In honor of its 20th anniversary, The Roots‘ breakthrough fourth album Things Fall Apart is available once again via Geffen/Urban Legends. This melancholy gem of 2000s alternative hip-hop, originally released on MCA Records in 1999, has been freshly remastered and repressed in two lavish physical configurations, a standard black 3LP, a limited-edition crystal-clear 3LP as well as a digital collection, all to be released September 27.
LISTEN TO NEW YEARS @ JAY DEE‘S NOW HERE
(available for the first time digitally)
WATCH THE UNBOXING VIDEO HERE
Things Fall Apart, named after Chinua Achebe‘s 1958 novel about the 19th century Scramble for Africa in which European imperialists invaded Nigeria (and, in turn, William Butler Yeats’ poem “The Second Coming,” about the end of the world) was a breakthrough for the Roots when they needed it. The Philadelphia rap crew, led by MC Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter and drummer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, had critical acceptance under their belt, with their first three albums, 1993’s Organix, 1995’s Do You Want More?!!!??! and 1996’s Illadelph Halflife, but little mainstream success. But they needed a knockout punch of an album — and their platinum-certified, No. 4-charting Things Fall Apart was it.
The Roots’ Things Fall Apart is the band’s magnum opus and legitimized neo-soul and Philly bop as a force to be reckoned with in hip-hop. It was considered the antidote to the grimy sounds of the day and re-popularized live instrumentation in hip-hop, catapulting The Roots into stardom in the process with their first Grammy win. Regarded as their breakthrough album, The Roots’ Things Fall Apart, was recorded during the infamous Soulquarian recordings at Electric Lady Studios resulting in legendary collaborations from the collective. With all-star features from Erykah Badu, Common, Mos Def a.k.a. Yasiin Bey, Jay Dee, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Dice Raw, Eve, Beanie Segal, Jill Scott, Lady B, and Ursula Rucker, Things Fall Apart received numerous accolades and awards. In celebration of its twentieth anniversary, Urban Legends is releasing an exclusive deluxe edition of Things Fall Apart on crystal-clear vinyl.
Things Fall Apart peaked at No. 4 on Billboard’s Top 200 and garnered laudatory reviews; as The A.V. Club put it, “Few hip-hop artists seem to be willing to even attempt something approaching Things Fall Apart‘s scope.” Rolling Stone called the album “top-flight” and singled out the Badu- and Eve-assisted “You Got Me” as “[perhaps] the greatest love song in hip-hop history.” And Spin called it “a fearsomely intelligent yet forlorn inspiration for anyone daring to step up to a mic or a deck as rap stumbles into the future.” All this praise elevated the Roots to the next level — and in the long run, set them on course to eventually become the house band on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Now’s your chance to revisit this classic in two different editions or in a digital configuration. The standard configuration features the original album, remastered on double vinyl with a third LP of bonus tracks curated by Questlove, including a 24-page booklet featuring rare photos, retrospective essays by Black Thought and Questlove and track-by-track liner notes from Questlove. The Collector’s Edition features all of the above, but as crystal-clear vinyl and a die-cut slipcase of the primary cover art plus the 4 original alternate covers as interchangeable lithos with foil stamp numbering plus a 6th brand new bonus cover. Pre-Order Things Fall Apart now and get “New Years @ Jay Dee’s,” available for the first time digitally.
Things Fall Apart Track Listing – 3LP & Digital
A1 – Act Won (Things Fall Apart)
A2 – Table Of Content (Parts 1 & 2)
A3 – The Next Movement
A4 – Step Into The Realm
A5 – The Spark
B1 – Dynamite!
B2 – Without A Doubt
B3 – Ain’t Saying Nothin’ New
B4 – Double Trouble
C1 – Act Too (The Love Of My Life)
C2 – 100% Dundee
C3 – Diedre Vs. Dice
C4 – Adrenaline!
C5 – 3rd Acts: ? Vs. Scratch 2…Electric Boogaloo
D1 – You Got Me
D2 – Don’t See Us
D3 – The Return To Innocence Lost
D4 – Act Fore… The End?
E1 – Table of Contents #3 – cut from album; previously released on The Legendary EP; available for the first time digitally
E2 – What You Want – from The Roots Come Alive
E3 – Quicksand Millennium – cut from the album, released on Homegrown! Vol. 2 compilation
E4 – We Got You (Extended) – extended version of track from The Roots Come Alive
E5 – You Got Me (Drum & Bass w/ Jill Scott) – unreleased
F1 – You Got Me (Me Tienes Remix) – from “You Got Me” CD single; available for the first time digitally
F2 – Act Too (Love of My Life) [Remix] – from Brown Sugar soundtrack; available for the first time digitally
F3 – Y’all Know Who – from Homegrown! Vol. 2 compilation
F4 – The Lesson – Part III (w/ Jaguar Wright) – from The Roots Come Alive
F5 – New Years @ Jay Dee’s – from “You Got Me” CD single; available for the first time digitally