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Things Fall Apart
Things Fall Apart
Studio album by The Roots

Released

23 February 1999

Recorded

1997-1999

Genre

Hip hop

Length

70:34

Label

MCA

Producer

?uestlove, Chaos, The Grand Wizzards, Jay Dee, Kamal, Kelo, Richard Nichols (exec.), James Poyser, Rahzel, Scott Storch

The Roots chronology

Previous

Illadelph Halflife (1996)

Next

Phrenology (2002)

Things Fall Apart is the fourth studio album by American hip hop band The Roots, released in 1999 on MCA Records. Recording sessions for the album took place at Electric Lady Studios during 1997 to 1999, coinciding with recording for other projects of the Soulquarians collective, including albums by D'Angelo, Erykah Badu and Common. The album is a landmark moment for The Roots and the collective, as it turned The Roots and its associates into a hip hop movement. Things Fall Apart takes its name from Chinua Achebe's novel of the same name, which in turn took the phrase from William Butler Yeats' poem "The Second Coming".

Upon its release, the album was widely regarded as the group's most fully realised work and was the first album by The Roots to sell over 500,000 copies. It is viewed as the The Roots' breakthrough, and was praised by critics for its sobering themes, sonic quality and fluid, cohesive sequencing. It includes the song "You Got Me", which won the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group, while Things Fall Apart was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album of the same year, losing to Eminem for his The Slim Shady LP. The album was certified platinum in 2013 by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Track listingEdit

No. Title Performer(s) Writer(s) Producer(s) Time
1. "Act Won (Things Fall Apart)" - Lee, Thompson The Grand Wizzards 0:54
2. "Table of Contents (Parts 1 & 2)" Black Thought, Malik B Abdul-Bassit, Roots, Thompson, Trotter The Grand Wizzards 3:37
3. "The Next Movement" Black Thought Gray, Hubbard, Thompson, Trotter Kamal 4:10
4. "Step Into the Realm" Malik B, Black Thought Abdul-Bassit, Gray, Hubbard, Thompson, Trotter, Williams The Grand Wizzards 2:49
5. "The Spark" Malik B, Black Thought Abdul-Bassit, Gray, Hubbard, Thompson The Grand Wizzards 3:53
6. "Dynamite!" Black Thought, Elo Sayeed, Trotter, Yancey Jay Dee 4:46
7. "Without a Doubt" Lady B, Black Thought Lewis, Trotter, Weaver Chaos 4:15
8. "Ain't Sayin' Nothin' New" Black Thought, Dice Raw Jenkins, Roots, Storch, Thompson, Trotter The Grand Wizzards, Scott Storch (co.) 3:34
9. "Double Trouble" Black Thought, Mos Def Beze, Poyser, Roots, Thompson, Trotter The Grand Wizzards, James Poyser (co.) 5:50
10. "Act Too (The Love of My Life)" Black Thought, Common Lynn, Poyser, Roots, Thompson, Trotter ?uestlove, James Poyser 4:55
11. "100% Dundee" Black Thought, Malik B Abdul-Bassit, Brown, Gray, Roots, Trotter Kamal, Kelo, Rahzel 3:53
12. "Diedre vs. Dice" Dice Raw Jenkins, Murray, Thompson The Grand Wizzards 0:47
13. "Adrenaline!" Black Thought, Malik B, Dice Raw, Beanie Sigel Abdul-Bassit, Grant, Roots, Storch, Thompson, Trotter The Grand Wizzards, Scott Storch (co.) 4:28
14. "3rd Acts: ? vs. Scratch 2... Electric Boogaloo" - Abdul-Bassit, Gray, Hubbard, Thompson The Grand Wizzards 0:51
15. "You Got Me" Black Thought, Eve, Erykah Badu Roots, Scott, Storch, Thompson, Trotter The Grand Wizzards, Scott Storch (co.) 4:19
16. "Don't See Us" Black Thought, Malik B Abdul-Bassit, Jenkins, Poyser, Thompson, Trotter The Grand Wizzards, James Poyser (co.) 4:30
17. "The Return to Innocence Lost" Ursula Rucker Rucker, Thompson, Tidd The Grand Wizzards 11:55
18. "Act Fore...The End?" - - - 0:05

Notes

  • Track 3 features background vocals performed by The Jazzy Fatnastees, and scratching performed by DJ Jazzy Jeff.
  • Track 5 features bass keys performed by D'Angelo.
  • Track 8 features background vocals performed by Eve of Destruction.
  • Track 9 features additional keys performed by James Poyser.
  • Track 10 features additional keys performed by James Poyser, violin performed by Igor Szwec and Emma Kumrow, viola performed by Davis Garnet and Larry Gold, and background vocals performed by Marie Daulne.
  • Track 12 features viola performed by Deidra Murry.
  • Track 15 features guitar performed by Anthony Tidd and Warren Wimbly, synth performed by Bob Powers, violin performed by Igor Szwec and Emma Kumrow, and viola performed by Davis Garnet and Larry Gold.
  • Track 16 features additional keys performed by James Poyser, additional vocals performed by Dice Raw, guitar performed by Spanky, and hand claps performed by Shawn Gee.
  • Track 17 features guitar performed by Anthony Tidd. 

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