As a hip-hop head from way back in the day, I don’t see too many emcees these days who have the same passion for rhyming that the guys and girls from the “golden age” of hip-hop did. Where’s the love of wordplay? Does anyone these days give you the feeling that they could rhyme forever?

That’s why I thank goodness that folks like Black Thought are not only still around, but still relevant. The Roots’ primary MC is a rhymer at heart, and “Star” is a perfect showcase for his skills. Of course, leave it to The Roots to even beat jack creatively. With Sly Stone and Larry Graham’s voices floating in and out of the mix, and a rock solid rhythm section carrying him, Black Thought touches on everything from his proficiency on the mic to urban blight to the image of black men in the music industry (“don’t wanna do the Ruben Studdard and come of less threatening…”).

The Roots are right up there with Radiohead as one of the most consistent bands of the past ten years. Nothing they’ve put out this decade has been less than solid, with “Phrenology”, “The Tipping Point” (the album that contains “Star”) and “Game Theory” among the best trifectas that any artist in any genre has come up with. Although their commercial fortunes have dipped sharply, here’s hoping that their exposure as the house band of Jimmy Fallon’s talk show puts them back in the public consciousness…

…After all, everybody is a star.