The Low End Theory

The Low End Theory

A Tribe Called Quest’s second album honors the jazz aesthetic and pushes it into new frontiers. On “Verses from the Abstract,” Q-Tip freestyles as Ron Carter plucks a loping yet sturdy bass rhythm. “Check the Rhime” evokes a bebop sound, while “Jazz (We’ve Got)” cribs a Grant Green guitar melody. Q-Tip’s and Phife’s voices are remarkably different—the former sounds casual and thoughtful, the latter bracingly direct—yet they blend harmoniously. It all ends with "Scenario," a boisterous soundclash between Tribe and Leaders of the New School.

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