I remember being a teenager and getting into hip hop music. VH1 had a show where they listed the most influential hip hop songs, and of course I paid attention. A 15 year old craving all the knowledge possible when it came to this hip hop music. A Tribe Called Quest made an appearance with “Check the Rhime” from their A Low End Theory album. When I first heard this song it spoke to me. It made me want to get into their music even more and never regretted that decision. I spent hours searching them on You Tube. At that point I became obsessed, but could you blame me for getting hooked with a group who established themselves as one of the most influential hip hop groups of all- time.
Finally after 18 years the group releases a new album We Got It From Here…Thank You 4 Your Service and my heart is beyond content. I have many reasons as to why I’m happy when this album dropped. One the biggest reason is now a new generation of people will get the opportunity to discover hip hop music royalty. Another reason is the hip hop heads can reminisce on greatness and cherish a new album. The album drops when the country is going through a turbulent time politically. In their songs “We The People” and “Space Program,” they address the issues of oppression and injustices and evoking the message of coming together. A Tribe Called Quest didn’t lose their step and are still well respect. Often times artist try and use their previous fame and success as leverage to push an album. The group still has their essence, and continues to produce quality music.
The album is great and also pays tribute to their brother Phife Dawg who died in March. I can guarantee you that Phife Dawg is up in heaving creating beautiful music with J –Dilla right now. Songs like “Lost Somebody” and “Black Spasmodic,” Q-Tip pays his personal tribute and reassuring Phife Dawg how much he appreciates him and their bond. The song “We The People” video gets to me each time. In the music video they have a mural of Phife Dawg and have his verse playing along. The group recorded songs and started working on the album before Phife Dawg death. This album not only reminisces on the old memories, but continues to transcend and establish the fact this group is still as strong.
As time passes by the 90’s are becoming a distant past, but 90’s hip hop music still lives on. The influences it created for future hip hop musicians and it opened doors to careers. It can be difficult to listen to hip hop music from this decade because it doesn’t compare to the past. I understand that music constantly evolves and new trends are constant, but the focus of hip hop music shouldn’t change. I appreciate groups like A Tribe Called Quest because with their new album they were able to adapt to the music of today, but still bring back all the reasons why I fell in love with hip hop in the first place. I know music from that era will never be the same, but learning from the past can create a better future. Thank you Phife Dawg, Q- Tip, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Jarobi White for reminding that real hip hop music will never die.