Mar 8, 2009 - 12:37 AM
Like the confident little blue train of children’s fables, Deep Rooted is proving they are the underground hip-hop group that could. With the release of their self-titled third effort, this San Diego quartet is garnering some much deserved attention. This is not to say the band was not buzz worthy before. They’ve built up a strong local following, winning several San Diego Music Awards, and scoring two stints on the Vans Warped Tour.
D.E.E.P.R.O.O.T.E.D is an amalgamation of strings, synthesizers, soulful hooks and smooth rhymes. Think of emcees Mr. Brady and Johaz, singer Brea, and DJ Artistic as a laid back version of the Black Eyed Peas with more substance and less kookiness.
All of the tracks are decent, but the star of this album is the reworked version of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.” In most cases touching an MJ gem would be a suicidal move (look what happened to Alien Ant Farm), but the sluggish tempo and uninhibited prose put a fresh twist on a classic track. Brea’s voice shines on “Fade” and “XL” gets spiked with aggression courtesy of Wu-Tang affiliate Killa Priest. And if Wu-Tang killa beez were not sufficient, SoCal native Blu also contributes his talents on “From the Heart.”
With its seemingly effortless dance friendly structure, D.E.E.P.R.O.O.T.E.D is accessible enough for mainstream radio and “real” enough for purists.
Kimberly Turner is Oh Dang!'s resident music critic and pastry fiend. And No, she's not fat.