After a few years treading the thin line between "underground" and "mainstream," hip hop band The Roots finally got their due respect with their new label and gold LP earlier this year. After 'Things Fall Apart' was a huge success, The Roots have decided to come back quickly with a 5-track EP for their fans to cherish.
Of course, since it only has 5 tracks it can't really be as impressive as a full-length Roots project, but that doesn't detract from the high standards of the release. It's a mostly live set, with only the 'Table of Contents part 3' being recorded in a studio. This gives it a slightly different feel to the albums, as Black Thought's MCing is not as prominent as it usually is. Scratch's beat boxing is given a much higher profile, with just over 2 minutes of it making up 'Battlestar ?uestacular.' The live previously released tracks, 'The Ultimate' and 'The Next Movement,' also are nice, and sound a lot better than most live hip hop tracks that get released. Only the aforementioned 'Table of Contents' is a misstep, sounding out of place alongside so much live material.
Faults are few and far between on here. People will obviously be unhappy that it is only 5 tracks, but a fine EP release a few months after an incredible LP is more than you could expect from the majority of hip hop groups. And while it's not really as good watching music videos on a computer as it is on you TV, the vids for 'What They Do,' 'You Got Me' and 'The Next Movement' are a nice bonus. If you want five dope tracks from some of hip-hop's finest, you should definitely check for 'The Legendary.'