Label: Def Jam Recordings
Undun is a concept piece about the fictional Redford Stephens, a gangster who apparently commits suicide after a violent life (though that's not immediately clear) and recalls his misdeeds from the sleep of the dead. It's a pretext for a hip-hop-as-tragedy motif that The Roots have refined ever since their 1996 album Illadelph Halflife. The music is melancholic, and Black Thought and a few guest MCs (including longtime collaborators Dice Raw and Greg Porn) drive the action with expository verses. It's as familiar as Biggie's Ready to Die, and haunting all the same.