I’ve been enjoying this album recently…
Audio Link to the NPR interview: http://www.npr.org/2011/12/18/143891292/the-roots-weave-a-tale-of-crime-and-karma
The Roots Weave A Tale Of Crime And Karma : NPR:
Drugs and crime are common themes in hip-hop, but Thompson says they're often described in the past tense — e.g., Jay-Z's early raps about his old life as a cocaine dealer.
"It's always a grandiose vision of this particular character," Thompson says. "We wanted to show the minion — the guy who's lowest on the food chain."
"I wanted to present it in a way that wasn't exaggerated or cartoonish," Trotter adds. "I wanted to make it easier to understand how people wind up in the situations they wind up in — how easy it is."