The Roots rank among hip-hop's creative elite because of the totality of their sound. Like A Tribe Called Quest, they maraud the listener's ears with a cornucopia of raw spirit, aggressive melody and Coltrane-esque spirituality. The group's organic amalgamation of thunderous live drums, bass kicks and rapper Black Thought's acrobatic rhyme patterns knows few equals.
Philadelphia's latest hip-hop Smokin' Joe Frazier has another championship belt to hang on the wall. The follow-up to 1995's classic "Do You Want More?" accomplishes the impossible by nearly surpassing a collection that was one of the most innovative rap albums this side of Eric B & Rakim's "Paid in Full" or the Wu-Tang Clan's "Enter the 36 Chambers."