A Tribe Called Quest
A Tribe Called Quest

A Tribe Called Quest

About A Tribe Called Quest

With their lush production, inventive rhymes and quirky personalities, A Tribe Called Quest rewrote the rules for hip-hop with their legendary run in the 1990s—and created a template that artists have followed decades later. Queens-bred childhood friends Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Jarobi White formed the group in the late '80s, and later teamed up with Afrocentric acts like Queen Latifah, Jungle Brothers and De La Soul to create the Native Tongues collective. A Tribe Called Quest crafted diasporic music that warmly connected different generations of Blackness by merging jazz, soul and funk samples—from artists like Grover Washington Jr., Stevie Wonder and Sly & The Family Stone—and righteous rhymes that depicted contemporary life with playful sophistication. Songs like "Bonita Applebum", "Check the Rhime" and "Scenario" challenged the hypermasculinity of gangsta rap, produced with live instruments, and groomed electric lyrical chemistry. Albums The Low End Theory and Midnight Marauders paved a new lane for alternative rap, with musicians like Kanye West, Pharrell and The Roots citing the group's influence to draw outside of hip-hop's pre-established lines. Tribe enlisted Detroit rap luminary J Dilla for their next two projects before disbanding in 1998 to focus on solo endeavours. But nearly 20 years later, Phife Dawg died, reuniting the remaining members for another LP, We got it from Here... Thank You 4 Your service. The timely comeback was crafted amid the budding Black Lives Matter movement and released the week Donald Trump was elected U.S. president in 2016, addressing xenophobia and personal loss while seizing the joy they had left—a fitting eulogy for their multidimensional legacy.

  • ORIGIN
    New York, NY [Queens]
  • FORMED
    1988

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