Few acts in the hip-hop game have stayed the course, whereas Philly’s Roots, led by Black Thought and Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson, not only seek to trump the poor record of their competitors but also advocate for black artists’ true consciousness and semblance of liberation. The Roots’ recent Rising Down is an uncompromising take on minstrelsy past and present, and alongside the deconstructed inner-city blues that make us wanna holler, singing-songwriting guitarist Captain Kirk continues to address the never-ending conflict with a masterful rendition of “Masters of War.” The dogs may be in the street, but here’s also Tuba Gooding Jr. splicing the group’s mashup of 40 years of the black pop sublime with a dose of brilliant levity. With Gym Class Heroes and Estelle.
Wed., Oct. 29, 6 p.m., 2008
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 22, 2008