A Tribe Called Quest

Posted: December 7, 2016 in 90s Music, Hip-Hop, Rap
Tags: , , , ,

I’m probably not going to get a lot of love for say this, but I never really got into A Tribe Called Quest back in the 90s (don’t yell, I’m sorry!) To be fair, I was so immersed in the rock/alternative music-sphere, it was difficult to pay attention to anything else. However, as I’ve grown up, matured, and broadened my horizons, I’ve become a fan of any good music. When A Tribe Called Quest dropped their album We Got it From Here…Thank You 4 Your Service this year (18 years after their last studio album,) it was high time I paid attention. Here’s my review (from the perspective of a new fan.)

What I found most refreshing on this rap/hip-hop album was how real it sounds, compared to today’s hip-hop. It’s not overproduced, no auto- tuning, just rappers spitting out their rhymes, to a light catchy beat that keeps you in, but doesn’t overpower the track. It’s nostalgic, old school hip-hop in 2016 daylight, and it totally annihilates today’s wanna be rappers (Tyga, cough cough).

They’re not going on about useless crap like poppin’ bottles, or how much money they have. They’re having a conversation with the people, with each other, with whoever’s listening. They talk about racial injustice on “The Killing Season”; politics on “Conrad Tokyo” and the power of today’s youth on “Dis Generation.”

If that weren’t enough to intrigue you, let’s talk about the fact that the 2 disc album is loaded with guest collaborators like Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Busta Rhymes, and obviously (?) Jack White (I guess his appearance on Beyoncé’s “Dont Hurt Yourself” got him access to all new kinds of music,) to name a few.

A Tribe Called Quest started out in the 80s as a duo of rapper/MC Q-Tip and late rapper Phife Dawg (who passed away during the making of this album.) They became a trio/quartet, and released 5 albums in the 90s, during the whole east coast vs. west coast rap rivalry. They were part of a music era that no longer exists – 90s rap isn’t really a thing anymore. But with this album, Tribe brings that energy, that feeling, that sound, and those lyrics that defined that time in history. All these years later, they’re still representing.

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