The Roots: “…and then you shoot your cousin” (album review)

I’m going to write a stellar review forthe Roots new album. I’m going to rap its praises. But, is it really a classic album? Well, if you’re asking that question isn’t that for you to decide? Here is my take…

Earlier this week I saw that the new Roots album, “…and then you shoot your cousin” was available for free streaming online. I declined the opportunity to listen. I’m a bit old school with music. I prefer to actually get up, go to the record store, and purchase albums especially from artists like TheRoots.

So, I waited until today. Knowing that mom & pop stores will typically sell you new releases as soon as they get them in the store I was off to Everybody’s Records. I asked the manager if he would hold me a copy of the new roots album when itgets in. He says, “Well, it might be in already. Do you have a minute for me to look through some boxes?” Do I? Of course, that’s why I came!!!

After one listen I know this album is special. It is pretty short. In fact I don’t even think Black Thought drops 10 verses on the album. But when he shows up he does so with extreme care making sure every verse makes sense and every syllable translates into audible words as well as rhythmic percussion. Dope.

Then, there is Dice Raw. That dude. I just love him. He is not Michael Jordan or Scottie Pippen. He’s Ron Harper. Tremendous talent. Never really shined on his own, but when surrounded by greatness he elevates that greatness even higher. I’m sure there is a more modern Miami Heat or San Antonio analogy, but I’m old school remember (plus, I’m really hoping the Paces eventually smash them)!

Speaking of old school, the drums on this album are so on point in my book. They remind me of old school break beats, but they are not. They are Questlove breaks and they are lovely. No one is making drums sound as live, fresh, and vintage as Questlove. Adrian Younge comes close.

This album sounds so good. It is dark, slow. It utilizes silence. It offers glimpses of something other than itself, but it remains. I think it is great and will rise to the top of my favorite all time Roots albums fairly quickly. It is certainly going to be one of the best Hip-hop albumsof the year giving ‘Pinata’ a run for its money.

But, here is my angle when it comes to writing about albums… my angle. It is what the album does for me. Not what the album does for you. Music is not contained. It can never be. It is whatever you perceive it to be. I could argue all day with you to change your mind, but shouldn’t we let the music do that? Support local stores, support quality artists, and go buy a copy of “…and then you shoot your cousin.” And then let me know what you think.**

Current rating: Masterpiece
Future Prediction: Divine

Rating System
Divine (perfection)
Masterpiece (very close to perfection)
Classic (every song is really good)
Good (most of the songs are really good)
(anything less than good should not be reviewed for this group. If you review anything less than good then their will be comments:)

**For the record I have stolen my fair share of music online. Even stole a few physical cds back in Jr. High. Sorry Best Buy.


I am filled with it. I did not choose it. Somehow, someway it chose me. I am thankful for it.

Generally speaking I use it to make me feel good. However, there are times, few they may be, that I share it with someone else. Last night at dinner I found myself checking a facebook notification while my daughter ate her carrots dipped in ketchup and hummus. By some divine intervention I put the smart device down and looked at my daughter. The next 10 minutes were special. I read her a book right there at the dinner table while she finished her food. She looked at me, at the pictures, and basked in the delight of it all. I did too.

Now, if I can only share my life like that more often. Maybe I can share it with you the next time we meet. Although it might be weird if I read a copy of “Goodnight Moon” to you.

Here’s to sharing our lives together.

Enjoy your day.

MC Till

In case you have not been following or have not seen the obnoxious pictures with the date 3/11/14 on them, my new album, The Neighborhood, comes out TODAY!

There are a few ways you can pick up this album…

Go to my bandcamp page here ( and follow the prompts.

Go to my store envy page here ( and follow the prompts.

Go to iTunes here ( and follow the prompts.


Simply respond to this e-mail with your address with the subject line “bill me later” and I will send you the album and e-mail you an invoice along with a very sincere thank you:)



Jon Von Ohlen on drums, Ric Hordinski on guitar, Steve Schmidt on piano, MC (Till) on raps, and Byron House on stand up bass. Photo by Michael Wilson