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The Roots - "Rising Up" (Feat. Wale & Chrisette Michele)

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating


The Roots -

The Roots - Rising Up

© Okayplayer

The Bottom Line

The glorious midtempo throb of "Rising Up" outshines everything on Rising Down.


  • A knockout single from one of hip-hop's best
  • Memorable lines
  • Shimmering production


  • None


  • "Rising Up" is Rising Down's lead single
  • Features Wale & Chrisette Michele
  • Co-produced by James Poyser

Guide Review - The Roots - "Rising Up" (Feat. Wale & Chrisette Michele)

Beanie Sigel. Jill Scott. Eve. Now you can add Wale to the golden list of artists privileged enough to share centerstage with The Roots prior to releasing their own album.

On "Rising Up," the DC-bred newcomer falls just 1 verse short of wresting the spotlight from the reins of Roots' frontman Black Thought. Rocking a verse so crunchy even Jibbs couldn't screw it up, Wale rejects cynics' proclamation of hip-hop's demise ("Hip-hop ain't dead 'cause the pulse is in us"), while asserting his own potency in the same breath ("I got the Everclear flow, they Mimosa with it"). Bonus points for adding the expression "Olsen twinning" to hip-hop lingo.

Not to be outdone, Thought delivers a sticky refrain of his own, "We 'bout to dominate the world like Oprah did it." About as odd as it gets in hip-hop, a community which has failed to see eye-to-eye with Ms. Winfrey for as long as I can remember. All that zing-zing zaniness adds spice to an already flavorful song.

For her part, Chrisette Michele croons about a B-girl whom she saw crying about the redundant state of hip-hop radio, thus adding contrast the celebratory mood of "Rising Up." All this while frenetic hi-hats dance alongside drums chopped up into staccato blasts of funk.

Rather than whine about today's wacktose-infested hip-hop radio, The Roots offer their music as a cure. If only that girl could hear this song, she'd have nothing to cry about.

"Rising Up" - Video
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