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Illadelph Halflife Explicit Lyrics

4.8 out of 5 stars 105 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Explicit Lyrics, September 24, 1996
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

1 x CD Album
Europe 1996

2Respond / React5:07
5It Just Don't Stop4:33
7Push Up Ya Lighter4:36
8What They Do5:57
9? Vs. Scratch (The Token DJ Cut)1:47
10Concerto Of The Desperado3:38
12UNIverse At War4:55
13No Alibi5:11
14Dave Vs. US0:50
15No Great Pretender4:25
16The Hypnotic5:19
17Ital (The Universal Side)4:53
18One Shine5:40
19The Adventures In Wonderland4:34


Philly never gets its props, but the City of Brotherly Love has pioneered its fair share of hip-hop innovations. Schooly D was the first gangsta rapper; DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince perfected rap comedy, and the Roots became the first rap act to put together an impressive live show without samples and sequencers. On their third album, "illadelph halflife," {cq} the Roots capture in the studio the same chemistry between rhymes and live instruments that they've generated on stage. The album does include samples, but they're samples of the band's own exploratory jam sessions in Philadelphia's legendary Sigma Sound Studios. --Geoffrey Himes
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 24, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Explicit Lyrics
  • Label: Geffen
  • ASIN: B000000OV7
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,585 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The rumor: This is The Roots best album. The objective truth: Yes, it's true. And this was the 5th Roots album that I finally purchased after TFA, then DYWM, Phrenology, and Tipping Point. This album has a whole different feel and approach to it. "Illadelph Halflife" was their third LP, and where they finally showed us what they are entirely capable of. This one eclipsed what I thought was their best album before, "Do You Want More?!"

Where DYWM was really where you got to meet and get a good feel for this band, "Things Fall Apart" was more of a posse album, and "Phrenology" had some hard rock and neo-soul influence, this album is where Black Thought and Malik B. (M-illa-tant) shine lyrically. Actually, all those other albums frustrated me lyrically, great at times but sloppy and random at others. "Illadelph" is where I finally understood their lyrical approach, and it makes all the other albums easier to comprehend once you get this one down.

This album was very, very mellow; possibly so we can focus on the words. It feels like coffee shop Roots, where they are saying knowledge over chill beats instead of trying to rock a party. The album starts off nicely at track 2 "Respond/React" and does not let up until a short brake is taken at "? vs. Scratch" so we can finally catch up. "Section" contains an eerie, mellow beat, as does "Episodes." "It Just Don't Stop" is more about social analysis than glorifying happenings in the hood and the world, and is an excellent track. "Push Up Ya Lighter" is mellow at it's best and a memorable track leading into Black Thought's proclamation to never do "What They Do"-which is a poppy, slower-paced joint about reflecting and being aware of the type of music that the Roots do.
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Format: Audio CD
From Chuck D's spoken word intro, to his somber voiced outro 79 minutes later, this astounding album educates, infuriates, shocks and beats you into submission. And there's not a moment wasted. "Respond React" has the best understated melody and bassline ever recorded in rap music history and is positively addictive. Be forewarned, this is not radio-friendly pop rap ("What They Do" being the possible exception), but mind expansive, ambitious and lengthy hip hop, that not only educates, but keeps your head nodding for nearly 80 minutes. The grooves provided by ?uestlove (drums), Kamal (keys), Hub (bass & cello), Rahzel (every sound effect known to mankind) and the remarkable Scratch (self-explanatory) perfectly suuport the hardhitting, socially aware and endlessly inventive rhymes by Black Thought and Malik B and the result is musical murder! Guest spots by Q-Tip, D'Angelo, Common (on the hypnotic deep bass groove "UNIverse At War"), Amel Larrieux (the lovely, haunting, operatic soprano on the masterpiece "Concerto Of The Desperado"), Bahamadia (a smooth freestyle on the sparse yet still DOPE "Push Up Ya Lighter") and Cassandra Wilson whose vocals drift in and out of "One Shine" fill the album to overflowing with a variety of textures, sounds, voices and ambience, yet they don't disturb the flow of the music and don't feel forced or trendy. I suggest listening to this CD through headphones since the music is so intricate and detailed. It seems like a lot of sound and information to digest in one sitting, but once you hear it, you'll keep returning to it. I've owned this CD for almost 4 years now and still manage to hear something new and different everytime I put it on. The Roots have made listening to music an adventure, and easily rank as one of the best hip hop crews of all time. For my money, this is their best album. A genuinely satisfying listen.
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Format: Audio CD
How tragic is it that an album like "Illadelph Halflife" was so unfairly overlooked? "Illadelph Halflife" was the first Roots album I bought, after forever hearing the group being praised as one of the most innovative hip-hop groups around. But I was sincerely interested in the Roots because I had never really heard a "hip-hop band" before, "Illadelph Halflife" did not disappoint. This album has single-handedly restored my faith in hip-hop. What's that? This was made in 1996? Where was the revolution? "Illadelph Halflife" should have been the album that revived hip-hop as a creative force to be reckoned with. Nonetheless, I suppose The Roots had their cult following in the underground and they've gained wider recognition with the release of "Things Fall Apart" - but when a brilliant album like "Illadelph Halflife" is released - it gets frustrating that it doesn't get the recognition it deserves as opposed to a Roberta Flack cover (much respect to the Fugees but The Roots deserved it more). There's hardly a dud on the entire album - the beats bounce along with a eerie gritty minimalist feel like Wu-Tang Clan without the martial arts samples and with a more upbeat jazzy feel. And Black Thought is a truly talented lyricist. While some MCs come off as constipated and abrasive, Black Thought's rhymes move with a smooth ease and a pleasant rhythm reminiscent of Q-Tip's playfulness while also reminiscent of Chuck D.'s authority. I can't wait to start looking to the rest of The Roots discography as I'm sure they'll yield much more.Read more ›
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