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A Tribe Called Quest

Without question the most intelligent, artistic rap group during the 1990s, A Tribe Called Quest jump-started and perfected the hip-hop alternative to hardcore and gangsta rap. In essence, they abandoned the macho posturing rap music had been constructed upon, and focused instead on abstract philosophy and message tracks. The "sucka MC" theme had never been completely ignored in hip-hop, but Tribe confronted numerous black issues -- date rape, use of the word n**ger, the trials and tribulations of the rap industry -- all of which overpowered the occasional game of the dozens. Just as powerful musically, Quest built upon De La Soul's jazz-rap revolution, basing tracks around laid-back samples instead of the played-out James Brown-fests that many rappers had made a cottage industry by the late '80s. Comprising Q-Tip, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, and Phife, A Tribe Called Quest debuted in 1989 and released their debut album one year later. Second album The Low End Theory was, quite simply, the most consistent and flowing hip-hop album ever recorded, though the trio moved closer to their harder contemporaries on 1993's Midnight Marauders. A spot on the 1994 Lollapalooza Tour showed their influence with the alternative crowd -- always a bedrock of A Tribe Called Quest's support -- but the group kept it real on 1996's Beats, Rhymes and Life, a dedication to the streets and the hip-hop underground.

A Tribe Called Quest was formed in 1988, though both Q-Tip (b. Jonathan Davis) and Phife (b. Malik Taylor) had grown up together in Queens. Q-Tip met DJ Ali Shaheed Muhammad while at high school and, after being named by the Jungle Brothers (who attended the same school), the trio began performing. A Tribe Called Quest's recording debut came in August 1989, when their single, "Description of a Fool," appeared on a tiny area label (though Q-Tip had previously guested on several tracks from De La Soul's 3 Feet High and Rising and later appeared on Deee-Lite's "Groove Is in the Heart").

Signed to Jive Records by 1989, A Tribe Called Quest released their first album, People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm, one year later. Much like De La Soul, Tribe looked more to jazz as well as '70s rock for their sample base -- "Can I Kick It?" plundered Lou Reed's classic "Walk on the Wild Side" and made it viable in a hip-hop context. No matter how solid their debut was, second album The Low End Theory outdid all expectations and has held up as perhaps the best hip-hop LP of all time.

The Low End Theory had included several tracks with props to hip-hop friends, and A Tribe Called Quest cemented their support of the rap community with 1993's Midnight Marauders. The album cover and booklet insert included the faces of more than 50 rappers -- including obvious choices such as De La Soul and the Jungle Brothers -- as well as mild surprises like the Beastie Boys, Ice-T, and Heavy D. Though impossible to trump Low End's brilliance, the LP offered several classics (including Tribe's most infectious single to date, "Award Tour") and a harder sound than the first two albums. During the summer of 1994, A Tribe Called Quest toured as the obligatory rap act on the Lollapalooza Festival lineup, and spent a quiet 1995, marked only by several production jobs for Q-Tip. They returned in 1996 with their fourth LP, Beats, Rhymes and Life, which prominently featured Q-Tip's nephew Consequence and production from Jay Dee (aka J Dilla). The album was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Rap Album category and reached platinum status.

Before they released their next album, 1998's The Love Movement, the group announced it would be their final album and that they were splitting up. Each member pursued solo careers to varying degrees of success, but the call of the band proved strong enough that they reunited many times over the years. They headlined the Rock the Bells concert in 2004, toured heavily in 2006, featured on the Rock the Bells tours of 2008 and 2010, and played a series of shows in 2013, including some with Kanye West in N.Y.C. Though at the time Q-Tip stated that this was the last time the group would play together, they reunited again in November of 2015 to play The Tonight Show in conjunction with the 25th anniversary reissue of People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm. ~ John Bush
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Hits, Rarities & Remixes

1. Oh My God (Remix)

2. Award Tour

3. Can I Kick It?

4. One, Two, S**t (feat. Busta Rhymes)

5. Electric Relaxation

6. Mr. Incognito

7. I Left My Wallet In El Segundo

8. Check The Rhime

9. Lyrics To Go (Tumblin' Dice Remix)

10. Scenario

11. Same Ol' Thing

12. Buggin' Out

13. Bonita Applebum

14. Jazz (We've Got)

15. Glamour & Glitz

16. Clap Your Hands

17. The Night He Got Caught

18. Peace, Prosperity & Paper

x

Track List: The Love Movement

1. Start It Up

2. Find A Way

3. Da Booty

4. Steppin' It Up

5. Like It Like That

6. Common Ground (Get It Goin' On)

7. 4 Moms

8. His Name Is Mutty Ranks

9. Give Me

10. Pad & Pen

11. Busta's Lament

12. Hot 4 U

13. Against The World

14. The Love

15. Rock Rock Y'all

16. Scenerio (Remix)

17. Money Maker

18. Hot Sex

19. Oh My God (Remix)

20. Jazz (We've Got)

21. One Two S**t

x

Track List: Beats, Rhymes and Life

1. Phony Rappers

2. Get A Hold

3. Motivators

4. Jam

5. Crew

6. The Pressure

7. 1nce Again

8. Mind Power

9. The Hop

10. Keeping It Moving

11. Baby Phife's Return

12. Separate / Together

13. What Really Goes On

14. Word Play

15. Stressed Out

x

Track List: Midnight Marauders

1. Midnight Marauders Tour Guide

2. Steve Biko (Stir It Up)

3. Award Tour

4. 8 Million Stories

5. Sucka N**ga

6. Midnight

7. We Can Get Down

8. Electric Relaxation

9. Clap Your Hands

10. Oh My God

11. Keep It Rollin'

12. The Chase, Part II

13. Lyrics To Go

14. God Lives Through

x

Track List: The Low End Theory

1. Excursions

2. Buggin' Out

3. Rap Promoter

4. Butter

5. Verses From The Abstract

6. Showbusiness

7. Vibes And Stuff

8. The Infamous Date Rape

9. Check The Rhime

10. Everything Is Fair

11. Jazz (We've Got) (Re-Recording)

12. Skypager

13. What?

14. Scenario

x

Track List: People's Instinctive Travels And The Paths Of Rhythm

1. Push It Along

2. Luck Of Lucien

3. After Hours

4. Footprints

5. I Left My Wallet In El Segundo

6. Public Enemy

7. Bonita Applebum

8. Can I Kick It?

9. Youthful Expression

10. Rhythm (Devoted To The Art Of Moving Butts)

11. Mr. Muhammad

12. Ham 'n' Eggs

13. Go Ahead In The Rain

14. Description Of A Fool

x

Track List: People's Instinctive Travels And The Paths Of Rhythm (25th Anniversary Edition)

1. Push It Along

2. Luck Of Lucien

3. After Hours

4. Footprints

5. I Left My Wallet In El Segundo

6. Pubic Enemy

7. Bonita Applebum

8. Can I Kick It?

9. Youthful Expression

10. Rhythm (Devoted To The Art Of Moving Butts)

11. Mr. Muhammad

12. Ham 'N' Eggs

13. Go Ahead In The Rain

14. Description Of A Fool

15. Footprints (Feat. CeeLo Green) (Remix)

16. Bonita Applebum (Pharrell Williams Remix)

17. Can I Kick It? (J. Cole Remix)

Comments

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starreacher1 1 4 2 8
This music is timeless for real. I so miss these days.
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These brothers really did it right!!!
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Where's the love for Jarobi??
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Seriously, nooooooooooo o mention of Jarobi Whote? Get your facts straight.
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Bugging out
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Don't read this. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. Don't stop this is freaky! But if you read this and ignore it you will get bad luck. Put this on 15 songs in 143 minutes. When you are done press the space bar and your crushes name will appear in big letters on the screen. This is so creepy because it actually works
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Classic
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Badd
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The tribe is justice to hip hop
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Love these cats. Their music is timeless.
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The Waynes Brothers Intro hahaha. This NY Jam
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ivette758.lc
Head boppin, reminiscin on how old I was when I heard this trac. Good times! No doubt
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Fucken love tribe man i got alot of their cds man still missing a couple. Ima get em. Tribe 4 eva spreading love eva where
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Real hip hop
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This is head poping music lol rap from my generation the best
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Definitely the beginning of my love for hip hop
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maria_takkas
that's why
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maria_takkas
get f**k lol
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maria_takkas
nooooooooooo o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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Busta Nuts came from Tribe Called Quest remember that.
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Love it keep up the good work.
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zfqrbxy
Nice mellow vibe with lyrics that keep it all flowing perfectly. No one does it better and never will.
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neekmusic
Classic HipHop
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This song is just ONE of my jams by A Tribe Called Quest!!!!!!
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At 37 years young .. A Tribe fan
, truly, with a humble and non biased attitude toward Hiphop Music.. The Jazz track might be safely one of the most relevant Hiphop Songs ever .. It touches on a more of a timeless feel and even a non Hiphop fan would understand the subtle tone and delivery Tip brings.. As far as the drum and instruments used (pr) VERY ahead of its time and easy on the ears .. In 1991 songs did NOT sound like that .. Things still had a loosy goosy feel and jumpy house bass feel
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godzilla2828
been listening to these guys and De LA since the beginning and still not sick of them.
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That's hot we do it all for the love real brothers Eugene Guss west coast Cali forever
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Soul rap Eugene Guss Cali forever
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By far one of the most important and influential hip hop groups
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INFINITE CLASSIC!
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I love, love, love ! A tribe called quest I started listening to them 2 years ago and I have yet to find a rap or hip hop error that fits my personality I love phife dogg and q tip I look up to them and omg this station is heaven! I swear every song speaks my mind lmao I love a tribe called quest and I absolutely love this station!
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Vibin ✌
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Foot Prints was my jawn!!!!!!!! ! ! I agree no love for Jarobi?????
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dae8098
where's the love for Jarobi?!
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Say iPhone 5 times
Pick a color
Post this on 5 other songs
Look under your pillow
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Now why you wanna go & do that love huh? <3
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This CD/tape (remember those) was truly a classic. One of my favorite joints right here.
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This CD/tape (remember those) was truly a classic. One of my favorites joints right here.
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Represent, represent
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Check The Rhime...this is my jam. So much love for Tribe Called Quest
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Q is an amazing producer and rapper! So is Phife.
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Just butter! Classic Fantastic !
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Ultimate stress relief track
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Mike 409 CLASSIC
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Beats are soulful.
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Still luv tribe
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Religious music. Yessss! Simply timeless.
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J Cole used this beat. He uses it in his Forbidden fruit track. This song sounds the best with that beat.
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What a cold a** Dilla beat...!!!
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