…And Then You Shoot Your Cousin

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…And Then You Shoot Your Cousin
Studio album by The Roots
Released May 19, 2014 (2014-05-19)
Recorded 2013–2014
Genre Alternative hip hop
Length 33:22
Label Def Jam
Producer Black Thought, D.D. Jackson, Damion Ward, Joseph Simmons, Karl Jenkins, Mike Jerz, Richard Nichols, Ray Angry, Trapzillas, Questlove, The Wurxs
The Roots chronology
Wise Up Ghost
(2013)
…And Then You Shoot Your Cousin
(2014)
Singles from …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin
  1. "When the People Cheer"
    Released: May 6, 2014 (2014-05-06)

…And Then You Shoot Your Cousin is the eleventh studio album by American hip hop band The Roots. The album was released on May 19, 2014, by Def Jam Recordings.[1]

According to Black Thought, the album is conceptual like the previous one, but unlike Undun, …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin features several characters in this story, not just one.[2] Black Thought described the album as a satirical look at violence in hip hop and American society overall.[3]

Release and promotion[edit]

In July 2012, Questlove said on his Twitter account that the title of The Roots' next album would have the initials &TYSYC and that it was being recorded, with a different sound to expect than from Undun.[4] In the November 12, 2012 issue of The New Yorker, Questlove revealed that the album is tentatively named & Then You Shoot Your Cousin.[5] In a June 2013 interview with Fuse TV, Questlove said he would prefer to release an album in the first quarter of the year, and that he also had "...two or three secret, major musical projects that I'm working on that I can't really talk about."[6] In February 2014, in an interview with XXL, Black Thought said that the album would be a concept album in the spirit of Undun, saying:

"We’re close to being done on it, it’s coming soon, hopefully sometime this Spring. It’s called And Then You Shoot Your Cousin. It’s conceptual; it’s another concept album in the spirit of Undun, but it’s not just about just one kind of character, we create quite a few different characters in this record. It’s satire, but in that satire it’s an analysis of some of the stereotypes perpetuated in not only the hip-hop community, but in the community. I don’t know if that makes any sense."[7]

He also said that the concept album would be centered around more than one character, saying: "We created some of these characters that we kind of see. We as artists, musicians, Philadelphians, New Yorkers, we as black men, we’re familiar with very many of these characters, and we kind of introduce them to the rest of the world in a manner that makes them more easily understood than maybe seeing it."[7] He also explained that the album would be on the shorter side, saying: "Hopefully you’ll get something new from it every time you listen to it, you’ll hone in on something different. It’s short enough to do that, to take in, to digest in one sitting, so to speak. I think right now it’s at maybe 34 minutes; there may be one or two musical things added on to the record that I know is the record at this point. But I don’t think it will be any longer than 36 or 37 minutes in its entirety. So in that, it’s short enough to digest, but it’s gonna be dense. So dense that maybe in one sitting you’ll listen to it and only listen to the piano and string arrangements, and then you’ll listen to it again and you’ll get into the actual words that are being said, and you’ll listen again and get into some of the other musicality. There’s very many layers to this record, but it doesn’t take place over very much time."[7] On April 7, 2014, DJ Kast One premiered their first single from the album, "When the People Cheer", on Hot 97.[8]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 70/100[9]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[10]
The A.V. Club B-[11]
Robert Christgau A–[12]
Exclaim! 8/10[13]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[14]
New York Daily News 3/5 stars[15]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[16]
Slant Magazine 4/5 stars[17]
Spin 6/10[18]
XXL 4/5 stars (XL)[19]

Upon its release, …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin was met with generally positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from critics, the album received an average score of 70, based on 26 reviews.[9] Andy Kellman of AllMusic felt that it may be the most challenging album from The Roots because of its experimental elements and variety of guest vocalists.[10] Christopher R. Weingarten of Rolling Stone likened it to a hip hop version of Nine Inch Nail's 1994 album The Downward Spiral because of its downbeat, existential theme: "With zero aspirational tales, the Roots' 11th album explores a hopelessness where the trap is something you're stuck in."[16] Omar Burgess of HipHopDX said that although the music is occasionally discordant, it is also "depressingly good, which makes it a bit of a confusing product in a Hip Hop landscape bifurcated by Golden Era romanticists and the turnt-up set. Here, the crew essentially mock both factions, making good on their description of the album as a satirical look at both Hip Hop and the larger community."[20] Robert Christgau wrote in his review through Medium that it is more consistent musically than undun and is "a touching, upsetting meditation in which a sketchy gangsta wannabe embodies the limits of all striving. Every time the musique concrete squelches in, I remember how fraught the world is. Every time Raheem DeVaughn croons about our need for angels, I feel thankful for what I got."[12]

Evan Rytlewski of The A.V. Club said, "With their 11th effort, The Roots have managed yet another album individualistic like little else in hip-hop, but unlike their best work this one’s more interested in scholastic provocation than genuine pathos."[11] Jesse Cataldo of Slant Magazine said, "A depiction of disorder and chaos, ...And Then You Shoot Your Cousin places almost no focus on the hard-working everymen of the traditional soul milieu, zoning in on the desolate and the down and out, nightmare scenarios in which dreams of riches molder inside condemned buildings. While this approach sacrifices some potential subtlety in exchange for a broader, stereotype-tweaking social crusading, one perhaps a bit too enamored of its crusader status, it's hard to deny the effect, the album's approach integrating neatly into an overall sense of claustrophobic dread."[17] Reed Jackson of XXL said, "For some, its exaggerated makeup may be a turnoff. And, honestly speaking, it does take some work to grasp what ATYSYC is really about. It features no songs—except maybe the bouncy closer “Tomorrow”—that will hit you immediately like “You Got Me,” “The Seed 2.0” or “Here I Come.” But it’s well worth the time and effort. The Roots have not only proven once again that they are one of hip-hop’s most consistent acts, but also one of the genre’s most important."[19] Hilary Saunders of Paste said, "...And Then You Shoot Your Cousin is a short album, and one with sparingly few “hits.” But conceptually, The Roots prove their mastery of mixing high and low culture for diverse audiences. It’s a headier album, but one rife with significance."[21]

Commercial performance[edit]

The album debuted at number 11 on the Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 19,786 copies in the United States.[22] In its second week the album sold 5,856 more copies bringing its total album sales to 25,642.[23]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Theme from the Middle of the Night" (performed by Nina Simone) George Bassman, Paddy Chayefsky   1:27
2. "Never" (featuring Patty Crash) Adrian Charlie Guzman, Katrin Newman, Adolfo Salazar, Gregory Spearman, Tariq Trotter Mike Jerz, Trapzillas, Richard Nichols, Black Thought, Questlove 3:54
3. "When the People Cheer" (featuring Greg Porn) Spearman, Trotter, Damion Ward Damion Ward, Richard Nichols, Questlove, Black Thought 3:01
4. "The Devil" (performed by Mary Lou Williams) Mary Lou Williams   0:38
5. "Black Rock" (featuring Dice Raw) Kirk Dudley, Karl Jenkins, Cornell McFadden, Willie Pettis, Trotter, Archie Turner Karl Jenkins, Richard Nichols, Questlove, Black Thought 2:41
6. "Understand" (featuring Dice Raw & Greg Porn) Greggory Bradsher, Jenkins, David Simpson, Spearman, Trotter The Wurxs, Richard Nichols, Questlove, Black Thought 2:50
7. "Dies Irae" (performed by Michel Chion)     1:07
8. "The Coming" (featuring Mercedes Martinez) D.D. Jackson, Richard Nichols, Joseph Simmons, Spearman Richard Nichols, D.D. Jackson, Questlove, Black Thought, Joseph Simmons 3:01
9. "The Dark (Trinity)" (featuring Dice Raw & Greg Porn) Jenkins, Spearman, Trotter, Ward Damion Ward, Richard Nichols, Questlove, Black Thought 5:17
10. "The Unraveling" (featuring Raheem DeVaughn) Ray Angry, Raheem DeVaughn, Trotter Ray Angry, Richard Nichols, Questlove, Black Thought 4:17
11. "Tomorrow" (featuring Raheem DeVaughn) Angry, DeVaughn Ray Angry, Richard Nichols, Questlove, Black Thought 5:06

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (2014) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[24] 34
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[25] 11
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[26] 67
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[27] 104
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[28] 63
French Albums (SNEP)[29] 127
German Albums (Official Top 100)[30] 79
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[31] 9
UK R&B Albums (OCC)[32] 9
US Billboard 200[33] 11
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[34] 3

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Roots Crew Unleash New Single And Album Information". The Source.com. 8 Apr 2014. Retrieved 9 April 2014. 
  2. ^ Rys, Dan (26 Feb 2014). "The Roots’ New Project Will Be Another Concept Album". XXL.com. Retrieved 10 April 2014. 
  3. ^ Baker, Soren (27 Feb 2014). "Black Thought Describes The Roots' "And Then You Shoot Your Cousin" Album Concept". HipHopDX.com. Retrieved 9 April 2014. 
  4. ^ "Twitter / questlove: Undun is like a xmas lp. specific". Twitter.com. 2012-07-01. Retrieved 2014-05-09. 
  5. ^ Bilger, Burkhard (12 Nov 2012). "A hip-hop pioneer reinvents late-night music.". The New Yorker (New York, New York: Conde Nast). Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  6. ^ Thompson, Ahmir 'Questlove' (20 Jun 2013). Questlove Talks New Roots Album, 'Tonight Show' and Self-Doubt. Interview with Jason Newman. Retrieved 27 Jan 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c Rys, Dan (2014-02-26). "The Roots' New Project Will Be Another Concept Album - XXL". Xxlmag.com. Retrieved 2014-05-09. 
  8. ^ "The Roots Drop "When The People Cheer" –1st Single From '…&TYSYC' [CDQ]". Okayplayer.com. 7 April 2014. Retrieved 9 April 2014. 
  9. ^ a b "And Then You Shoot Your Cousin Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2014-05-21. 
  10. ^ a b Kellman, Andy. "...And Then You Shoot Your Cousin - The Roots | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic.com. All Media Network, LLC. Retrieved 18 May 2014. 
  11. ^ a b Rytlewski, Evan. "The Roots lay on the satire with the arty …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin". Avclub.com. Retrieved 2014-05-21. 
  12. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (September 12, 2014). "Expert Witness — Cuepoint". Medium. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  13. ^ Cowie, Del F. "The Roots - ...And Then You Shoot Your Cousin". Exclaim.ca. Retrieved 2014-05-21. 
  14. ^ Fox, Killian (18 May 2014). "… And Then You Shoot Your Cousin review – the Roots grow ever more challenging, and ever more brilliant | Music | The Observer". TheGuardian.com. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 18 May 2014. 
  15. ^ "The Roots, 'And Then You Shoot Your Cousin': Album review". NY Daily News. Retrieved 2014-05-21. 
  16. ^ a b Weingarten, Christopher R. (19 May 2014). "The Roots '. . .And Then You Shoot Your Cousin' Album Review | Album Reviews". RollingStone.com. Retrieved 19 May 2014. 
  17. ^ a b "The Roots: ...And Then You Shoot Your Cousin". Slant Magazine. 2008-05-09. Retrieved 2014-05-21. 
  18. ^ Reeves, Mosi. "The Roots, '...And Then You Shoot Your Cousin' Review". Spin.com. Retrieved 2014-05-21. 
  19. ^ a b Jackson, Reed. "The Roots Impress With Their Most Ambitious Effort On 'And Then You Shoot Your Cousin'". Xxlmag.com. Retrieved 2014-05-21. 
  20. ^ Burgess, Omar (19 May 2014). "The Roots - And Then You Shoot Your Cousin". HipHopDX.com. Cheri Media Group. Retrieved 19 May 2014. 
  21. ^ Saunders, Hilary. "The Roots: ...And Then You Shoot Your Cousin Review". Pastemagazine.com. Retrieved 2014-05-21. 
  22. ^ Tardio, Andres. "Hip Hop Album Sales: Week Ending 05/25/2014". HipHop DX. Retrieved 2014-05-28. 
  23. ^ Tardio, Andres (2014-06-04). "Hip Hop Album Sales: Week Ending 06/01/2014". HipHop DX. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  24. ^ "THE ROOTS – AND THEN YOU SHOOT YOUR COUSIN". Australiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  25. ^ "The Roots Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Canadian Albums Chart for The Roots. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 31, 2014.
  26. ^ "THE ROOTS – AND THEN YOU SHOOT YOUR COUSIN" (in Dutch). Ultratop.be. Hung Medien. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  27. ^ "THE ROOTS – AND THEN YOU SHOOT YOUR COUSIN" (in French). Ultratop.be. Hung Medien. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  28. ^ "THE ROOTS – AND THEN YOU SHOOT YOUR COUSIN" (in Dutch). Dutchcharts.nl. Hung Medien. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  29. ^ "THE ROOTS – AND THEN YOU SHOOT YOUR COUSIN". Lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  30. ^ "THE ROOTS – AND THEN YOU SHOOT YOUR COUSIN". Officialcharts.de. GfK Entertainment. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  31. ^ "THE ROOTS – AND THEN YOU SHOOT YOUR COUSIN". Swisscharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  32. ^ "2014-05-24 Top 40 R&B Albums Archive . Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 25, 2014.
  33. ^ "The Roots Album & Song Chart History" Billboard 200 for The Roots. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 31, 2014.
  34. ^ "The Roots Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums for The Roots. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 31, 2014.

External links[edit]