When the news of A Tribe Called Quest dropping their first album in 18 years surface, people went batsh*t crazy.
On September 24th of this year, The Low End Theory celebrated its 25th anniversary. Their last album prior to this work, The Love Movement, was released in September of 1998. With their jazz-influence, positive message and downright funky behavior, the kids from Queens established themselves as one of the most important and revolutionary hip-hop groups of all-time. This new record album arrives less than a year after the way-to-early passing of founding
This new record album arrives less than a year after the way-to-early passing of founding member, Phife Dawg, and assuredly it is an ode to his honorable life. Naturally, some of the last rhymes he ever wrote appear on this project. RIP to the legend, and thank you, Phife, for your service.
Now, rightfully so you’ll be seeing articles about A Tribe Called Quest’s new opus We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service on just about every single music publication there is today. Here at The Musies, without going through and dissecting every single track, we’re just going to give you some of our first-listen highlights.
Already on the intro, “The Space Program,” I’m stoked. Q-Tip begins by urging us to “get it together” and then begins his verse with “word to Phife” and I got the chills. The flow sounds like he never left.
The bass on “Whateva Will Be” is some of the funkiest I’ve heard all year. Maybe only second to the “Come Down” beat that Hi-Tek produced for Anderson .Paak‘s Malibu. Also, Phife kicks it off the with the bar, “So am I posed to be dead or doin’ life in prison?”. My dear, I could shed a tear.
The fourth track “Solid Wall of Sound” slows it down a little. This is my early favorite, and yes that is Elton John who provides the hook and outro. But in between Phife, Tip and Busta Rhymes go bar for bar, back and forth, and it’s divine.
I didn’t want to touch on every track and here I am on track 5, “Dis Generation,” and I’ve only skipped one, but your attention needs to be brought to a few bars from Q-Tip that made me lose my sh*t in excitement. “Talk to Joey, Earl, Kendrick, and Cole, gatekeepers of flow, They are extensions of instinctual soul/It’s the highest in commodity grade and you could get it today.” Yes, Lawd! Carry the torch young fellas!
Andre 3000 makes his appearance on the sixth track “Kids.”
After “Melatonin” and “Enough!!” slow it down and provoke your thoughts, Consequence and Busta Rhymes bring the head-bobbing back on the 9th track “Mobius.”
“Black Spasmodic” is another one that will get you moving. My favorite part about this was Phife’s reference to one of his classic bars from Tribe’s classic “Oh My God” referring to himself as the “Trini-gladiator” as he is of Trinidadian descent. Man, it just brings back memories.
“Lost Somebody” is a gorgeous ode from Tip and Jarobi to their late friend, Phife. This is a potential tear-jerker for dear fans or friends of Phife.
The next two are must-listens because they feature two of hip-hop’s leading artists right now, Anderson .Paak on “Movin Backwards” and Kendrick Lamar on “Conrad Tokyo.”
My final thoughts after the first listen, an incredible blast from the past. There is a lot more listening to do so I’m going to stop writing and get to it. I suggest you do the same. RIP PHIFE.