Welcome to our new series, Run That Back. This month, we’re publishing one throwback album review per day for releases ranging from one month to a decade old. Each author is writing from their experience based off a fresh listen — whether they missed the record in the first place or haven’t touched the record in a while. Whatever the reason, quality music is still quality music and it’s always worth checking out — even if it means veering from your usual tastes. Read more about the series right here.

Run That Back: The Roots’ ‘Rising Down’ Stands Above Other Albums In Their Catalog

Black Thought is at his best on the group’s 2008 album

The Legendary Roots Crew is, well, legendary. They have one of the most storied catalogs in rap but there’s something about Rising Down that gives it a small push over the other ones. A decidedly darker affair, Rising Down starts with an excellent mash-up of Black Thought, Mos Def, and Styles P. on a song of the same name. The album is a feature-heavy affair but Thought is never out of the spotlight. His “75 Bars Black’s Reconstruction” is still one of the most dazzling lyrical displays in all of rap. Black Thought is a monster and Rising Down is the monster at his best.

Songs to Rewind: “Rising Down,” “The Show,” “@15”

Songs to Skip: None

You can find Garfield ranting away on Twitter at @Smooth_Orator or hear his thoughts on his podcast, @NWAPCast.

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