A Tribe Called Quest

atcq1

I first started listening to A Tribe Called Quest back when I first saw the video for I Left My Wallet on Yo! MTV Raps(RIP).  The R&B/jazz based beats, the smooth rhymes by Q-Tip and Phife.  ATCQ were a classic hip hop act from the start.  If I listen to their catalog now it’s hard to pick which albums came out which years, they were that consistent.  Much of the rap music from the early nineties (especially 1990 the year Peoples Instinctive Travels came out) didn’t hold up well, the beats and styles are dated.   Not the case with ATCQ.

A Tribe Called Quest is made up of Q-Tip, Phife Dawg and Ali Shaheed Muhammad.  Other people came and went over the years but those three are the group’s core.  If you’re not familiar with rap groups it’s common for multiple groups be affiliated under one name in this case ATCQ is a founding member of The Native Tongues.  Knowing these affiliations is useful because often you’ll find other members under the same  umbrella group create music of a similar style or philosophy.  So if you like one group in The Native Tongues you’ll most likely like others.  Some of the other groups that were/are members of The Native Tongues are Jungle Brothers, De La Soul and Black Sheep I’ll get to those guys on a different date.

A Tribe Called Quest is a great introduction to rap music.  The beats are nice on their own, relaxing tracks using a great deal of jazz instrumentation.  Q-Tip and Phife are spectacular MC’s who’s skillz are matched by few.  The rhymes are based on some fine topics, avoiding high cholesterol foods, pretty ladies, youth, partying, etc.  There’s no vulgarity to be found at least on the first two albums and it’s minimal on later albums.  So don’t fret if cussing isn’t your thing.The Low End Theory

The main Tribe Called Quest releases look something like this(my fave is The Low End Theory)…

1) People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm(1990)
2) The Low End Theory(1991)
3) Midnight Marauders(1993)
4) Beats, Rhymes and Life(1996)
5) The Love Movement(1998)

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