18 years later, A Tribe Called Quest shows us that timing really is everything. To help us numb the pain of Donald Trump’s elected 45th president, ATCQ and guests momentarily sedate the world with their sixth and final studio album, We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service. The album, recorded prior to Phife Dawg’s death and released in its wake, continues to grace listeners with the same values they’ve instilled in us previously – Afrocentrism, political and social awareness, and of course powerful hip-hop narratives.
With contributing vocals from Busta Rhymes, Kendrick Lamar, Consequence, Talib Kweli, André 3000, Jack White, Elton John, Anderson Paak, and Kanye West, the founding members, Phife Dawg, Q-Tip, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, and returnee Jarobi White, have created a project worth replaying over and over.
Each member’s presence on the album meshes perfectly, with no one existence underused or overpowering. For example, Phife’s contribution is woven in so perfectly, that we hardly realize his limited presence. In his remembrance, Q-Tip and Jarobi White each take turns rapping on “Lost Somebody”.
Lyrically and musically, this album takes the cake. It poetically acknowledges gentrification, racial injustices, and of course it grants us with a FDT anthem – “We The People…”. This is one of those albums you can listen to from start to finish without tapping any buttons – well except repeat. Click the tracklist below to preview, buy and download the project.
All imma say is Yes. Yes. Yes. I didn't wanna do the privilege stuntin brag move. w/o spoiler alerting I'll just say 3 things: 1) I miss the group esthetic in hip hop especially in mc'n—like this ain't a "ok this my 16, then hook then your 16, then let's do his 16"—-nah this some Run DMC/Beastie Boys/Furious 5 collaborative tug-of-war-rhyming (just putting it out there: if #Andre3000 joined @ATCQ this would be the best most welcome move in music prolly since JG joined NE or maybe Edwards came to the Temptations) 2) the last time I was so pleasantly surprised at someone's hidden skill performance was when @djmaseo came out of nowhere kickin ass and takin names on #DeLaSoulIsDead—but man all I'm left wonderin was what if @jarobiwhite had barz on the OTHER tribe records! Which leads to my last point: 3) this is an excellent high note to end on but this is only telling me that the gas in #ATCQ'S tank is NOWHERE near empty. Like this album is it's own lane: it fulfills and itches so many scratches I've been jonzin for: tempos I love (95-100 bpms) the random scattered bomb squad production tactics of classic albums like #AmerikkkasMostWanted & #FearOfABlackPlanet (16 songs running through you like bullets at the speed of sound, a bowl of stew made by @chefludo and his zany chefs at @troismecla all in tune with each other knowing the RIGHT amount of spices to throw in)–I mean it's feels vintage in its musicality but is such a 2016 record. And it's timing could really really truly couldn't be like—better because it's topical. This is so needed right now. Come midnight tonight you will be HAPPY AS HELL. Matter of fact? (Forgot it's Thursday) tonight at #BowlTrain I'm spinning ALL TRIBE! why? I wanna hear #ThankYouForYourService on loud ass speakers! See y'all tonight after @talibkweli's @brooklynbowl concert. It's gonna be an amazing night of hip hop I'll tell you that much.
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