Music

"Understand" - The Roots ft Dice Raw & Greg Porn [YouTube Official Music Video]

Brad Bershad

by Brad Bershad

Published May 16, 2014

The Roots have released the 2nd stop-motion animated music video from their new album …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin. Check out "Understand" above, via YouTube.

The layered beat starts with a tom roll on drums that gives way to a churchy Hammond Organ groove and programmed hand claps. Midway through the opening vocal chorus, some old school boom-bap kicks in - but a cowbell replaces a more traditional hip-hop snare sound. When Black Thought's verse starts, bass pushes the instrumental to another level. This is some high level music production, rooted in hip hop tradition and given proper treatment by The Roots' creativity and instrumental virtuosity.

Lyrically, the song ties in with the album concept. Much like "When The People Cheer," The Roots' previous song to get a stop-motion animated video, "Understand" deals explicitly with religion. The song is a gritty depiction of a life in which there isn't much hope for the future and people are flat-out scared. Even God doesn't understand.

The imagery of the video is spectacular. Stained glass, candles, church collection plates, and a clay figure are prominent symbols. A box doubles as a coffin and a place to store money. Director Joe Caughman did a great job at making a video that was both dark and also colorful.

Credits listed on YouTube:

Creator: Joe Baughman (http://www.josephbaughman.com)

Assistant Director: Andrew DeSelm
Assistant Animator/Gaffer: Jason North
Assistant Animator: Matthew Erdel

Special Thanks: Dave Vermillion, Kendra of Window Wonderland (stained glass), Tim S. Johnson, Kyle Heffelfinger

…And Then You Shoot Your Cousin is in stores May 19th. Pre-order on iTunes and Amazon. For The Roots' latest music, news, and tour dates, check out their Zumic artist page.

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Source: Okayplayer YouTube

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Black Thought The Roots
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East Coast Rap Hip Hop
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