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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 "Description of a Fool" single 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. Sadly, Tribe co-founder Phife -- suffering from diabetes for many years and the recipient of a liver transplant -- died in March of 2016 at the age of 45. Later that year, Q-Tip announced that the group had finished a new album. The night of their Tonight Show appearance, the original four members of the group decided to put aside their differences and start recording again. Sessions were held in Q-Tip's well-appointed home studio and the group welcomed guests like Busta Rhymes, Elton John, Kendrick Lamar, and André 3000 to contribute. Though Phife passed before the album was finished, Q-Tip was able to power through and complete it. We Got It from Here Thank You 4 Your Service was released in late 2016. ~ 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)

x

Track List: We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service (Explicit)

Disc 1

1. The Space Program

2. We The People....

3. Whateva Will Be

4. Solid Wall Of Sound

5. Dis Generation

6. Kids...

7. Melatonin

8. Enough!!

Disc 2

1. Mobius

2. Black Spasmodic

3. The Killing Season

4. Lost Somebody

5. Movin Backwards

6. Conrad Tokyo

7. Ego

8. The Donald

Comments

Report as inappropriate
mickiemaylev i n
Kiss hand 10 times post twice
Report as inappropriate
"word play" from Beats, Rhymes and Life .. Another joint that defines proper longevity - so glad they released a new project .. Extremely important for the younglin generation to absorb.. Willing !!
Report as inappropriate
R.I.P Phife Dawg, The Trini Gladiator, The Funky Diabetic, Donald Juice, and The Five-Foot Assassin
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Classic and one of the best of all time
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The best
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Classic
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Love the new album! Rip Phife!
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One of the best.......n u f f said.
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Did they run out of lyrics at the end?
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danww30
Still rocking!
Report as inappropriate
YES, this is good. SO glad Tribe still sounds authentic.
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kleger35
Make Hip-Hop Great Again.
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Word!
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Return of REAL Hip Hop!!
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Good to see atcq back rip phife
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The Tribe hit another one out of the park they still got it. RIP Phife Dog your presence is truly missed.
Report as inappropriate
Peace for that Russaly .. that's funny because I actually play "Jazz (We've Got) from Pete Rock and Tribe and that humble song calms me down on some real talk .. Thank Goodness we live on Earth during these times .. I'm grateful !
Report as inappropriate
I remember when I was 4 my mom always played this song like every night because it calmed me down....
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Love this group this is real hip hop R I P Phif Dawg
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100% unadulterate d hip hop
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RIP Phife
Report as inappropriate
The Tribe!!!! Yes yo .
Report as inappropriate
It took me a minute to really listen to the tribe, the rest is history. Dope!
Report as inappropriate
How you give a bio about the Tribe and not once mention Jarobi?...Do yo homework before you write about something.
Report as inappropriate
this song is from the Wayne bro intro so many memory's in this songs beats and lyrics
Report as inappropriate
abesantana7
Leaves me in Awe
Report as inappropriate
Yea where is the love should be played. Whole lot more it may bring peace to this world great song
Report as inappropriate
T C Q got 2 b1 of the best rap trio's ever!! nothing they make never sounds the same
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A classic turned into a hip hop classic!!!
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Rest in peace phife
Report as inappropriate
Hip hop's royalty trio. Real hip hop. '84-'04 hip hop best 20 years of music.
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Phife died march 22 2016, RIP
Report as inappropriate
Tribe shout out luv. We hear yall in ATL- GA
Report as inappropriate
stead340
Also had did Phife die
Report as inappropriate
stead340
But exactly when did Phife die please answer question follow me
Report as inappropriate
stead340
I love you Phife R.I.P
Report as inappropriate
stead340
I want everybody to put they hands up this music is great
Report as inappropriate
Don't read this. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of ur life. Tomorrow will be the best day of ur life. Now that you have started reading this don't this is so freaky. But if u read this and ignore it then you'll will have bad luck. Put this on 15 songs in 144 minutes. When u are done press space bar and your crushes name will appear in big letters on the screen this is so creepy it actually works.
Report as inappropriate
carlittonyc
Tribe call quest will never be the same without FIFE DAWG
Report as inappropriate
rucrock
ATCQ FOR LIFE........
Report as inappropriate
Didn't know Phife passed...Rip
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RIP Phife
Report as inappropriate
Now this is what you call "hip hop" !!!!!
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BEST GROUP EVER!!
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nettaree83
Atreb call Quote
Atreb call Quote
Atreb call Quote
Atreb call Quote
Report as inappropriate
Dam I miss the 90's that's when Hip-Hop was at is best.


R.I.P Phife
Report as inappropriate
Great beat on 'Can I kik It'. Always loved, but never understood the line about Nipper the doggy. I prefer to think it's some secret reference to Albany, NY :)
Report as inappropriate
Best group over all genres EVER! Regret never seeing them perform live...
Report as inappropriate
Tribe will live forever!
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R.I.P Phife you're missed
Show more

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