Album Watch: The Roots and the Coming of 'Undun'

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sort of salivating over the idea that The Roots, possibly the single-most consistent and coolest hip-hop act around, are taking yet another creative leap for their up-coming project, undun. As a real nerd for concept albums, undun follows in this literary novel meets music format with the "existential re-telling of the short life of Redford Stephens (1974-1999)" a character that is currently shrouded in mystery and one whose story will "seek to illustrate the intersection of free will and prescribed destiny as it plays 'out on the corner'." To put a spin on the narrative, Redford's story is being told in reverse, so we as listeners can hear his internal thoughts on how he ended up in the situations that led to his tragic "undun".

Deep stuff, folks, deep stuff.

"Make My" has already made waves as the first single, and currently it's the first of four videos that will be released serial like each Tuesday at 12:06pm, leading up to the release date of undun on December 6th. Check for the stark and moody visuals of the first two entries "Make My" as well as the latest, "Tip The Scale" to get swept up in the saga of Redford Stephens.


  1. i think this has the potential to be the best Roots album yet. we've seen them be creatively ambitious in the past ("Phrenology" sticks out the most in my mind), so for them to attempt a fully fleshed-out story is not so strange to me. i don't think any rap group could do a better job at a true concept record.

  2. Dar:
    I agree, The Roots have managed to sound consistent even when they change up their style. Strange, I was listening to "Phrenology" this weekend, and was marveled at how eclectic but fluid it was. Like you said, if there is a hip-hop group that can handle a fleshed out concept record it is The Roots.

    Though I'll save further opinions for when I hear the whole project (which I'm totally excited about---'How I Got Over' was just all around great for me last year), The Roots have never really disappointed me with whatever they've done so 'undun' will no doubt be another stunner from them.


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