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May 17, 1999 - Image 26

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1999-05-17

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

A
<'?Thr4~ JI N

OLLYWOOD SAMPLES ARE JOKES LIKE MARTIN,"
raps Black Thought on the Roots' latest effort Things
Fall Apart. The 17-track album is a wake-up call to a
rap world made turgid by money-grabbin' playas. It's also the
Philadelphia sextet's magnum opus, a pure-to-the-bone hip-hop
record that's anything "but" a G-thang.
Ripe with superb musicianship and thought-provoking lyrics, Things
Fall Apart could go down as the most influential rap album since Public
Enemy's Fear of a Black Planet - it's that good. Long a favorite with
critics and hip-hop purists, the Roots appear to be on the brink of mas-
sive commercial success with this, their fourth album and first since
1996's acclaimed Illidelph Halflife. "We've always had the critical
(acclaim), but with this one we're really getting in the lock with a broader
audience," says Roots bassist
t Leonard "Hub" Hubbard.
Quite possibly the hardest-hittin'
Philly export since Rocky, the Roots

and when it comes to beats,
they're kickin' ass and tak-
ing names - all for the
sake of fun.
E PIE T R A S "This [record's]
NT EDITOR about getting
happy," says
vocalist Jill Cunniff. And this
singer's got a lot to be
happy about - Cunniff sa
the record's love songs
were inspired by her recent
marriage.
While matrimony may
have helped her with song-
writing fodder, she and band-
mates Gabby Glaser (guitar)
and Kate Schellenbach
(drums) had to deal with
another big adjustment - the
loss of keyboardist Vivi*
Trimble, who left the group
because she no longer want-
ed to tour. "We definitely miss her but we were
definitely able to fill in the blanks," Cunniff says.
The ladies also get a little help on the new
record from two fellow divas and a basketball play-
er. That's right, New York Liberty center Kim
Hampton flexes her vocal muscles on "Friends,"
the album's closer. "Kate and Gabby are big bas-

HAT DO AN OBSCURE '60S PRO
hoopster, a new-wave goddess
and the streets of New York all
have in common? Put 'em together and
you've got the beginnings of alterna-funk

outfit Luscious Jackson.
Taking their name from an
ex-Philadelphia 76er, Luscious
Jackson first wowed critics
with their 1992 EP In Search
of Manny and then again with
1994's Natural Ingredients,
an infectious blend of funky,

J r
'1 ' a
a
JJ flfl -

ketball fans," says
Cunniff. "And Kim
has a side care
singing."
Country legend
Emmylou Harris
appears on the
record's first single

guitar-driven pop

coupled with the in-your-face beats and attitude
of hip-hop. Drawing comparisons to their friends
and labelmates the Beastie Boys, the group's
success continued with the 1996 release Fever
In, Fever Out, a mostly melancholy record with
the catchy single "Naked Eye."
Electric Honey is their latest,

"Ladyfingers." But it's the queen of '70s pop,
Blondie's Debbie Harry, who chimes in for the
album's most exciting moment. "We're big
Blondie fans," says Cunniff. "It became really
obvious that she should sing on this song called
'Fantastic Fabulous.'
Sure they're fantastic, they're fabulous, b A

LILJ 1 LLJJ are a breath of fresh air in a hip-hop world dominated by stale, Puff
Daddy-style pop recyclers. With an engaging blend of live instrumenta-
play, the Roots are the vanguard for a hip-hop renaissance that includes
like-minded artistes such as OutKast, Black Eyed Peas, Black Star and Common. Question is, are they ready
to carry the torch as hip-hop saviors? "I enjoy it," Hubbard says of the movement. "The general music pub-
lic doesn't look at hip-hop as a style of music that has musicians at all - they grew up with people spinning
turntables. But then they come see us,
BY C H A D D R Y D E N OHIO U. they're seeing their favorite break-
beats performed live for the first time.

*2

It's a new experience for them, and I
think it's part of what helped [the pub-
lic] embrace us."
If early reports are any indication,
the Roots can expect big things both
critically and financially this year. The
group isn't about to start counting
those Benjamins, though - they
know the hip-hop world is a tumul-
tuous one, subject to the whims of a
somewhat unfaithful audience. It's a
fact not lost on the Roots, who can,
at the very least, go to bed knowing
they're headed in the right direction.

Get ready music fans, because
baseball and barbecue aren't the
only things cooin' tis summer.
Check out hot summer releases
from these artists: Luscious
Jackson, Air, KRS-One, Rage
Against the Machine, Flaming
Ups, Nine Inch Nails, Bush, No
Doubt, Geri Halliwell, Red Hot
Chill Peppers, Wallflowers, Puff
Daddy, Megadeth, Cibo Matto,
Chemical Brothers, Stone Temple
Pilots, Too Short, Pantera,
Breeders, Steely Dan, Eryka
Badu, G. Love and Special Sauce,
Rza, Cappadonna, Limp Bizkit, All
4 One, Perry Farrell, Jamirqual,
Luna and Future Pilot.
For the unedited, uncensored inter-
view with Jill Cunniff, check out
www.umagadne.com.

where can you see them
live? The band's talking
about making the rounds
on the Lilith Fair, but they'll
also be doing other shows
throughout the summer
and they'll be focusing on
college shows in the fall.
Cunniff is planning on
bringing more than just the
new music on the road.
She wants to set up so
writing workshops for hi
school students to coin-
cide with the band's tour
dates. "Maybe 20 or 25
kids would come to sound-
check and we'd spend
maybe an hour with
them," she says.
Forget those fake dri-
ver's licenses you're nor-
mally carrying aroun
you might want to bre
out that old high school
ID when these rockers
come to town.

10 w"w wnnecoa a e April/May 1999

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