Today in Hip-Hop History: Phrenology

Today in Hip-Hop History: Turkey Day

Phrenology by The Roots

Today on November 26th marks the 13 year anniversary to The Roots’ fifth studio album, Phrenology. A two-year development, the album features artists such as Talib Kweli, and Cody ChesnuTT, setting a mood of depth and soul with the contributions displayed. The album reached number 28 on the US Billboard 200 slowly but surely by incorporating musical elements outside of hip-hop such as soul, jazz, and rock.

Phrenology was one of those albums that was hard to appreciate at first by listeners due to its wide and dynamic reach through musical genres. This album shoots back and forth from rock to soul to jazz to hip-hop and because of this refreshing taste, critics rated The Roots’ Jack-of-All-Trades album high, averaging to 87 according to Metacritic.

A massive and well-developed album, Phrenology was rated in many publications as the year’s best album due to its heavy lyrical themes, motifs, and sonic direction. One of The Roots’, if not, greatest albums, cemented their mark in hip-hop as one of the most natural and diverse groups, with bands today having a hard time to match a caliber such as theirs.