Home Grown Vol.1 is the beginner's guide to understanding The Roots. Volumes One And Two each contain exclusive hard and rare released tracks. Volume 1 features Common, Jill Scott, Roy Ayers and more. MCA. 2005.
With the Roots signing to Def Jam, their soon-to-be-old label Geffen has taken advantage by releasing a two volume anthology of the Roots' best songs from this perioid (1994 - 2004). Unlike other greatest hits compilations by artists who can't justify the hubris, the Roots catalog runs ocean deep and these two albums are able to pull from off-the-beaten-path album cuts ("Double Trouble"), rare remixes (Black Thought's "Distortion to Static" mix), live recordings ("It's Comin"), plus the occasional mega-hit ("You Got Me"). Even for hardcore Roots fans, they might yet be surprised by a few of the inclusions here, especially "Good Music," a song off The Roots' very first album, Organix, released independently before they signed to Geffen. Between the two volumes, #1 is far and away superior in terms of song selection. Volume 2 isn't nearly as strong but it has some interesting tidbits, including a live medley of "The Seed/Melting Pot/Web" from BBC's Radio One. --Oliver Wang