...And Then You Shoot Your Cousin Image
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 30 Ratings

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  • Band members: Tariq Trotter, Captain Kirk Douglas, James Poyser, Ahmir Thompson
  • Summary: The concept album about violence in America for the hip hip group features guest vocals from Black Thought, Michel Chion, Patty Crash, Raheem DeVaughn, Dice Raw, Mercedes Martinez, Greg Porn, Nina Simone, and Mary Lou Williams.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. There's no real logical conclusion as to what it all means, and The Roots understand that. That's part of why they made the album so short; so that you can put the time in and come to a conclusion yourself.
  2. May 20, 2014
    80
    While the album showcases the band's equilibrium and by now unquestioned versatility, it does mean that amidst the intended dissonance and vocal cameos, Black Thought's verses are not as prominent.
  3. May 22, 2014
    80
    On And Then You Shoot Your Cousin, the Roots serve up a concept album of tortured stories from a collection of downtrodden and conflicted characters.
  4. May 19, 2014
    70
    It crash-lands, abruptly ending an album that, depending on the amount of time spent with it, will seem either fragmentary and hollow or fathoms deep--either a trifle or among the group's most remarkable work.
  5. May 28, 2014
    66
    It’s still a strong album with several standout moments, but these great moments are often hampered by the inchoate themes and parched ideas surrounding it, making the album feel at times unfinished.
  6. May 22, 2014
    60
    The half-hour run time makes the relentlessly cerebral approach more palatable, though the ending feels a bit too tidy.
  7. May 20, 2014
    50
    While the ambition and musical dexterity is admirable, the work doesn’t feel fully realized.

See all 26 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 1 out of 7
  1. Jun 13, 2014
    10
    Each song is a completely standalone vignette, each character is a trope of hip hop culture. Criticism of the culture have been prevalent in Roots music since Organix, but they have always been tongue-and-cheek and straight to the point about it. This is their most creative expression of their frustrations. The name of the album (a reference to a KRS-One lyric) is the perfect representation of what this album is and its spiral into darkness.

    Musically, this album is very much pushing the envelope of instrumentation in hip hop (even more-so than Phrenology). Although each song's lyrics are true to the concept of this album, the instrumentals do everything they can to break apart cohesiveness between songs. This is what turns a lot of listeners off of this album, but to me this is a brilliant way of building unique scenes for the characters to live and breathe in each song. Although told through vignettes, it has a theatrical effect similar to Opera that creates the different scenes for these characters to come alive. The ever-darkening instrumentals paired with standalone sketches creates a sense that everything is going to **** Dark, beautiful, brilliant... this will probably turn out to be one of the most under-appreciated Roots releases ever.
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  2. May 20, 2014
    10
    This album is amazing. It is a concept album where you learn more with every listen so it is not one of those albums that you sit through once. You need to listen to it over and over again and discover new things about the album. The production is on point throughout and the rapping and singing is spot on. Not the best Roots album you are going to hear and it is not as good as their other concept album "undun" but it is another great "The Roots" project. Expand
  3. May 19, 2014
    9
    ATYSYC is a great concept album. The subject matter is amazing. It's honestly better than the majority of the hip hop albums to be released this year. The only problem I have with this album is that there are too many interludes and not enough Black Thought. When he does have a verse, he kills it though. Strong album but it's not the classic that Undun, Phrenology, Things Fall Apart are. Expand
  4. May 20, 2014
    7
    Despite its unassailable conceptual substance and Black Thought's undeniably sagacious lyricism, ...&TYSYC's hamartia is absence: naturally not of quality, but of quantity. Tariq acts a broken, flawed character with great éclat, albeit it for five tracks. It is the ubiquity of (frankly garden-variety) guest features which dilutes the narrative, exacerbating its inconsistency. It's no Phrenology, but it is engaging. B+ Collapse
  5. May 19, 2014
    7
    I always look forward to a roots album for many reasons as clearly they are hip hop, but on their own sh*t. They have never followed a trend or the path where most hiphop is headed. This remains true with this album, but with more guest appearances and less black thought (which I didn't like). So much so that it is almost not hip hop. Further some of the songs I didn't like-including the "skits" and "interludes" that seem to slow down the album even further. After a few more listens, maybe it will hold up to their previous efforts-but now it does not. Expand
  6. May 21, 2014
    6
    The Roots have had a career in making some of the best hip hop records as a band. Gimmicky sounding, yes, but it works well for them. Their last effort, undun, is one of my favorite 10's album so far. So I had HIGH expectation for this album, even if their lackluster album with Elvis Costello was sorta of disappointing. Is this a bad album? no. Was I disappointed? yes. Why? Because How I Got Over and undun were two amazing records. Yes they have had flops before (see: Tipping Point) but I really hoped for a trilogy here. Sadly it's not like that. Expand
  7. May 24, 2014
    0
    33 minutes of **** not one good song probably the worst **** i have heard this year and i thought soulja boy was bad yeah okay i think i'll delete this **** off my computer now. Expand