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.