“The people are complaining because you grandiose motherfuckers don’t play shit that they like. If you played the shit that they like, then people would come, simple as that.” – Shadow Henderson, Mo Better Blues, 1990
This quote is part of the intro of The Legendary Roots Crew’s 4th Studio album, Things Fall Apart, which today marks their 16th anniversary of its release. Things Fall Apart was marked as their breakthrough album, getting praise from both publications and critics. Things Fall Apart has spewed out some memorable joints such as “The Next Movement”, “Act Too (Love of My Life)” and of course, the Erykah Badu-laced track, “You Got Me”, which has received a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance in 2000.
Things Fall Apart held powerhouse productions from Questlove, Rahzel, Scott Storch, and the legendary Larry Gold from the 70’s Philly music scene…AND cameos from Common, Mos Def, DJ Jazzy Jeff and poet Ursula Rucker, who has brought The Roots’ past 2 albums to a close prior to this album.
Things Fall Apart represented a classic underground boom bap from a full blown band’s point of view, from Black Thought’s lyrics to Kamal Grey’s melodic keyboard, but the addictive beats of Questlove’s drums is what gave The Roots its signature sound.
I remember copping the CD when it first dropped and I played it until it got beat up, scratched and destroyed to the point where it won’t play anymore, but I went ahead and copped another one afterwards, anyways. Why I decided to write abut this particular album simply because it’s one of my favorites of all time from the group. If some of you guys are just getting know them through watching Jimmy Fallon, get to know them a little more by copping this album, for this is a true classic.