One Last Ride for Phife Dawg and The Tribe
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A Tribe Called Quest has graced us with one final album in a period in which rap has completely changed, taking us back to a period when hip hop was a simpler art. The album, “We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service” was released Nov. 11 and is said to be the group’s’ final collaborative album.
Their album title is a shot at the entire rap game, saying that they have decided to resurface in order to reclaim their rightful throne as hip hop juggernauts.
I was introduced to this group by my father and immediately recognized their genius. Famous songs such as “Bonita Applebum” and “Electric Relaxation” pushed them to international fame. Even modern hip hop fans are probably familiar with at least one of these influential songs.
The extensive discography of A Tribe Called Quest makes it hard to believe they could produce another great album, but they successfully did by incorporating a ’90s-style production, smooth beats and relatable lyrics that resonated throughout the entire album.
They accomplish a hip hop/jazz blend to perfection, layering rhythmic lyrics over a smooth instrumental. Their style lured a multitude of artists to be a part of this paramount final production of A Tribe Called Quest.
Artists like Busta Rhymes, Andre 3000, Kendrick Lamar and Kanye West are all included, which is one of the reasons I was attracted to this album. This collaboration of artists shows the range of styles encompassed by the work.
Busta Rhymes, one of my favorite artists, made an appearance on “Solid Wall of Sound.” The song contrasted a jazz-style beat and an Elton John sample with the raspy and textured voice of Rhymes. Combined with the rest of the Quest members, the song creates a sound that blends two styles together perfectly.
Andre 3000 features on “Kids…,” my favorite song on the album. This song exemplifies the level of production expertise the entire group possesses. After years of being in the music industry, they have perfected the combination of vocals and instruments to elevate each individual characteristic.
Thank you, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Q-Tip, Jarobi White and the late Phife Dawg for your multiple contributions to the genre of hip hop. Your style set the tone for the combination of jazz and hip hop to create a stylistically unheard sound. Your music will forever resonate and your individual style will be forever missed. Much love, thank you again.