Do You Want More is not The Roots first album, but in terms of the public eye outside of their home base of Illadelph, it might as well be. As a young underground head always with my nose in the air sniffing for the new hotness, I never got wind of their debut Organix, but songs like Proceed, Distortion to Static, The Lesson et al. converted me and all surrounding heads in hip hop's motherland of nyc. The approach wasn't totally unprecedented — we enjoyed a one-off taste of the live band feel via the Brand New Heavies and Heavy Rhyme Experience Vol. 1 — but they were the first real-deal hip hop band, and thus immediately recognized as heralds of a new era in the genre.
The crystalline boho-chic sensibility of Do You Want More now sounds a bit anomalous compared to their contemporary sound. Much like Three Feet High and Rising for De La Soul, it evokes a sense of hippie free-loving hip hop that was understandably replaced with something more mature, nuanced and robust. But while Proceed and Static were critically acclaimed lead singles, I would argue Silent Treatment as the most important song on the album, and considering the import of the album, possibly their careers. Silent Treatment is the song most responsible for The Roots Paradox.
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