Hip hop

The Roots

"Undun"

Def Jam / Universal
4 Comentarios


Óscar Broc

Escucho este disco por primera vez en una mañana helada, luchando para mantener a raya mi bufanda ante las embestidas de la ventisca. Mi cerebro sólo tarda un par de minutos en evocar postales del cemento de Philadelphia: cubierto de escarcha invernal, sembrado de charcos negruzcos, acariciado por las brumas de vapor que vomitan los conductos de ventilación de los badulaques. El mismo cemento que pisan los soldaditos del gueto, una casta abonada al credo del life in the fast lane y plasmada en la geografía de "Undun" a través de un arquetipo al que se le da nombre, Redford Stephens, y cuyas vicisitudes callejeras se convierten en el centro de gravedad de esta historia musicada.

 

El décimo tercer álbum de The Roots es, efectivamente, el guión rapeado de una película imaginaria; una historia de pobreza, crimen y castigo en los márgenes de la gran urbe. Narrada de arriba a abajo —empezamos con los estertores finales del pícaro y vamos retrocediendo en la escala temporal a medida que avanza el tracklist—, la trayectoria vital de este hustler no deja de ser, y pido mil perdones por el tópico, la crónica de una muerte anunciada. De ahí que el disco sea menos vigoroso y más entornado que "How I got one". Una historia triste sólo podía contarse así.


Instrumentación real —cómo suenan esa baterías de ?uestlove—, melodías y rimas se equilibran, pues, en un dulce magma de hip hop preciosista y artesanal. Casi todas las canciones combinan los raps con estribillos cantados, arrebatos de pop negro dibujados a mano alzada y ejecutados con trazo teatral en la celulosa de unos The Roots inspiradísimos en la permuta de soul, funk crepuscular, jazz, rap y música orquestal. Los arreglos de piano, los pasajes marcados con violines —de una sutileza arrebatadora— y los chispazos de épica cinematográfica aportan el componente de melancolía y la épica necesaria para enmarcar, como es debido, una historia que apela al from rags to riches y ahonda en uno de los temas favoritos del hip hop con conciencia: el drama en el gueto. No hay juicios de valor, no hay adoctrinamiento, lo que ves es lo que hay. De eso se encargan el incombustible Black Thought y una cohorte de MCs invitados (Dice Raw, Phonte, Greg Porn....) que pliegan eficazmente sus cuadernos a las exigencias del guión.


Con esta premisa fílmica, y en media hora escasa de rap, si descontamos las suites instrumentales, "Undun" consigue revelarse como la prueba irrefutable de que la frivolidad del mainstream tiene su propia antimateria: el reverso maduro, serio, emocional y profundo del hip hop. El arte por el arte. Normal, pues, que no haya en este viaje una sola pirueta gratuita o innecesaria. La magia puede masticarse a cada minuto, en cada surco. Podemos sentirla en el epidérmico estribillo de "Lighthouse". En el jazz brumoso, los pellizcos de guitarra, el violín y los coros otoñales de "Tip the scale". En los sintetizadores nostálgicos y los coros de soul hipnagógico de "Make my". En la guitarra eléctrica y el blues sobrecogedor de "Kool on". En los pianos atenazadores de "One time". En la nocturnidad y el misterio de "Sleep". En las esquinas congeladas de una ciudad que devora a sus hijos y los escupe sobre la nieve. Suerte que The Roots estaban ahí para contarlo. 


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Comentarios


Anónimo
18.01.2012 // 23:19:48

Un gran disco



Anónimo
15.05.2015 // 12:39:43

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Anónimo
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