The Roots Share Digitally Unreleased Track + 20th Anniversary Set “Things Fall Apart”

The Roots’ Things Fall Apart reissued for 20th anniversary on 3LP via Geffen/Urban Legends, along with digitally unreleased track “new years @ jay dee’s” Listen NOW.


In honor of its 20th anniversary, The Roots’ breakthrough fourth album Things Fall Apart is available once again via Geffen/Urban Legends. This melancholy gem of hip-hop, originally released on MCA Records in 1999, has been freshly remastered and repressed in two lavish physical configurations, a standard black 3LP, a limited-edition crystal-clear 3LP as well as a digital collection.

Things Fall Apart, named after Chinua Achebe’s 1958 novel about the 19th century Scramble for Africa in which European imperialists invaded Nigeria (and, in turn, William Butler Yeats’ poem “The Second Coming,” about the end of the world) was a breakthrough for the Roots when they needed it.

The Philadelphia rap crew, led by MC Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter and drummer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, had critical acceptance under their belt, with their first three albums, 1993’s Organix, 1995’s Do You Want More?!!!??! and 1996’s Illadelph Halflife, but little mainstream success.

They needed a knockout punch of an album — and their platinum-certified, No. 4-charting Things Fall Apart was it. The Roots’ Things Fall Apart is the band’s magnum opus and legitimized neo-soul and Philly bop as a force to be reckoned with in hip-hop. It re-popularized live instrumentation in hip-hop, catapulting The Roots into stardom in the process with their first Grammy win. 

Regarded as their breakthrough album, The Roots’ Things Fall Apart, was recorded during the infamous Soulquarian recordings at Electric Lady Studios resulting in legendary collaborations from the collective.

With all-star features from Erykah Badu, Common, Mos Def a.k.a. Yasiin Bey, Jay Dee, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Dice Raw, Eve, Beanie Segal, Jill Scott, Lady B, and Ursula Rucker, Things Fall Apart received numerous accolades and awards. In celebration of its twentieth anniversary, Urban Legends is releasing an exclusive deluxe edition of Things Fall Apart on crystal-clear vinyl.

Things Fall Apart peaked at No. 4 on Billboard’s Top 200 and garnered laudatory reviews; as The A.V. Club put it, “Few hip-hop artists seem to be willing to even attempt something approaching Things Fall Apart‘s scope.” Rolling Stone called the album “top-flight” and singled out the Badu- and Eve-assisted “You Got Me” as “[perhaps] the greatest love song in hip-hop history.”

All this praise elevated the Roots to the next level — and in the long run, set them on course to eventually become the house band on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.


Now’s your chance to revisit this classic in two different editions or in a digital configuration. The standard configuration features the original album, remastered on double vinyl with a third LP of bonus tracks curated by Questlove, including a 24-page booklet featuring rare photos, retrospective essays by Black Thought and Questlove and track-by-track liner notes from Questlove.

The Collector’s Edition features all of the above, but as crystal-clear vinyl and a die-cut slipcase of the primary cover art plus the 4 original alternate covers as interchangeable lithos with foil stamp numbering plus a 6th, brand new bonus cover. Pre-Order Things Fall Apart now and get “New Years @ Jay Dee’s,” available for the first time digitally. 

Things Fall Apart Track Listing – 3LP & Digital

Side A

A1        Act Won (Things Fall Apart)

A2        Table Of Content (Parts 1 & 2)

A3        The Next Movement

A4        Step Into The Realm

A5        The Spark

Side B                

B1        Dynamite!

B2        Without A Doubt

B3        Ain’t Saying Nothin’ New

B4        Double Trouble

Side C        

C1        Act Too (The Love Of My Life)

C2        100% Dundee

C3        Diedre Vs. Dice

C4        Adrenaline!

C5        3rd Acts: ? Vs. Scratch 2…Electric Boogaloo

Side D

D1        You Got Me

D2        Don’t See Us

D3        The Return To Innocence Lost

D4        Act Fore… The End?

Bonus Tracks
Side E

E1         Table of Contents #3 – cut from album; previously released on The Legendary EP; available for the first time digitally

E2         What You Want – from The Roots Come Alive

E3         Quicksand Millennium – cut from the album, released on Homegrown! Vol. 2 compilation

E4         We Got You (Extended) – extended version of track from The Roots Come Alive

E5         You Got Me (Drum & Bass w/ Jill Scott) – unreleased

Side F

F1         You Got Me (Me Tienes Remix) – from “You Got Me” CD single; available for the first time digitally

F2         Act Too (Love of My Life) [Remix] – from Brown Sugar soundtrack; available for the first time digitally

F3         Y’all Know Who – from Homegrown! Vol. 2 compilation

F4         The Lesson – Part III (w/ Jaguar Wright) – from The Roots Come Alive

F5         New Years @ Jay Dee’s – from “You Got Me” CD single; available for the first time digitally

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