Legacy Track of the Week: A Tribe Called Quest ft Katia Cadet - Lost Somebody
“Walt met Cheryl, Cheryl met Walt, Trinidadian love sprouting through the asphalt, love was consummated and the angels registrated, two were to be born but only one of 'em made it, inside a cloud of sorrow, a silver lining and joy, it’s a bouncing baby boy, a king’s name they would employ, and before he even squeaks, it’s decided it’s Malik” In a tribute to their fallen comrade, Tip & Jarobi trade verses to say their proper goodbyes to Phife Dawg, who passed away this year at the age of 45 after a life long battle with diabetes. As described in Tip’s legendary verse above, Phife’s real name is Malik, and he was actually a twin to his brother Mikal who sadly died at birth. Nonetheless Phife grew to be a legendary MC that will be remembered forever for his style and creativity, and one who is undeniably deserving of such an honorable tribute.
The Roots ft Busta Rhymes, Joell Ortiz, & Nate Ruess - My Shot
“Mugshots, gun shots, dope shots, jump shot, take your pick, but you only get one shot, advice from a schoolteacher to a young tot, applyin' a sticker to his Spiderman lunchbox, when even role models tell us we're born to be felons, we're never gettin' into Harvard or Carnegie Mellon” Black Thought spits an excerpt of the verse originally heard at Harvard’s Innovation Lab a few months earlier, and for those gems alone this one is a must listen.
Joe - Lay You Down
“Shadows dancing on the walls, we’ll go from sweat to waterfalls, I’ll lay you down girl…” The toughest record off Joe’s latest album titled #MYNAMEISJOETHOMAS, smooth old school r&b not mad at this at all
Joe - Our Anthem
“Why can’t we all just… try a lil tenderness… when you see you’re brother suffering” On this promo record released earlier in the year, Joe remakes the Star Spangled Banner with Otis Redding’s “Try a Little Tenderness” record and it’s actually 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 the quality of this surprised me as it’s undeniable and in a perfect world this would be a hit record.
Ace Hood - Beast of the South
“Seven years in it bitch I been a menace the flow that they spitting the one I invented, who got a problem just holler I got 'em, my foot on the throttle with this I'm a chemist, this that Lil Wayne when he got out of prison, this is that shit make you switch your religion” Ace Hood actually demolishes this instrumental, and he seems focused since his split from DJ Khaled, and seems primed to deliver a career defining album in the near future.
Rick Ross - Kyrie
“Bitches screaming for me like Beyonce, work, jumping out the gym like it's Lebron James, this other type of money even make me nervous, I'm standing out the roof, jersey Kyrie Irving” Ross puts out your typical Ross record right on time for the NBA season.
A Tribe Called Quest - Space Program
“Imagine for one second all the people in poverty, no matter the skin tone, culture or time zone, think the ones who got it would even think to throw you a bone? moved you out your neighborhood, did they find you a home?” The intro off We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service sets the tone for what’s been proposed as Tribe’s last album, which is clearly politically and culturally conscious and has arrived right on time considering the current climate of our nation. On this record Q Tip trades verses with Jarobi and the recently deceased Phife Dawg (legend, may he rest in paradise), and they all speak on behalf of the disenfranchised with thoughtful lyrics and effortless delivery that serves as a reminder why these kids from Queens are Hip Hop royalty.
A Tribe Called Quest ft Consequence - Whateva Will Be
“I just wanna feel as liberated as lions in Liberia, cause recently my heart turned cold as Siberia, cause everywhere I go bein cold is the criteria, let's see how well you know all your Tribe trivia” This time affiliated member Consequence lends a verse along with the other members of Tribe, who all effectively rhyme about social issues with a level of awareness and lyricism that is often unfound in today’s genre of rap. There’s also a nice Que Sera sample that’s perhaps a symbol of underlying hope despite our present circumstances.
A Tribe Called Quest ft Elton John, Busta Rhymes, & Jack White - Solid Wall Of Sound
“Leave that to me, el-Hajj Malik, the man with a plan who made it real for us all, like Marauders on a mission when we killin' dance halls” Now this is legendary… the Q Tip production with the Elton John ‘Benny and the Jets’ sample is perfect, and it’s evident that all the artists worked together on this record, as it all blends together in a way that can’t be achieved through any method less organic. You can tell all the artists involved put their hearts and souls into these records, and with this track in particular their vision truly worked, (including the jamaican dancehall flow that continues to make it’s mark on hip hop one record at a time).
A Tribe Called Quest ft Busta Rhymes - Dis Generation
“Talk to Joey, Earl, Kendrick, and Cole, gatekeepers of flow, they are extensions of instinctual soul” In this record all four artists (Tip, Phife, Jarobi, & Busta) trade rhymes within the same verses and they perfectly complement one another, as is the case throughout the album, highlighting the fact that records sound better when artists actually work together (as opposed to sending verses through email) - nonetheless Tribe took a throwback approach while paying homage to some of the new artists that are carrying on tradition.
A Tribe Called Quest ft Andre 3000 - Kids…
“I don't wanna get up now, I don't wanna go to school, I don't wanna be the best, don't wanna follow rules, mom, I think you fuckin' lied to me, three stacks said all this shit is fantasy” On this record Andre 3000 and Q Tip trade the first two verses and collaborate on the third… and it goes without saying that Hip Hop is undeniably better for it… both artists deliver and this is a strong addition to both of their respective catalogues.
A Tribe Called Quest ft Marsha Ambrosius & Abbey Smith - Melatonin
“I said I rarely dream in color but (they don't know), and every brother ain't a brother but (they don't know), pop melatonin like they Swedish Fish (they don't know), to give her everything's my dying wish (they don't know)” This one is smooth, which from a rapping perspective is a Q Tip solo record and this is one of his best performances in years… honestly Q Tip legitimately FLEXED on this record and all throughout this album, while firmly reminding everyone that the Queens MC is not only a living legend but that his best work may not even be behind him. If anyone thought Tip was washed they were wrong, and if they need any proof tell em to play this record.
A Tribe Called Quest ft Anderson Paak - Movin Backwards
“I spun around without a care, when I stopped, I felt lost....” Tribe featuring Anderson Paak? Enough said… should be no surprise this record is fire as Paak continues to annihilate every instrumental touches and this one certainly isn’t any different.
A Tribe Called Quest ft Talib Kweli, Consequence, & Kanye West - The Killing Season
“It must be killing season, on the menu strangefruit, whose juices fill the progress of this here very nation, whose states has grown bitter through justice expiration, these fruitful trees are rooted in bloody soil and torment, things haven’t really changed” Jarobi is the only one from Tribe with a verse on this one, but Q Tip arguably has the record’s best performance with the stellar production, although Cons & Kweli both deliver with their guest verses and Kanye lends his voice to the hook as well.
Joe - Lean Into It
“Lean… Lean… Into It… give me all that you got now, and baby I’ll, I’ll give you all of em me…” Another smooth cut off #MYNAMEISJOETHOMAS
Joe - Celebrate You
“We can paint the town, if you’re with it we can all get down” An uptempo dance record you wouldn’t expect from Joe, this one is actually good for receptions and what not… idk what demographics will ultimately pick this up but it’s definitely enough to work with…