What’s there left to say about A Tribe Called Quest that hasn’t already been said? The Queens, N.Y., crew gave listeners everything: jazz in Hip-Hop, an alternative to the popular west coast gangster rap of the time, and more tips on how to navigate the music business than an NYU undergraduate course. Suffice to say, Tribe’s legendary.
But it’s understandable if the young folk aren’t up on their Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Jarobi, and DJ Ali Shaheed. The group hasn’t released an official album since 1998–before many new Hip-Hop heads were born, probably–and Tribe’s leader, Q-Tip, is now known almost exclusively as a solo artist who sometimes works with Kanye West. So this Primer’s for the kids, the ones who want to dig into the crew who helped make Hip-Hop, more than anything else, fun.
As always, this isn’t a list on Tribe’s ten best songs–just the cuts TSS feels every ATCQ newb should dig first.