Philly rap demigods the Roots established themselves long ago as the most exciting live hip-hop group around. It was only with 2002's Phrenology that the group made an album that even held a candle to the energy that drummer ?uestlove and the rest of the band exude onstage. The Roots may not sound much like OutKast, but they share a love of boundary-pushing songs that don't alienate the more timid mainstream listeners. The new Roots album, The Tipping Point, could be the jumping point for this band that has walked along the edge of superstardom for so long. -- Jordan Harper
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Check out "Slam Bush," a series of battles in which MCs and poets pick up the mic to slam George W. Bush. The Roots and Wrekonize perform at 10 p.m. Wednesday, September 29, at Mansion, 1235 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. Call 305-532-1525 or visit www.slambush.net.