Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Tribe Called Quest


When I think of A Tribe Called Quest, one of the first words that come to mind is talented, and that's one thing this trio have always had. Q-Tip/The Abstract, Phife Dawg, & Ali Shaheed each played their roles well, and I can't thank them enough for their contributions to hip hop.


Well, we had to start somewhere, and this debut is as good as any debut I've ever heard. For some, it may not have aged very well, but when you check out my 5 favorite songs, they certainly will make sure this album stands the test of time.

Rating- 5 stars

5 favorite songs- Bonita Applebum, I Left My Wallet In El Segundo, Can I Kick It, Luck Of Lucien, & Push It Along


One of 1991's best albums, this album right here is my favorite from Tribe. It's like they took what worked on the first album and made their product even better. Incorporating jazz aspects was very creative for its time. And it STILL holds up today. Truly awesome.

Rating- 5 stars

5 favorite songs- Check The Rhime, Scenario, Buggin Out, Jazz (We've Got), & Show Business


Much like Public Enemy, Tribe knocked it out of the park three consecutive times with back to back 5 star albums, and they did NOT disappoint with this album from 93. I feel they incorporated elements from the 1st and 2nd albums and remained true to their sound (which is always a good thing). And again, it STILL holds up today.

Rating- 5 stars

5 favorite songs- Oh My God, Electric Relaxation, Award Tour, Steve Biko (Stir It Up), & Clap Your Hands


It had been 3 years since Tribe had released an album and I didn't hurt them too much I think. Hip hop was changing in 96, but most of what was being released was of true quality. Tribe's 4th album was good, but when you try to compare it to their first 3 albums, it's a disappointment overall.

Rating- 3 stars

5 favorite songs- Ince Again, Stressed Out, Get A Hold, Phony Rappers, & Wordplay


Believe it or not, I first heard (and bought) this album late last year, because honestly in 98, although I really liked "Find A Way" (and still like it to this day), I wasn't checking for this album. It wasn't due to their unfortunate break up, and I can't recall what my thinking was at the time. As you listen to this album, it was clear that they were essentially doing it as a contract obligation and they were SO uninspired. Not a good way to "go out" on.

Rating- 2.5 stars

I honestly don't have 5 favorite songs on this one, as "Find A Way" is the sole highlight here, along with the classic "Scenario (Remix)" added as a bonus.


Over the years, A Tribe Called Quest has certainly received their due from hip hop fans, and it's more than deserved. On the solo side, I only heard one Q-Tip solo ("The Renaissance"), and it was decent. I never checked out any Phife Dawg solo album(s), and Ali Shaheed still remained a respectable producer. Do I feel they have one more great album left in them? It's possible. If not, it's all good. They have left us with enough classic material to stand the test of time.

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