A Tribe Called Quest: Give Our Legends Their Flowers.

Members: Kamala Ibn John “Q-Tip” Fareed, Malik Izaak “Phife Dawg” Taylor, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Jarobi White.

Hip-Hop today could NEVER compared to the glory days of the 80s & 90s. One of those groups A Tribe Called Quest, is one of the most influential rap groups of all time. Director Michael Rapaport has compared them to The Rolling Stones, due to the fact that they’re a HUGE force in the world of hip-hop.

ATCQ had a strong love and appreciation for jazz, which made them a fan favorite for people who wasn’t even intrigued by hip-hop. That’s when you know a group is good.

During a time when hip hop production consisted of beats that heavily sampled James Brown, Parliament-Funkadelic classic records, ATCQ changed the face of hip-hop by bridging the gap of hip hop with jazz, bebop and hard bop samples incorporated into their music, while addressing social issues that Black people in their age group were experiencing firsthand & promoting positivity and fun!

A Tribe Called Quest deserves their flowers simply for being one of the most legendary groups. I present to you: A Tribe Called Quest.

The group has been sampled and interpolated by many artists. You’ll see what I mean. 😉

The 80s:

Albums Released: N/A

The group was named A Tribe Called Quest by the Jungle Brothers, & eventually became a hip hop collective with them, De La Soul, Queen Latifah & Monie Love Called Native Tongues.

One of their first collaborations were De La Soul’s Buddy (Q-Tip appears on the original version w/ jungle brothers, & Phife appears on the Native Tongues Decision remix with the group, Monie & Queen Latifah).

The 90s:

Albums Released: People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm, The Low End Theory, Midnight Marauders, Beats, Rhymes and Life, The Love Movement.

A Tribe Called Quest released their debut album “People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm” 30 years ago, and it is still an innovative and classic record. It’s noted and appreciated for expanding hip-hop’s vocabulary and its utilization of sampling and instrumentation in hip-hop.

While most hip-hop artists were trying to go the hardcore route, ATCQ just made poetic, articulate & laidback music that everyone can enjoy.

The group’s second album “The Low End Theory” is considered one of the great hip hop albums of all time (Jarobi White left the group during the sessions of this album but still stopped by sessions and provided the group with humor during the songwriting process).

The progressive sound, socially conscious lyrics of relationships, date rape, rap industry & consumerism made this album a success, & solidified them as legends years into their career.

Remember the Boomerang soundtrack? ATCQ were featured on it with the song Hot Sex.

One of my favorite ACTQ albums is 1993’s Midnight Marauders. It’s been said that this album changed the sound of East Coast hip hop & did. From the lyricism, how polished it was and a huge step up from their previous albums. It gave birth to the beginning of neo-Soul, along with The Low End Theory.

The following albums from the group “Beats, Rhymes and Life & The Love Movement were commercially successful records (with the former going platinum,) but did not have the momentum that their previous albums had. It’s not to say that the albums aren’t good. You get production from their new production team “The Ummah” and they gave us quality lyricism that we have grown to expect from them.

The Love Movement was a concept album with the lyrical theme of love. The album was released after the announcement of the group disbanding. I love this album because of the production. Jay Dilla, RIP!

Q-Tip went on to have a successful solo career. While with the group, he had success being featured on songs with Deee-Lite, Janet Jackson & Missy Elliott, but it was his 1999 Grammy nominated “Vibrant Thing” & the hit single “Get Involved” with Raphael Saadiq, that solidified his own success as a rapper/producer.

The 00s:

Albums Released: N/A

Phife Dawg also released his only studio album “Ventilation: Da LP” September 26, 2000! His new sound on this record and lyricism was still unmatched.

In 2006, the group reunited as a touring band!

The 10s:

Albums Released: We Got It from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service.

The group recorded their final album We Got It from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service was recorded in secrecy for a year…& is one of their best! Phife passed away from diabetes complications in March of 2016. A commercial success, “We Got It From Here” debuted at number one and has been certified gold by the RIAA. Lyrically, it was phenomenal. 😭🙌🏾🙌🏾

A Tribe Called Quest will go down as one of the most articulate, intelligent and socially conscious groups of all time. We have them to thank for neo-Soul to be honest! My heroes. 💪🏾

Rest in Paradise Malik Izaak “Phife Dawg” Taylor. Your presence in hip-hop is missed and will never be forgotten. -MJ