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In 1995, the Roots crested a wave of hype that was based on the fact that they didn’t use DJing equipment, but real instruments, to create their hiphop. Nice marketing angle, but who cares where the sounds came from? If they’re the bomb, they’ll blow up. With the Roots’ much-anticipated Illadelph Halflife, it’s the strength of Black Thought and Malik B.’s raps, not the all-live, check-his-back-for-some-batteries, sounds-like-he’s-hitting-a-tin-can drumming of Brother ?uestion that pushes the sophomore release past the “Clones” (Illadelph’s first single). Live, the band is known for its freestyling (and a longer-than-necessary medley of old-school jams), as well as a manic musical energy that tops its comparatively reserved records. At 9 p.m. at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $15. (202) 393-0930. (Christopher Porter)