Undun is the tenth studio by Philadelphia’s premier hip hop outfit, The Roots. A an experimental concept album (hip hop’s first according to NME) that narrates the death of Redford Stevens, the protagonist, in reverse chronological order.
Not the band’s most commercially successful record, but it found praise from music critics for its uniqueness, depth and its concept structure. Despite listing 14 tracks, the album zooms by in just 40 minutes and is definitely meant to be listened in one sitting.
I was enjoy when hip hop or rap groups step out of their comfort zones to take on new and diverse concepts. It can be tiring to hear tunes just about money, cars and women; which makes this record refreshing and and an enjoyable listen.
To be honest I’ve tried to get into The Roots in the past but have usually failed, the fact that they’re hired musicians on a talk show also put me off a little considering their status. However, must say this record has brought me back into the fold and will definitely try to listen to more of their stuff. Here are the tracks categorised:
- Favourite Tracks: One Time / Kool On / The Otherside.
- Least favourite: Sleep
- Apparently, producer/drummer/frontman Ahmir Questlove’s name can also be spelt ‘?uestlove’, as is done on the record.
- Some tracks were recorded at the amazingly named studio ‘A House Called Quest’.
- This album even comes with its own app which gives extra features and clips to those who download it.