What Part of The Game Is That?!?!?!: The Roots' 50 Best Songs...REALLY?!?!?!

Posted On Friday, October 31, 2014

Last week while I was over at one of my fave hangouts, okayplayerland and I came across this article from Complex.com about the Root's 50 best songs and since I love The Roots ya'll know I had to check it out. Welp...let's just say whoever wrote this doesn't know a damn thing about the Roots cause there's absolutely no way in hell that any songs off these last 2 Root's albums "Undun" AND "...and Then You Shoot Your Cousin"should be anywhere close to making this list and it was a rack of 'em on here. Plus anybody who has "Clock With No Hands" at #5, not one song from "Illadelph Halflife" in the top 10 and "What They Do" as the best Root's song EVER needs to lose their job not now but right now. So, since reading this utter nonsense, I decided to put together a more accurate list of the top 10 Root's songs coming from an illadelph state of mind.

#10 "Star" ("The Tipping Point" 2004) 

VH1 played this entire album the day before "The Tipping Point" dropped and I remember hearing this song and thinking this album was gonna be incredible. Welp, I was wrong about that one, but at least this song was dope. 

#9 "Push Up Your Lighter" ("Illadelph Halflife" 1996)

Anybody who sets off their rhyme with "South eastern Pennsylvania transportation authority is what I'm probably on, if I'm not whipping a land throughout your section/my mind's in traum, 9 times outta 10 I rhyme up on the el train" is gonna make the top 10...period.

#8 "The Notic" ("Men In Black Soundtrack" 1997)

I don't know if you'll EVER get a better smooth, laid back track featuring 3 of the greats from our generation (Thought, D'Angelo AND Badu) all rocking together.

#7 "Water" ("Phrenology" 2002)

One of my beefs with Thought is that he never raps about anything or tells a story unless it's about a chick (see The Hypnotic, The Notic, Silent Treatment, You Got Me, Break You Off, etc.) but on this jawn he paints one of the illest pictures of him and Malik's history as well Malik's struggles with drugs. Probably the most personal Roots' song in their catalogue.

"You burnin' both sides of the rope and keep pullin', tuggin', in between Islam and straight thuggin'/laying everyday around the way and doin' nothin, see em looking shaking their head and start shruggin/if they don't have a man like mine, they got a cousin/hey yo you better be a true friend to 'em, before the shit put an end to 'em/or give a pen to 'em, or lock him up in the studio with a mic/cause on the real it might save his life" 

#6"How I Got Over" ("How I Got Over" 2010)

"When you on the corners, there's too much drama, livin with the police right behind ya/it's always more than a slight reminder, we livin in a war zone like Rwanda/before I go back to the Heavenly Father, pray for me if it ain’t too much bother/whatever don't break me a make me stronger, I feel like I can't take too much longer/it's too much lyin, and too much fightin, I'm all cried out 'cause I grew up cryin/they all got a sales pitch I ain't buyin, they tryin to convince me that I ain't tryin/we uninspired, we unadmired,  and tired and sick of being sick and tired/of livin in the hood where the shots are fired, we dyin to live, so to live, we dyin/you just like I am" 

By the time "How I Got Over" was about to drop I was basically done with these cats. Malik was no where to be found and Questo brodied the bulk of the production so like Kevin Hart said, they weren't looking good as a family unit. Then I heard this and maaaaaaan listen, I went from not wanting to hear this album to feenin' for it to drop. I remember a lot of cats saying Thought was trying to be on his Drake jawn on this but cats don't know Thought used to sing during their live shows back in the days. And the bass on this...come on ya'll, stop playing!

                               #5 "The Seed" ("Phrenology" 2002)

I know a lot of die hard Roots fans didn't feel this jawn when it dropped. I remember cats saying it was on some ole sell out ish but I could've cared less cause this ish was HARD!

            #4 "No Great Pretender" ("Illadelph Halflife" 1996)

When The Roots first dropped I looked at Malik B the exact same way I looked at Phife when Tribe first dropped. Basically the side kick dude who's NOWHERE as nice as the main MC. "I can make a nerd say he's superb"...come on, and I'm supposed to take you seriously? But then something crazy happen, I heard "No Great Pretender" and it was like hearing "Butter" for the first time. I mean, it was like this dude's rap game just got skipped from 7th grade to being a senior in college! 

"Dig it, cool calm collect in my perspective. search the premises, I leave no clues for detectives/my verbal impact across your back slap, you talk about you see me, but your vision's full of cataract/it don't matter that your hour glass I shatter that, bad luck I walk under, now show mw where the ladder at"

                        #3 "Proceed" ("Do You Want More" 1993)

Even though this song has one of Malik's wackest verses, this was actually the song that made me pay attention to The Roots. I wasn't sold with "Organix" and "Distortion..." didn't do it for me either but this one right here made me pay attention. 

"It's the MC, sucka niggas envy/I got my contract in 1993 and I shall proceed"

Now, one of the reasons I didn't LOVE "DYWM" to death was cause it was too light in the ass for me. Naw, I didn't want them talking about bustin gun, selling drugs and telling us to back the f-ck up but I did want some harder beats!  Welp, a quick call to the county of kings to Da Beatminerz solved that problem.

"I never sweat it, it's all copestetic/in this lyrical profession, rappers I discredit"

            #2 "Silent Treatment" ("Do You Want More" 1993)

"I puff an L on fifty deuce while I walk in the rain, heart feelin killa pain while I hop the train/dial her number to the rest, and ain't no messages left/regardless, my chest thumps from stress, yo it's a mess"  

"Silent Treatment" was the one song off "DYWM" that I ABSOLUTELY loved from the 1st time I heard it. It was actually this song that gave me one of the first signs of how much a problem Thought was gonna be in this game and that says A LOT cause this is a freaking love song! And don't get me started on the Black Thought For You and Yours Remix which freaks the CLASSIC Krown Ruller's "Kick the Ball" break...yeah, don't get me started on that jawn.

#1 "You Got Me" ("Things Fall Apart" 1999)

When this song dropped, all I remember thinking was this beat is dope, "what the hell is she saying" and that this drum & bass part of this song is BANANAS! This is one of the few songs in ALL of music that I can listen to on repeat for hours! EASILY the Roots' best song IMO.

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