cool, never actually listened to this one. had a roots hiatus between phrenology and how I got over
this and game theory are essential roots records!
tipping point has never been seen rates as one of their best but i really love it, think i would put it in a personal top 3 from them. think people were mad cos they shifted slightly to less organic sounds on this. dont say nuthin was a lightning rod in their catalog and divided fans but i think it slams. the video was incredible for its time:
Game Theory is battling it out for top spot with Things Fall Apart IMO!
Haven’t listened to The Tipping Point in it’s entirety in about a decade. Honestly have always thought of it as a relative (note emphasis) misstep in their catalogue. But gonna go in with very fresh ears and see if it clicks more this time. Good timing what with that Black Thought EP dropping the other day too
I think it’s cos it’s more of a collection of songs, none of which sound particularly symbiotic, rather than their typical cohesive/statement type of album. not a single dud on this tho.
some good roots discussion in here after the black thought flex freestyle last year
Never listened to The Roots for some reason. Looking forward to discovering this one.
As others have said, I always thought of The Tipping Point as weak, following on, as it did, from Things Fall Apart and Phrenology, and followed by Game Theory. As such I haven’t listened to it in years.
Maybe my conclusion all those years ago was wrong. I’m about to find out.
This is definitely one of the Roots records I listen to less than the others, looking forward to giving it a specific airing…
I have weird blind spots and obsessions where hip hop is concerned, which is why this thread is good.
Ehhh, shame to start with this one if I’m being brutally honest. It’s good, but not their best one.
It’s so weird to me that this record came out between Phrenology and Game Theory. It’s always felt to me like the lull that sparked the resurgence but it came slap bang in the middle of two records which feel (along with Rising Down) like something of a trilogy in terms of sound and aesthetic (even with the cover art) so for there to be this weird outlier in the middle has always seemed odd to me.
Re-listening to it though it definitely does deserve more credit than I give it, that 1-2 of Web and BOOM! is so fucking good and Black Thought just sounds fucking incredible on them. It’s weird listening now with this late career resurgence fresh in the mind, aside from a few tracks he doesn’t seem anywhere near as pumped for anything on this as he does in that Flex freestyle or the new EP with 9th Wonder. It’s probably projecting massively but you tend to work on the assumption that Black Thought wants to be spitting bars on more traditional beats than the band allows for so with The Tipping Point being so consciously stripped back I was hoping for him to sound a bit more hyped to be rapping on it than he actually does?
At the end of the day I’m going to enjoy the more “underwhelming” Roots records more than most things anyway and I’m definitely going to spin this more having revisited it now. It could well end up climbing for me.
(Things Fall Apart > Rising Down > Game Theory > Organix > Phrenology > Undun > Do You Want More!!! > The Tipping Point > Illadelph Halflife > …and then you shoot your cousin > Wise Up Ghost > Wake Up!)
So this is much better than I remember it being.
Just checking in - gave KRS and Cam’ron a couple of spins each but not had time to engage properly. Bounced off both of them a bit, although was listening while playing Rocket League so not sure I gave them their due…
Another vote for not listened to The Roots - not really sure why though…
Seemingly like everyone else I thought this was a bit of a disappointment/mis-step at the time so looking forward reevaluating it.
Potentially unpopular opinion: although I know Black Thought is a great MC I’ve never really loved him. I think that’s because for me the most important thing for an MC is to have an engaging/interesting sounding voice and a cool cadence. So even though his lyrics/flow are always incredible i’ve always just felt a tad bored by him.
That’s why I really really miss Malik B - he’s such a great contrast. One which actually makes me appreciate Black Thought more. Malik coming back is a big part of what makes Game Theory an all time classic IMO.
great to see I’ve provoked a slight reassessment of Tipping Point!
tbh as I’m a hip-hop newbie I can’t assess this in terms of The Roots catalogue or anything else that was going on when it was released, I just picked it up from a charity shop about 6 months ago and have been rinsing it since. It’s really hooky and funky, quite poppy I guess but also really detailed and musically interesting. It has a ‘classic’ sound to me, which is why it occurred to me for this thread. And the flow is great. Whole thing just makes me want to nod along and dance about.
Don’t Say Nothing and Web are probably my favourite tracks. And Somebody’s Gotta Do It - Jean Grae sounds so damn cool. But then the whole end of the album rules. I don’t know if everyone else is listening with the bonus Melting Point jam tacked on the end but it actually works brilliantly to end the album, after Why? gets jammy it carries that on and just feels like them all partying.
Need to check out more Roots
First impressions- it’s fine but not earth shattering. The music is great throughout but the only bit of rapping that made me sit up and take notice was when Jean Grae came in. I’ll give it a bit more of a chance though. It sort of sounds like a pop/r&b record with rapping on to me at the moment, rather than a hip hop album.
Think this was one of the reasons it was dismissed a bit at the time, as a bit of a sell out, but given the context of the records that came after that doesn’t really hold. This is by far their poppiest record fwiw
Bits of this oddly seem kinda current given raps recent obsession with neo soul and pop. Like Common’s Electric Circus in that regard (though less out there in the first place obviously)
It’s maybe just a bit too ‘tasteful’ sounding to appeal to me straight away. It might grow on me.