Considering the Flo Ridian rapper spent his early days touring with 2 Live Crew [click to read], the party concept (with some lewdness shaved off) must have stuck with him as he started his own career. R.O.O.T.S aka Route Of Overcoming The Struggle holds true to its acronymic title. Once again Flo Rida is working for the weekend, waiting to shake his bulbous physique at a club and take a PYT home. The album opens with "Finally Here," reminiscent of Big Pun's "100 Percent" in its ideal of finally reaching that lucky day where money problems disappear. It follows with "Jump," welcoming the return of Nelly Furtado on a high-energy track that's begging to be a single.
The theme of the entire album rests upon Flo Rida being poised for greatness in the world of Hip-Pop. He isn't claiming to be the G.O.A.T; he's just here to have fun. The irony is that the original self-proclaimed G.O.A.T, LL Cool J, attempted to reinvent himself as something of a Flo Rida (see The DEFinition) and a not a single person was left headsprung. Flo Rida entered the game as a bulky party starter and it's helped him bypass the sophomore jinx.
Flo Rida enlists some obscure cameos this time around, with the exception of Ne-Yo [click to read] on the Ne-Yo sounding "Be On You" and Akon [click to read] on the Akon-sounding "Available." The lead single "Right Round" features newcomer Ke$ha, and while the sample works perfectly, a simple substitution of Keri Hilson would have given this song more leverage. Oddly the most random cameos happen to be the singles ("Right Round" f/ Ke$ha, "Shone" featuring Pleasure P, and "Sugar" featuring Wynter Gordon). Only time will tell if Flo Rida can carry these songs through the mainstream.
There are some misses in R.O.O.T.S, primarily on the title track where Flo Rida attempts to insert some "real talk." This is the only point where being known as lighthearted poses a gift and a curse, and while Flo Rida may have felt this track added substance, it definitely didn't. The album closes with the Wyclef-assisted [click to read] "Rewind," and that's exactly what you'll do - just to avoid hearing the track.
R.O.O.T.S in many ways is the album that should have preceded Mail On Sunday - songs packed with newer talent and dance floor money woes. Regardless of his catalogue's order, Flo Rida has cornered the market of crafting songs with enough momentum to make you kill a rabbit.