Picks and Pans Review: Everything You Need to Hear by ... Late Night's the Roots

updated 03/23/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 03/23/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

>• They're now kicking it as the house band on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Hip yourself to the hip-hop clan with these CDs.

THINGS FALL APART (1999) An alt-rap classic featuring "You Got Me," their Grammy-winning collaboration with Erykah Badu, who also worked with them on Baduizm.

THE ROOTS COME ALIVE (1999) This groundbreaker bucked the idea that rap doesn't make for good concert albums by showing Roots could really deliver live.

PHRENOLOGY (2002) Pushes the boundaries of hip-hop to mind-blowing, genre-bending extremes, with vocal assists from Jill Scott, Nelly Furtado and Musiq Soulchild.

RISING DOWN (2008) Their latest may have a dark, sociopolitical tone, but it ends on a more upbeat note with "Rising Up," the jazzy, soulful highlight with Chrisette Michele.

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