Four Guys (Left to Right) Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Q-Tip, Phife Dawg and Jarobi wore hip Afrocentric clothes and rhymed to jazz infused beats, formed a phenomenal hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest in 1985. QUEST was the original name of the group but was later given the prefix A Tribe Called by their high school friends.
ATCQ formed a crew with House music group Jungle Brothers and hip-hop group De La Soul, called The Native Tongues. Because of their live energy during performances, they created a buzz in the city of Brooklyn, New York which led them to get signed with Jive Records in 1989. This began the journey of a rap group prodigy for the 1990’s decade.
A Tribe Called Quest made it popular to talk about social issues that could be related to young African Americans such as sex, politics, relationships, stealing your parents car to joy ride and also the use of the N word. while still having fun encouraging positivity through it all. Unlike other hip-hop groups at the time ATCQ was in their own lane. They greeted jazz with bass-heavy rhythmic vibes and eclectic sampling. They have several memorable songs including Bonita Applebum, Can I Kick It and (above) I Left my Wallet in El Segundo. When you listen to ATCQ music what message do you get from the song? How does the beat make you feel?
At this current time, A Tribe Called Quest is still performing at some events, making appearances with their old school friend’s on stage (Busta Rhymes, De La Soul) and new school artist as well. On November 13, 2015 they released a special 25th anniversary edition collection of the group’s classic debut album People’s Instinctive Travels And The Paths of Rhythm.
The album is a cool artsy looking trunk filled with remastered original tapes re-released with exclusive new remixes by a few of today’s biggest hip-hop artists who have credited A Tribe Called Quest as a major creative influence. Unfortunately it has sold out everywhere at this point so you may have to borrow a friends. Until then they are on social media so follow them below. It’s the Tribe Yall! Real Live Yall!