Black Thought Closer To Mastering Lyricism

Evan Serpick of Entertainment Weekly spoke with Tariq ‘Black Thought’ Trotter of The Roots. He says of the group’s new album ‘Phrenology’: “I’m further along the line of mastering the craft of lyricism. Some beats are precious, some beats are like porcelain. I might write something and feel like I’m taking away from the value of the track by what I’m saying, so I need to step my sh** up so I’m saying something priceless.” The full story at has since been removed.

Tom Moon Reviews ‘Phrenology’ On NPR

The Roots 'Phrenology' album cover

Tom Moon of NPR has a review of The Roots new CD, ‘Phrenology’, which mixes funk, hip-hop, jazz and soul. Moon calls the album “adventurous” saying they’ve never been quite so brazen in their experimentation.

The review, which includes audio clips from the album, has since been removed at

The Roots Are Expanding For New Tour

Jim DeRogatis of the Chicago Sun-Times spoke with ?uestlove earlier this year while the group was recording ‘Phrenology’ – which released on Tuesday. Asked what the group had plans for in a tour supporting the album, she said, “We’re definitely doing stuff from this new record. We’ve expanded the band; we have a percussionist, Frank Walker, and a guitar player, Ben Kenney, and they’re adding colors that we’ve never had before.”

The Roots Set Hip-Hop On Its Ear With ‘Phrenology’

The Roots 'Phrenology'

Tom Moon of the Philadelphia Inquirer reviewed The Roots new album ‘Phrenology’ calling it “the first hip-hop masterpiece of the 21st century.” Moon boasts, “That boldness – the determination to get at real life, not blabber about ‘keepin’ it real’ – runs throughout ‘Phrenology’. This isn’t hip-hop ‘product.’ It’s the work of renegades bored with the game, making a dazzling end run around the genre’s conventions.”

The Roots Play Halloween Night In Costume reports The Roots are planning to perform at midnight on Halloween (October 31) in full costume at the House Of Blues in Los Angeles. The group will perform staple hits as well as picks from its sixth album, ‘Prenology’, due out on November 26th.

The Roots See No Problem With Musicians Making A Living

The Roots 'Phrenology'

The Roots responded to Nas’ blast that the group was selling out after appearing on MTV Unplugged with Jay-Z. They group says they accompanied Jay-Z because, as ?uest puts it, they were “the only band that could make that sh** come off like gangbusters.” Black Thought adds, “I don’t have any issues with diamonds or jewelry. I like that sh**, too.” The Roots see nothing wrong with musicians—even brainy, soulful ones—making a living. “If I’m not compromising myself or any of my beliefs, I’m going to bite at that,” Thought says, “especially if the price is right.”

The Roots Debuted Head-To-Head Against Boyz II Men

The Roots 'Phrenology'

FHM spoke with ?uestlove in their October issue and asked if Boyz II Men, who was in his high school class, ever went head-to-head in talent shows. “Yeah, our first show,” he said. “The Roots premiered on Valentine’s Day 1989. We rocked it because having someone do hip-hop with a live drummer was something totally out of the question back then. But Boyz II Men cheated. They did this New Edition routing complete with the outfits and glitter in their hands. The girls reacted like it was a real concert. The principal had to stop their performance and make the girls calm down.”