Is there any hip hop out there like The Roots?
March 18, 2010 9:33 PM   Subscribe

Can you help me find more sweet tracks like The Roots' Get Busy and Here I Come? I am painfully lost in the hip hop universe.

I like everything I've heard from The Roots, but these two tracks are super high-energy. The rhymes are intelligent, virtuosic, ebullient, and freaking awesome. The production is tight and beefy. These two grooves ?uestlove lays down are ridiculous. There's something about a group of dudes ranting how awesome they are and ramming it home via the medium that scratches a massive itch in my brain. I have played these two tracks hundreds of times. Does anybody else have anything like this?

Lately I'm also listening to Blackalicious, Sage Francis, Aesop Rock, Murs, Roots Manuva, Talib Kweli, Pigeon John... I heart them all but none of them have thrown up the air-punching awesome like The Roots have. I have the sense that I must be missing out on a lot due to the idiot whims of Pandora and Slacker's algorithms.
posted by mindsound to Media & Arts (22 answers total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
I love those songs, too.

Some similar-ish songs that come to mind are: 'Go Baby' by Lupe Fiasco and 'Do That There' by Lyrics Born
posted by gnutron at 9:45 PM on March 18, 2010

Tribe Called Quest (Anything), De La Soul (Anything), Jurassic 5 (Power in Numbers), some Beastie Boys (Paul's Botique, To the 5 Boroughs), if you're looking for up-tempo intelligent positive tip hip hop.

Aesop has a track called "Daylight" that fits great, but a lot of his stuff is pretty brooding awesome, not dance party awesome. His Fast Cars, Danger, Fire & Knives single works, as does most of None Shall Pass.

Also, check out some Public Enemy. A lot of their stuff is a little more "hard as fuck, but still positive." Here's one of their most recent things, I think it fits what you're looking for perfectly:

Harder Than You Think
posted by Damn That Television at 9:54 PM on March 18, 2010

I'm dating myself, but Get ready?

That being said, Public Enemy is incredible.
posted by Sphinx at 10:10 PM on March 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

Black Star
posted by fieldtrip at 10:24 PM on March 18, 2010

Ghostface Killah's Run comes to mind.
posted by hellojed at 10:24 PM on March 18, 2010

Half of Mos Def's Black on Both Sides is like that.
posted by Slinga at 10:38 PM on March 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

The Roots consistently deliver heat in high doses. Make sure you also check out by the Roots: Mellow my Man, That Scat, Adrenaline, and Don't Say Nuthin'...only a few of their many great tracks. Here is a mini playlist of some other head-bobbers you may like...

What You Want by The Roots
Relax by Portable Payback
Ghetto Like by Masta Ace
Sum of Us by Jurassic 5
Thrupenny Bits by Colossus
Trying to find a Balance by Atmosphere
Uncle Sam Goddamn by Brother Ali
posted by jnnla at 10:58 PM on March 18, 2010 [2 favorites]

If you haven't checked out the rest of The Roots discography, you won't be disappointed (I am a bit biased, though, as The Roots are my favorite of all time). I'm thinking particularly, "Clones" from Illadelph Halflife, "100% Dundee" and "Adrenaline!" from Things Fall Apart, "In The Music" from Game Theory, the first part of "Water" from Phrenology, and "Web/Boom!" from The Tipping Point.

"Xplosion" and "B.O.B." on Outkast's "Stankonia".

Half of Fort Minor's "The Rising Tied".

I have a playlist on my ipod called "The Roots & Friends". This may give you a few ideas about what other artists I've found similar to The Roots. It consists of:

Aesop Rock
Beastie Boys
Black Star
Brother Ali
Chali 2na
De La Soul
Foreign Exchange
Fort Minor
J Dilla
Jean Grae
Jurassic 5
Kanye West
Kid Cudi
Lupe Fiasco
MF Doom
Mos Def
Mr. Lif
Saul Williams
Slum Village
Talib Kweli
The Coup
The Gift of Gab
The Perceptionists
posted by paulus andronicus at 11:24 PM on March 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

2nd Black Star. Also Jeru the Damaja.
posted by juv3nal at 11:49 PM on March 18, 2010

I agree with paulus andronicus it re: the rest of The Roots. I'd also add The Next Movement (from Things Fall Apart) though it's maybe not as upbeat as the others.

Talib Kweli - Get By (Remix) Ft. Mos Def, Jay-Z, Kanye West, & Busta Rhymes
posted by lmm at 1:37 AM on March 19, 2010

Also, 'Simon Says' by Pharoahe Monch.
posted by gnutron at 4:52 AM on March 19, 2010

Del Tha Funkee Homosapien and Deltron 3030
posted by Dick Laurent is Dead at 5:50 AM on March 19, 2010

Dang I will come back by and listen to all of this after work but I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH
posted by mindsound at 5:52 AM on March 19, 2010

You should definitely watch Dave Chappelle's Block Party. Awesome movie and the music is what you are looking for in every way.
posted by sully75 at 7:50 AM on March 19, 2010

Okay, just a couple more songs with that grimy 'unnhhhh' flavor.

'Ante Up' by M.O.P. 'Kick in the Door' by Biggie. And of course, half of all the Wu-Tang songs.
posted by gnutron at 10:55 AM on March 19, 2010

One more tangential you have any interest in dancehall? So many tracks have ridiculously high-energy move-your-ass-to-the-backbeat riddims. (And with some practice, you can actually understand part of what they're saying...)

'Tour' by Capleton.
posted by gnutron at 11:16 AM on March 19, 2010

Ok, this is the last time I pop into this thread, I swear.

'T.I.A.' by K'naan.
'K.O. Player' by Aceyalone - (it's from an Okayplayer mixtape)
posted by gnutron at 1:14 PM on March 19, 2010

Have you tried Pandora online radio? You can create a station that will play tracks like The Roots' all day long. This is one of my favorite stations! If you haven't heard them, Tribe Called Quest are pretty bad ass. So's Jay Z's The Black Album. I'm pretty new though to rap myself.
posted by xammerboy at 1:49 PM on March 19, 2010

To add a few more in the "unnhhhh" category that gnutron started, some nice tracks are sampled in these compilation videos:

Workout Music (Underground Hip-Hop)
Workout Music (Underground Hip-Hop 2)
posted by lmm at 3:40 PM on March 19, 2010

Oops (damn squirrels), let me try again:

Workout Music (Underground Hip-Hop)
Workout Music (Underground Hip-Hop 2)
posted by lmm at 3:42 PM on March 19, 2010

If anybody passes through south of Baltimore, I owe you all a beer!
posted by mindsound at 6:45 PM on March 19, 2010

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