Roots, How I Got Over: ALL the lyrics to EVERY song explained!

Yes, we agree, it’s a bit depressing: the Roots as the hired laugh machines for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Embarrassing, but whatever! We’re in a Recession, mane; get it how you’ve got to get it.

Happily for Roots fans, the band just came out with a new album called “How I Got Over”, and it’s BAN-GIN! Honestly, one of my favorite Roots albums (and I am generally pessimistic about new things!)

The title is taken from a soulful old Mahalia Jackson song about “getting over” hard times.

In an interview with NPR, drummer and bandleader ?uestlove said: “We always feel as though all of our album titles have to sort of reflect a triple meaning: The state of the world, the state of hip-hop, and maybe the state of The Roots.”

The world is trying to get over tough times, hip-hop is trying to get over a long drought of mediocre albums, and the Roots are trying to get over a long career of toiling in the rap game, finding a steady job on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (and perhaps a commercially and critically successful album).

The album is pretty hard, so…Rap Genius is rolling out the red carpet again (see Eminem and Drake red carpet roll-outs): It’s a celebration, bitches!

We explained EVERY SINGLE SONG on this muthafucka! Click through to the songs, listen, read along, learn something:

As always, a = a Rap Genius spicy suggestion…

1. A Piece of Light

Atmospheric intro track with a bunch of white girls going “doo doo dooo doo doooooo” (listen if you’re curious, but there are no lyrics to digest).

2. Walk Alone

Black Thought, Truck North, and P.O.R.N (sounding like J-Kwon) collaborate on this soulful, piano-heavy track. Dice Raw provides to the vocals to the hook and makes himself sound like a really old jazz musician.

3. Dear God 2.0

A slow-paced plea to the man upstairs. The Roots and newfound collaborators, Monsters of Folk combine to remix “Dear God (Sincerely M.O.F)”

This is one of many remixed songs on the album. “2.0” versions aren’t a new thing for The Roots, “The Seed 2.0” from 2002 album Phrenology is one of The Roots' most popular songs ever.

4. Radio Daze

This song is about living life in a daze, and how hard it is to see truth through all the pain and multimedia distractions. It’s probably the most lyrically challenging song on the album, so we could use your help on a few lines.

5. Now or Never

Roots veterans Black Thought and Dice Raw are joined by Phonte of the now defunct group Little Brother to reflect on middle age, sinning, and change.

6. How I Got Over

In the album’s title track, Black Thought spins tales of young people trying to “get over” difficult upbringings. The song is bleak, describing the cruel and unrelenting world faced by poor children.

7. DillaTUDE: The Flight of Titus

You know what DillaTUDE rhymes with? Interlude. (42 seconds of elevator music)

8. The Day

Blu, Phonte, and Black Thought talk about their days. Eating, hitting the gym, checking oneself out in the mirror and other topics are explored. If Twitter was a song, it would be “The Day”

9. Right On

With a sampled hook from hipster yodeler Joanna Newsom, Black Thought puts in a nice solid verse while new Roots affiliate Sugar Tongue Slim cleverly builds his entire verse around lights

10. Doin it Again

A State of Union for The Roots Crew: they discuss their position as the house band for Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

Black Thought uses some of the rhymes from his freestyle cipher on the 2009 BET Awards

11. The Fire

“The Fire” is about the firey fireball of passion that burns inside every one of us. It was first performed at the Vancouver Olympics, where “the fire” referred to the Olympic torch as well as the fire inside hardcore athletes

12. Tunnel Vision

Another drab instrumental interlude. Nothing to see here.

13. Web 20/20

The track “Web” on The Roots album The Tipping Point features Black Thought spitting straight for three minutes with no hooks. This track is a sequel of sorts (with a similar no-hook format), only the work is shared with two other rappers (Truck North and Peedi Peedi).

14. Hustla

To the sounds of an Auto-Tuned baby wailing, The Roots and Sugar Tongue Slim crank out a tune about raising kids while surrounded by temptation.