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The Most Memorable Albums of 1999 (Part 1)

PopMatters is 20 this year -- until October when we are 21 -- and a 2009 special section celebrates the popular music that defined the year of our birth. Today we kick things off with albums from January through March, highlighted by Eminem's debut and stellar pop from XTC and Blur.

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Music

Sareem Poems' Tuned-in Tone Poems

Hip-hop artist Sareem Poems (of LA Symphony and FKA Sharlok Poems) infuses his work with the metaphysic ideologies of Afro-spiritualism.

Reviews

The Roots Pack Gramercy Theatre with Special Guests for Jam

After the National's Citi Sound Vault show, I caught one of the Root' tremendous nights of special jams.

News

X Ambassadors' Cayuga Sound Fest Breaks Ground In Ithaca Saturday

The Roots, Margaret Glaspy, K. Flay and more join X Ambassadors for their inaugural Cayuga Sound Fest on September 23rd.

Music

Surprise After Jaw-Dropping Surprise at the Roots Inaugural Picnic in New York City

It took a few days to reduce the frequency of declarations of affection towards the Roots Picnic that burst from my mouth to random passersbys.

Dominick Grillo
Reviews

Questlove's 'Somethingtofoodabout' Is Immensely Satisfying

Questlove’s Somethingtofoodabout showcases how the performing arts necessitate a different kind of creativity.

Music

The Roots and Friends Close Out Summerstage with a Block Party

The Legendary Roots Crew were the final act at Summerstage this year and they brought the house down with help from friends including Cee-Lo Green and Salt-N-Pepa.

Music

The Best Albums of 2014

From Polish black metal to mind-blowing progressive R&B and electronic music, 2014's best albums certainly have something for everyone.

Music

The Roots: New York - 7 August 2014 (Photos)

To celebrate the launch of their new Times Square location, Guitar Center invited the Roots to headline the party.

Reviews

Okayplayer Holiday Jam: 9 December 2013 - Brooklyn Bowl, NY (Photos)

Going into their 15th year, Okayplayer celebrated the milestone with lots of great music at its annual star-studded affair led by the Roots.

Music

Elvis Costello and the Roots: Wise Up Ghost

For all the collaborations both Costello and the Roots have enjoyed, this has to be among the most exciting, imaginative collection either party has experienced.

Books

The Polymorphous Questlove Shape Shifts Into a Memoirist with 'Mo' Meta Blues'

Mo' Meta Blues is everything you’d expect from a book Questlove would write: smart, funny, and infused with structural twists on the norm, with dashes of insight and perspective on the ever-evolving state of hip-hop.

Music

Elvis Costello & The Roots – “Walk Us Uptown” from New Album 'Wise Up Ghost'

Elvis Costello and the Roots are teaming up for a new album releasing in September via the famed Blue Note Records. 'Wise Up Ghost' offers a compelling blend of the Roots' deep funk and Costello's acerbic vocals, tied together by fabulous songwriting.

Events

SXSW Music Day 4: Highlights - MOG Showcase + Norah Jones

Bob Mould’s set was followed by the only SXSW performance by the Roots, one of the most anticipated sets of the conference (as evidenced by a near three-block long line).

Music

A Joy to Experience: Neo-Soul Singer Bilal Oliver

Bilal Oliver belongs to an elite class of late '90s Neo-Soul singers, but his guest appearances may be the true gems of his career.

Music

The Best Hip-Hop of 2011

Newcomers, giants, throwbacks, and collaborators -- 2011 was the year of diversity, in which rap fans were faced with enough variety to find whatever flavor of hip-hop they wanted.

David Amidon, Dave Heaton, Quentin B. Huff, Mike Madden, and Dean Van Nguyen
Music

Betty Wright & The Roots: Betty Wright: The Movie

Betty Wright knows great soul, and there are several excellent passages on Betty Wright: The Movie, but she shouldn’t feel the need to rebuild herself.

Reviews

The 2011 Outside Lands Music Festival: San Francisco

With a wide variety of music coming from five different stages in one of the nation's most beautiful locations, the only problem was trying to catch as many bands as possible.

Events

Guessing the Grammys

Predictions on who will win what in the biggest categories, based on industry hype and a little guessing about the academy’s voters.

Reviews

The Roots Picnic: 5 June 2010 - Philadelphia

The music at the Roots Picnic was loud, crisp, engaging and diverse. With the inclement weather holding off, all the elements successfully blended to create a great outing. The wide range of musicians demonstrated why the Roots are more than a crew but rather Philadelphia’s finest musical family.

Music

Cars & Trains: The Roots, The Leaves

Sounding like a mixture between indie darlings Sufjan Stevens and Why?, Cars & Trains creates a lush and textured environment full of idiosyncratic lyrics and a sense of melancholia that charms its way into your life.

Music

The Roots: 13 May 2009 - Highline Ballroom

Words and Pictures by Thomas Hauner

Music

Nat King Cole, Re: Generations

Nat Cole is given the posthumous remix treatment—and it works better than you might think.

Music

Various Artists: Yo Gabba Gabba!

The Roots, the Ting Tings, the Aquabats, and Mark Kozelek are just a few of the indie-luminaries that contribute new songs to this ... Nick Jr. kids show soundtrack?

Music

Various Artists: Dillanthology Vol. 1

Although it offers nothing new, this is a fine introductory piece for new or unacquainted J Dilla listeners.

Music

The Best Hip-Hop of 2008

A return to the mic nine years in the making, a hip-hop supergroup of sorts, and Tom Waits beatboxing: this year's top-shelf hip-hop is equal parts anticipation, teamwork, and wha?!

Music

We Don't Die, We Multiply: Hip-Hop Groups

Group identification creates interesting scenarios within hip-hop culture, from the formation and maintenance of group identity to the difficulties of promoting the lyrical skills of a group's various members.

Reviews

Erykah Badu + The Roots

If any contemporary artist is pushing the boundaries of preconception, misconception, and trail-blazing, it is Badu. She defies age, race, and gender norms. Hell, she defies earthly norms.

Matt Mazur
Music

When They're 65...

What will some of today's most well-known hip-hop artists be doing in 2035? Maybe they won't be running the music world, but they'll probably be doing something beyond applying Fixodent to their grills.


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