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Undun (Explicit)

Undun by The Roots
Released: Dec 2011
Undun is a concept piece about the fictional Redford Stephens, a gangster who apparently commits suicide after a violent life (though that's not immediately clear) and recalls his misdeeds from the sleep of the dead. It's a pretext for a hip-hop-as-tragedy motif that The Roots have refined ever since their 1996 album Illadelph Halflife. The music is melancholic, and Black Thought and a few guest MCs (including longtime collaborators Dice Raw and Greg Porn) drive the action with expository verses. It's as familiar as Biggie's Ready to Die, and haunting all the same.
Mosi Reeves
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