raw (''kinda like W.E.B. DuBois/
Meets Heavy D and the Boys'') and more recent associate
Peedi Peedi as well as scratches from DJ Jazzy Jeff.
The beat's driven by an aggressive, grinding bassline.
''That's the return of the boom-bap,'' says Trotter.
''We're revisiting golden-era East Coast hip-hop, but
the synthesizers make it modern.'' Adds an oracular
Thompson: ''What was 20 years ago is also tomorrow.''

''BLACK'S RECONSTRUCTION'' Trotter raps for 75 bars
straight on this lyrical exercise, spitting effortless game
(''Smooth like the dude Sean Connery was playing'') over
a dirty drumbeat and foghorn-like tuba moans. ''It was
a first take,'' notes Trotter. (Show-off!) ''That's a song
in the tradition of 'Web' and 'Thought @ Work'. It's become
something that die-hard fans check for, that extended
freestyle, minimal chorus, hard-hitting lyrical joint.''

''APOLOGIZE'' Thompson calls this rhythmic, brass-laced
cut (also featuring Dice Raw) a tribute to late Afrobeat
legend Fela Kuti. Trotter's lyrics examine the challenges
of today's music industry: ''Look into my daughter's eyes
/Wonder, how can I provide?'' ''It's about not apologizing
for what you are, ''Thompson elaborates. ''Dice Raw's
verse does his commentary on how the new minstrel
image of black people is in vogue now — how that's
the image that's being sold to you. It's really hard to
hold on to your dignity and not resort to shucking and
jiving to sell records.''

''CRIMINAL'' (possible alternate title: ''Pay the Bills'') A
simmering meditation on street life, still awaiting a guest
verse from Saigon. ''It's about being persecuted and
having no other alternative,'' Trotter says. ''You could
also see it from the angle of the Rockefeller laws,''
adds Thompson, ''certain groups of people get persecuted
and others get away with it.'' Chuckling sardonically,
Trotter concludes: ''That [song] is a light-hearted one!
It's a happy album...''

''I CAN'T HELP IT'' Trotter says this harrowing tale of addiction,
bustling with keyboard burbles and ethereal background vocals,
is about ''giving in or not giving in to your urges.'' ''I can't help
it/Maybe I'm selfish,'' he raps. ''The way I'm running is becoming
a health risk/I might have a heart attack, I'm taking more
pills than Elvis.''

''SINGER MAN'' Two little-known guest rappers chime in on
this unsettling multipart suite, which segues from a spare
bass drone to a backmasked, drumless ambient section.
''That's three different first-person accounts of people
that felt justifiable violence,'' says Thompson. Trotter raps
in the voice of ''an African child soldier fighting for Charles
Taylor in Sierra Leone''; Truck North takes on the role of
a suicide bomber; and the very unfortunately named
emcee Porn explores the perspective of a school shooter.

''UP THERE'' ''It was a cold night/Not cold like the winter,
but I can feel an energy in the air that I don't like'': Another
claustrophobic narrative, backed by melting synths and an
eerie vocal loop. Trotter compares its steady crescendo to
1996's ''Panic''. ''It's a dream sequence. Some person is driving
me through this place where I see my life, like a drive-in movie.
Then the guy disappears, and I'm being carjacked. It's one of
those things like the 'You Got Me' video, where [the plot is]
left wide open — it's in the eye of the beholder.''

''LOST DESIRE'' Urgent verses from Talib Kweli (who shouts out
his new project Idle Warship) and former Roots member Malik B
anchor another look at contemporary social ills: ''No one cares
what the truth is/It's a fortress built on lies,'' goes the hook.
''Malik and I are always the yin and yang of Philadelphia,'' says
Trotter. ''He represents the street, that accurate commentary,
and I'm kind of the polar opposite of that. So we balance each
other out on the song, and Kweli's in the middle, talking about
what goes on in Brooklyn.''

''THE SHOW MUST GO ON'' Cascading drums and a serrated
synth texture set off the song that Common is expected
to appear on. (''He promised his left arm if he doesn't get
us his verse!'' kids Thompson.) ''It's about where we are at
this point in our career, why we do it — a more introspective,
personal type of joint,'' says Trotter. ''I'm saying some fly
s--- on that song. I like those verses, boy!''

''RISING UP'' The title track's counterpart has a far lighter tone,
courtesy of two fresh-faced guests: soulful songbird Chrisette
Michele and much-buzzed--about Washington, D.C., rapper Wale.
''Where 'Rising Down' is one of the darker moments of the album,
'Rising Up' is the beacon of hope,'' says Trotter, who boasts
on the song's hook that he's ''getting paper like John Travolta.
''The track's beat calls to mind the polyrhythmic pulse of
Washington's go-go scene — an unexpectedly touchy
subject, it turns out. ''It's more percussive than your
average Roots song,'' Trotter continues with a grin. ''But Wale,
who's a die-hard 23-year-old D.C. native, just refuses to accept
that as go-go in any way, shape or form: 'What?! Oh, that ain't
no go-go jam!' So it's our attempt at something quasi

''BIRTHDAY GIRL'' Summery guitar chords and an ultra-catchy
hook sung by Fall Out Boy's Patrick Stump have made this
the leading contender for Rising Down's first single. It's a
pleasant breeze of a song — at least until you notice the
vaguely creepy lyrics, in which Stump and Trotter fondly
address an adoring female fan on the occasion of her 18th
birthday. ''It's based on experiences that we all go through
today, as musicians and as parents,'' Trotter says. ''It deals
with what our daughters are exposed to, the effects of My
Super Sweet 16, reality TV, all this crazy s---.'' Thompson,
however, laughs off the song as a hip-hop Lolita: ''It's the
most beautiful statutory rape song ever!''

By Simon Vozick-Levinson

Vai ser sem dúvida um grande álbum.


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