Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Roots "Silent Treatment" (The Source, May 1995)


"A love song may not be the best way to establish yourself with the hip-hop core - especially when you're a group with "alternative" leanings to begin with. But with their new single, "Silent Treatment," Philadelphia's The Roots deliver a very atmospheric jam. They wisely avoid the artsy-fartsiness favored by other "alternative" groups and drop drums that swing like an old-fashioned breakbeat! Their bassline - moody, pensive and soothing - ties it all together into a complete package. The Roots know hip-hop kids ain't out to hear about this "love shit," so they effectively present their subject in slang-filled terms. Any self-respecting hip-hop kid couldn't be paid to subject himself to LL's "I Need Love" in '94. So releasing a song like this, a romantic ditty in a violent age, is akin to taking a bit of a chance..." Watch the visuals for "Silent Treatment," cont'd below...


"If The Roots hadn't brought it to us raw, nobody'd wanna hear it; but they did, which is why "Silent Treatment" works. F#ck weeping and giving flowers! They're not getting dewy-eyed cause she's passing them by! They're dropping jew-els (like the following) from a cinematic B-Boy's perspective and getting their point across: "I puff an El on fifty deuce / while I walk in the rain / heart feeling, killing pain while I'm hopping the train / Dial the number to the rest and ain't no messages left / regardless my chest thump from stress / Yo it's a mess." Another deserving work, The Roots' "Silent Treatment" may help earn them the credit they deserve." - The Source, May 1995.