Things Fall Apart is the fourth studio album by American hip hop band The Roots, released February 23, 1999 on Geffen Records. According to Spin magazine, the album is a landmark moment for The Roots and the collective, as it “swelled the Roots clique into a movement-style posse.” The album has also been considered by music writers as The Roots’s breakthrough album, earning praise from major publications and critics, while becoming the group’s first record to sell over 500,000 copies. It includes the song “You Got Me”, which won the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group, while Things Fall Apart was also nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album of the same year, losing to Eminem for his The Slim Shady LP (taken verbatim from Wikipedia).
If you were worried about where
I been or who I saw or
What club I went to with my homies
Baby, don’t worry. You know that you got me
Grammar: Introduction to Relative Clauses
First of all, what is a relative clause? Relative clauses (sometimes called adjective clauses) occur after nouns. They give more information about the noun. For example:
- The girl is pretty. She is dancing with your brother. The girl who is dancing with you brother is pretty.
- Let’s watch the scary movie. The scary movie was made in France. Let’s watch the scary movie that was made in France.
- We invited people to the party. Most of them did not arrive to the party. Most of the people that were invited to the party did not arrive.
All relative clauses begin with a pronoun such as:
- who – refers to people; can refer to subject or object.
- She is the teacher who helped my brother.
- The man who is swimming in the lake is my best friend.
- She is the girl who I saw at the concert last night. (Refers to object and is informal)
- whom – refers to people; very formal; people only
- He is the man whom we met at the party last night.
- She is the girl whom I saw at the concert last night.
- They are the people with whom we had a fight.
- that – refers to people or things
- He is the man that looks like Tom Cruise.
- I am reading a book that all students should read.
- The Roots are a hip-hop group that deserves more recognition and respect.
- which – refers to only things
- Can you show me the sentences which are difficult to translate?
- Is this the car which you want to buy?
What noun does the relative clause refer to? Is that noun the subject of the clause? If yes, then: Noun + who/that/which/where/what + verb
What noun does the relative clause refer to? Is that noun the object of the clause? If yes, then: Noun + who/whom/that/which/where/what + subject + verb
Reduced Relative Clauses
Somebody told me that this planet was small.
We used to live in the same building on the same floor
and never met before
until I’m overseas on tour
and peeped this Ethiopian queen from Philly
taking classes abroad.
In a reduced relative clause, a particple verb (~ing verb or past participle) is used instead of the pronoun and full verb. In other words, omit the relative pronoun (who/whom/what/which) and auxiliary verb.
- The man who is swimming in the lake is my friend. The man swimming in the lake is my friend.
- I peeped this Ethiopian queen from Philly who was taking classes abroad. I peeped this Ethiopian queen from Philly taking classes abroad.
- Most of the people that were invited to the party didn’t come. Most of the people invited to the party didn’t come.
Reduced relative clauses work really well with passive voice, present progressive and past progressive verb tenses.