…AND THEN YOU SHOOT YOUR COUSIN, DEF JAM RECORDINGS
The Roots busked themselves out of the street corners of Philadelphia and into the arms and ears of a virtually unceasing stream of fans worldwide after over 15 years of aural sweetness. …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin is the 11th album by the Grammy Award-winning hip-hop fascination and, never missing a beat, their latest sonic dreamscapes open with wonders stupendous. “Theme from the Middle of the Night” introduces the musical zeitgeist with a hearty dose of true sound from the back record collection of one of America’s prized musical acts.
Lyrical ingenuity stops and breaks over harmonic artistry, as the album commences to exhibit a dynamic energy rarely heard in hip hop and from other contemporary artists with a mind to the foundational breath of rhythm and poetry. Cut with the lilting affair of song troupes in their glorious heyday, “The Devil” ends on the notation of the following track “Black Rock,” which spins heady, spiralling with rhythmic intensity. With “The Coming,” the band highlights its musical display with a moving ambiance, pierced with the charged, ringing light of a female vocalist into the groundless space of that unique sound that can only be heard from The Roots.
There are eleven tracks in total, featuring accomplices Patty Crash, Modesty Lycan, Greg Porn, Dice Raw, Mercedes Martinez and Raheem DeVaughn. And The Roots surf a mighty wave with them, a genuine verve through lyrics raw as their subject matter. After years of lighting on the American musical consciousness with an unrivalled life force, …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin muses on identity amid the oft-overwhelming worlds of sexuality, drugs and money, that seemingly impenetrable, cascading triplet misting from the American falls of history, civilization and culture.
By Matt Hanson