Almost 2 months after the CMJ Music Marathon and we finally got a chance to check out one of the artists we met there by the name of Rootwords. RESPECT is what we have to say. Do we have to cross the ocean to find what Hip Hop has been missing?
Rootwords is a United States native but he hails from Switzerland, where he honed his superior lyricism over the last decade. He has been dubbed “A World Citizen Rapper” because if the diversity in his lyrics and his attachment to multiculturalism & the world. His first album, The Rush, was released March of 2014 & after listening, definitely deserves high praise and a feature here on AEMNYC. Take a listen below. You can also read his bio and check out his video interview while in New York for the CMJ Music Marathon.
Rootwords was born in the United States (of Zambian origin) and grew up in Switzerland, where within the last decade he has become an undeniable talent in the international hip hop scene, to keep an eye on. Since the age of 16, he cultivated his love for hip hop, the underground scene and explosive beats. “A world citizen rapper” is a good way to define the aesthetics of this artist who, through his texts and music, expresses his attachment to multiculturalism, diversity, and the world in general.
His first album, The Rush, will be in stores in Switzerland on the 28th of March and in France on the 7th & 8th of April, and will allow you to discover, if not yet, a rich urban sound with modern influences of hip hop, soul and reggae. In this album, Rootwords holds dear to the sounds he blends by reflecting a world that is in constant expansion, where boarders are crossed and where people interlock. On the second song of the album, “Keep On“, he journeys to a land of electric hip hop, where furious guitars and explicit rhymes blend perfectly. Right after, with the calmness of “Mwansa” or the funky rhythm of “Cold Crush“, we submerge into a groovier universe, pleasuring the admirers of the first years of the movement. We then take a sharp turn south with “Freedom of Speech“, between reggae and hip hop, embellished by the warm Jamaican voice of Denham Smith in the chorus: the fans of this genre will not be disappointed.
Video Interview/Musical Interlude from New York – Andrew O’Rourke (Manhattan Musicians)
Consequently, we can only salute the quality and talent of this combination of instruments between the musicians, the DJs, Redbioul and Kinyama Sounds, who collaborate all together with Rootwords on this album to create a sound that is both modern and organic.
Rootwords had already seduced the critics with his first projects (Press Rewind to Begin and All Good), particularly in Switzerland where he was elected “Best Underground Artist” at the RepreZent Awards in 2010, won the “Demotape Clinic Urban” prize at M4Music in Zurich in 2013 and took home the first “Urban Award” at Swiss Live Talents in Bern at the end of 2013. He has shared the stage with high profile artists, such as IAM, Cypress Hill, Public Enemy, Dead Prez, Method Man and Redman, at festivals such as Montreux Jazz Festival.
Needless to say, this first album is more than welcome as it revives the flame of a hip hop that is engaged and urban, far from the invasive clichés of bling bling and gangsta rap which prevail to this day. So don’t miss The Rush, which might make you reminiscent of an era where everything began – and where Zulu Nation stated these very words: “Peace, Love, Unity and Having Fun“!