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Friday, Dec. 2, 2005



The Roots: "Home Grown! The Beginner's Guide to Understanding The Roots, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2"

Over the last 13 years, The Roots have accomplished something few urban acts have -- making loyal fans of people who don't listen to hip hop. Using live instrumentation to craft their organic groove-based anthems, the Philadelphia crew has won over lovers of rock, blues, jazz and pop without losing the rap community's respect. Such crossover appeal has allowed the act to flourish.

The two volumes here feature album cuts, unreleased tracks and remixes. Songs are listed non-chronologically, jumping from their debut "Organix" to 2004's "The Tipping Point" without missing a beat. Renowned for their live performances, the real treats here are the phenomenal radio recordings of "Sacrifice" and "The Seed/Melting Pot/Web" medley. The scaled-back jazzy take on the latter shows The Roots at their best, jamming away and feeding off of one another while reinventing their innovative brand of conscious hip-hop.

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