If there were anyway to describe the Roots latest album Game Theory it would be to say it’s every writer’s dream of a perfect stream of consciousness. From the melodic Dilla intro to the end which is a dedication to the critically acclaimed producer Game Theory is truly a theory that has a thesis with supporting research, and a conclusion which lets us know that this music is essentially bigger than hip-hop. It’s music that 20 years from now when you play you will remember what you were doing, when, were and how. Black Thought appears to be in his prime like the present Tiger Woods, ironically after the death of someone very important in his life, Thought seems to have reached another level of emceeing that many could only hope to see, or feel.
Game Theory is timeless music that if played the periods of the Civil Rights, Vietnam, the Cold War, Katrina, or the counter cultural hippie movement, if the listener closed their eyes epic memory would set in that would give anyone the chills. The irony on all this is that the Roots are coming from the perspective of Philly and address the traditional issues of politics, exploitation, capitalism, and societies ills all while covertly trying to defend hip-hop and its current state. Black Thought, Peedi Peedi (new member), and Dice Raw explain how similar Illadelph’s traditional issues are similar to those of every other city, country, and continent in the world.
The production is in tune with the lyricism and very Dilla influenced yet at the same time carries the Roots identity and sound. Tracks like False Media which is self-explanatory in the name, highlights the issue of reality versus perception and the reality is there is enough media out there that seems to be caught in the matrix and the Roots are here to give you another viewpoint, “America is somewhere lost inside of littleton, 11 million children all on riddlelin, that’s why I don’t rhyme for the sake of riddlelin false media we don’t need it do we.” With features by Peedi Peedi on Long Time he takes you to (no pun intended) Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart when Okonkwo realizes what has happened when he returns to his home and things are not the same, Peedi brings you back to where hip-hop started for him listening to ultra-magenetic in the basement. Songs like Livin in a New World and Take it there definitely take you to the hippie movement, and tracks like Don’t feel Right you can put to anything that’s happening wrong with the world from the Bush administration’s credibility to the Flava of Love.
Game Theory is one of the Roots best pieces of work and with today’s hip-hop epidemic Game Theory is the Roots Lawernce Fishbourne version of School Dayz when he yells at the closing Wake Up!