A Tribe Called Quest waited nearly 20 years before they were ready to reunite as a group, simultaneously saying “hello” and “goodbye” to their fans. By now, the story of their break-up and the long, winding journey they underwent in order to end up back together has been well documented. What matters most right now is they were able to get back on one accord to create We Got It From Here…Thank You For Your Service, an album fans and the music world as a whole needed as much as the group themselves.
No matter who won last week’s presidential election, we are all readying ourselves for a post-Obama America. Over the past eight years, our nation has experienced so many great strides meant to bring us closer together. But, recent times — numerous incidents involving police brutality, the divisive nature of the presidential campaign, the many acts of public protests and more — serve as a reminder America’s undergoing a change of course in a darker direction. And with everyone on high alert wondering what’s next in a Trump world, Tribe provides an album full of observations on where we stand in society.
It all begins at the outset with “Space Program,” a track where the tough realities minorities — specifically the African-American community — face. The hook lays out the idea that there’s no safe place for black people, not even in outer space, but he song is no cry for help — it’s a call to action. “Gotta get it together for sisters, For mothers and fathers and dead n****s,” Q-Tip and Phife rhyme in unison for the hook. The intro song sets the tone for the whole project: We’ve come a long way but we’ve got so much more to go. Throughout We’ve Got It From Here, each MC spends a considerable amount of time taking stock of these issues and speaking hard truths: “Why y’all cool with the f*ckery/ Trump and the ‘SNL’ hilarity / Troublesome times, kid, no times for comedy,” the late Phife Dawg rhymes on “Conrad Tokyo.”