Tag Archives: A Tribe Called Quest

Favorite Albums of 2016 List

Back at it again with my favorite Hip Hop & R&B albums list.  Here are 15 projects that dropped in 2016 and remain in my current rotation.

Kendrick Lamar – untitled, unmastered

Unpolished and unapologetic, Kendrick Lamar‘s To Pimp a Butterfly scraps are auditory gems that continue to bring much-needed awareness to social injustice.

NxWorries – Yes Lawd

Anderson Paak and Knxwledge team up as NxWorries to deliver a highly enjoybale fusion of playboy persona with throwback Soul teeming with violins, horns and bass.

Kanye West The Life of Pablo

Hate him or love him, Kanye proves unpredictable yet again by taking elements of Gospel, House and Soul to create a first-rate album that integrates elements of the old Ye.

A Tribe Called Quest – We got it from here….Thank You 4 Your Service

Hip Hop legends reunite with vocals from the late Phife Dawg to create a modernized 90s masterpiece that now boasts the largest gap between No. 1 albums in Hip Hop history.

YG – Still Brazy

YG continues to represent his West Coast roots to the fullest with another project that showcases his vivid autobiographical storytelling skills along with G-Funk-inspired beats.

Childish Gambino – Awaken, My Love!

An ode to acts like Funkadelic and Bootsy Collins, Childish ditches rap for a titillating 1970s psychedelic experience dripping with Soul and nostalgia.

Frank Ocean – Blond
After a four year hiatus, Frank returns with heartfelt lyrics that meld perfectly with otherworldly instrumentation comprised of guitars, organs and piano.

Mac Miller – The Divine Feminine 

Jazzy and enlightened, Mac Miller displays evident maturation celebrating love over sensual R&B instrumentation that sounds light years ahead of his previous work.

Chance The Rapper – Coloring Book

Filled with glory and praise, Chance‘s Coloring Book is dedicated to uplifting listeners in the style of church and Gospel that Kanye touched on with TLOP.

Kid Cudi – Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’ 

Kid Cudi revisits his early intergalactic style rapping his innermost feelings during a tumultuous year and reminds peers who originated much of Hip Hop’s current melodic sound.

Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition

The dynamic and unmistakable Danny Brown fearlessly compiles a vast range of out of the box beats and unabashedly raps over them with animated ease.

Solange – A Seat at the Table

Solange steps out with a beautifully empowering and transparent outlook on femininity and black pride expressed through airy ballads and minimalist production.

Travis Scott – Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight

Travis returns with another nighttime soundtrack filled with trance-like chants that will be easily be embedded in the listener’s consciousness upon first listening.

Rihanna – Anti

With countless hits under her belt, Rihanna details love, causal relationships and break ups to makeups in a cool and sexy way only she knows how.

ScHoolboy Q – Blank Face  LP 

Ominous and honest, Q delves into his past life as a Hoover Crip with OG cameos like E-40 and The Dogg Pound while simultaneously continuing TDE‘s current reign.


Video: A Tribe Called Quest – “We The People”

A Tribe Called Quest releases the visual to their politically charged single “We The People,” which is bound to resonate with post-election America.  The video is a call to protest power, practice tolerance and includes a talking mural of late member of Phife Dawg, who was recently honored with a NY street corned named after him.  Watch the first Tribe video to drop since 1998’s “Find a Way” from their final album We Got It From Here…Thank You For Your Service below.

Album Stream: A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service​

Today, legendary Hip Hop group A Tribe Called Quest has finally delivered their final album, We Got It From Here…Thank You 4 Your Service.  After recording their first project since 1998’s The Love Movement, fans of the eccentric group can revel in vibrant production that pays homage to old school in a uniquely modernized way.

Late member Phife, who passed away earlier this year due to diabetes, recorded his last verses and frequently traveled for the project that Q-Tip believes may have ultimately cost him his health.  Recorded together at Tip’s house after the two ironed out their notoriously tumultuous relationship, the group reunited after rediscovering their chemistry during their Jimmy Fallon performance last year.  Recruiting current favorites Kendrick Lamar, Andre 3000, Anderson Paak and OGs Busta Rhymes and Elton John, Q-Tip observed he “hadn’t seen Phife that happy since (they) were kids” during its making.

Listen to the long-awaited masterpiece below via Spotify.



A Tribe Called Quest – “Bonita Applebum” (Remix by Pharrell Williams)

Groundbreaking Hip Hop group A Tribe Called Quest gets their classic “Bonita Applebum” remixed by superfan Pharrell Williams.  The smooth cut will be a bonus track on Tribe’s 20 year rerelease of People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm and will also feature J. Cole and CeeLo Green.  Look out for the album November 13.

Hip Hop News 2/11

Kanye West says he won’t attend the Grammys until they fix the voting system and plans on working with Taylor Swift. (Read More)

Also, his Yeezys x adidas will debut will be screened in theaters across the nation and eventually be available to everyone.

Azealia Banks will cover Playboy next month.  (Read More)


20 of the kids in Snoop Dogg‘s Youth Football League have committed to D1 colleges. (Read More)

A$AP Rocky says the initials of his new album title are “A.L.L.A.”  and says he wants to have sex with Madonna.  (Read More)


Kendrick Lamar‘s “The Blacker the Berry” gets annotated by Pulitzer-winning author Michael Chabon(Read More)

Unearthed Tupac letters reveal names of potential shooters at Quad Studios. (Read More)

Jungle Brothers say a Native Tongues reunion is dependent on A Tribe Called Quest. (Read More)


Random Hip Hop Facts Part 24

 Did you know?

240. Joey Bada$$ named Seattle and Santa Ana as two of his favorite places to tour. 1 


239. Jhene Aiko is cousins with Lil’ Fizz from B2K.

(0:11 mark)


238. A$AP Ferg’s dad designed the Bad Boy Records logo. 2 


237. Kid Cudi sampled “Going to Cleveland” by Mychael Danna (from the Antwone Fisher score) for his unreleased track “The Rain.” 3 


236. Vic Mensa used to be a big Backstreet Boys fan. 4 


235. Ab-Soul received his nickname “Black Lipped Bastard” as a child when he suffered from Steven Johnson syndrome and it affected his lip skin.  “I caught (it) when I was ten. I don’t have it still. I’m fine now,” he told Complex. 5  


234. Q-Tip and J Dilla had planned on doing a collaborative project called Buddy Lee. 

(1:10:48 mark)


233. Before gettting signed, Isaiah Rashad used to work at Hardee’s. 6


232. Bruno Mars wrote Cee-Lo’s “Fuck You.” 7 


231. Mos Def cites designer Paul Smith as one of his influences. 8   


1. [Joey Bada$$’ Twitter https://twitter.com/joeyBADASS_/status/438050362327826432]

2. [http://www.asapferg.com/about/]

3. [Track 12 http://www.allmusic.com/performance/going-to-cleveland-mq0000624093]

4.[Complex Magazine http://www.complex.com/music/2014/02/who-is-vic-mensa]

5. [Complex Magazine http://www.complex.com/music/2012/07/who-is-ab-soul/his-nickname-black-lipped-bastard]

6. [LA Weekly http://www.laweekly.com/westcoastsound/2014/02/12/last-year-isaiah-rashad-worked-at-hardees-now-hes-raps-next-big-thing]

7. [http://www.vulture.com/2010/08/guess_who_wrote_cee-los_awesom.html]

8. [Complex Magazine http://www.complex.com/style/2012/01/interview-a-conversation-on-style-with-yasiin-bey-the-artist-formerly-known-as-mos-def/page/2]

Album Stream & Download: Busta Rhymes and Q-Tip – The Abstract and the Dragon Mixtape

It’s the year 2013, and Busta Rhymes and Q-Tip have finally reunited to drop their highly anticipated  mixtape The Abstract and the Dragon.

Download and stream it here: http://pitchfork.com/news/53319-download-busta-rhymes-and-q-tips-the-abstract-and-the-dragon-mixtape/


Random Hip Hop Facts Part 15

Did you know?…

150. 2 Chainz wears sunglasses because of his light sensitive eyes. 1


149. Ab-Soul is the only member of Top Dawg Entertainment who took AP/Honors English.


148. Rick Ross owns a Wingstop in Miami, Memphis and East Memphis.  According to his Twitter, a Jackson, Tennessee location is on the way. 2


147. Tattoo artist Mr. Cartoon designed the Shady Records logo.

(1:53 mark)


146. Lil’ Kim once stabbed her father with a pair of scissors during a fight when she was teenager. 3


145.  Gunplay likes to go to Gamestop and has his own line of video game controllers debuting this year, called Prestige. “They’re gonna be top of the line controllers: ones that can break, ones made of glass, ones made of Swarovski crystals, ones made of wood. The possibilities are endless,” he elaborates. 4


144. Big Pun used to work as a cargo loader in the Bronx. 5


143. Wanz, the singer on Macklemore and Ryan Lewis  “Thrift Shop,” is a 51-year-old former software engineer. 6


142. Q-Tip and Phife Dawg met during childhood in church. 7


141. Eve lives in London.  “It’s so eclectic. It’s New York on steroids. There are so many cultures and sounds, and people and fashion. Chicks are so fly. I live in a neighborhood where there’s a lot of West Indian culture, so it’s nice. I have to always come back because my mother would kill me if I didn’t, but right now that’s where I’m at,” she says. 8



1. [Fader Magazine http://www.thefader.com/2012/06/14/2-chainz-second-life/]

2. [XXL Magazine http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2013/05/rick-ross-to-open-new-wingstop-in-tennessee/]

3. [http://www.biography.com/people/lil-kim-21254313]

4. [Fader Magazine http://www.thefader.com/2013/05/14/a-home-away-12-artists-favorite-places-to-let-loose/]

5. [http://www.bigpunforever.com/bio.html]

6. [Rolling Stone Magazine http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/macklemore-thrift-shop-hero-20130411]

7. [http://www.blacksheepmag.com/reviews/album-reviews/item/2705-beats-rhymes-life-the-travels-of-a-tribe-called-quest?tmpl=component&print=1]

8. [http://www.sohh.com/2012/07/eve_packs_bags_relocates_overseas_i_have.html]

Random Hip Hop Facts Part 4

Did you know?…
40.  Andre 3000 prefers kale over collard greens.  He shared the following recipe with Bon Apetit magazine: 1

andrekale_______________________________________________________________________________ 39.  Talib Kweli recalls first meeting Kanye West at a studio session that Mos Def was unable to attend at the last minute.  I said, “What songs did you do on Beanie Sigel’s album?” He told me “The Truth” and a couple of other songs, and I was like, “Man, those songs are the shit, can you play me some beats?” He played me “Good To You” and “Guerilla Monsoon Rap” and a couple of other beats in that session. I picked those two immediately, like, “Yo, this kid is incredible! Who is this guy?” 2 _______________________________________________________________________________ 38.  50 Cent got his name from Kelvin “50 Cent” Martin, a criminal infamous for  robbing rappers.  The original 50 Cent can be seen kneeling in the right bottom corner on the back of Eric B. and Rakim’s Paid in Full album below. 3 original50cent _______________________________________________________________________________ 37.  Jay-Z doesn’t cut his hair when he’s recording an album. 4  _______________________________________________ 36.  Actor Dustin Hoffman joined Dr. Dre and Eminem during “Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang” dressed as a mummy on stage in 1999. 5 _______________________________________________________________________________ 35.  The Roots, Nas, Destiny’s Child, Alicia Keys, De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest were all featured on the Men In Black soundtrack. mib_______________________________________________________________________________ 34.  Ice Cube was reluctant to play Doughboy in Boyz n the Hood.  Director John Singleton approached Ice Cube to play at various rap shows, and he eventually took the role.  Singleton also encouraged Ice Cube to write screenplays, and Friday came to fruition. 6 _______________________________________________________________________________ 33.  Nas originally delivered a nearly 60-bar run that he later broke up for the song “NY State of Mind.”  “He did the whole first verse in one take,” recalled DJ Premier, who produced the track. “He stopped and said, ‘Does that sound cool?’ And we were all like, ‘Oh, my God.’ ” 7 _______________________________________________________________________________ 32.  UGK‘s Ridin’ Dirty was greatly influenced by 2Pac’s All Eyez on Me. _______________________________________________________________________________ 31.  Though he is greatly associated with West Coast rap, Ice-T was born in Newark, New Jersey8 _______________________________________________________________________________ References: 1. [http://www.bonappetit.com/people/celebrities/article/we-ask-andre-3000-the-tough-questions-e-g-kale-or-collards] 2. [Complex Magazine http://www.complex.com/music/2012/06/talib-kweli-breaks-down-his-25-most-essential-songs/talib-kweli-guerilla-monsoon-rap] 3. [Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelvin_Martin] 4. [MTV http://newsroom.mtv.com/2009/06/08/jay-zs-grows-hair-for-art-mystery-women/] 5. [MTV http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1428638/eminem-dr-dre-joined-onstage-by-dustin-hoffman.jhtml] 6. [IMDB http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101507/trivia?item=tr0625682 ] 7. [Rolling Stone Magazine http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/the-50-greatest-hip-hop-songs-of-all-time-20121205/nas-n-y-state-of-mind-19691231] 8. [Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice-T]

Random Hip Hop Facts Pt 3

Did you know?…
30.  All of the skits on Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.D. city were inspired by real life events.  K Dot explains, “All of those were real scenarios. The fact that I took my mother’s car, that was real life. Being in a situation where you’re young and a teenager and you don’t really have respect for authority. You respect them as your mother and father, but sometimes when they lay some rules down, you break them. And that was one of those situations. Taking that car got me in a whole lot of different situations as a teen, that I tell in the stories. That’s what that concept really represents: abusing the authority of losing his Domino’s, losing his jewelry, anything else that he possessed that I felt like taking at the time.” 1
29.  Before he was famous, Kanye West was embarrassed to have a 36 inch TV in the living room of his New Jersey apartment. 2
28.  “Hands on the Wheel” by Schoolboy Q samples Lissie’s cover of  “Pursuit of Happiness” by Kid Cudi.

Schoolboy Q feat. A$AP Rocky – “Hands on the Wheel”
(0:01 mark)
Lissie – “Pursuit of Happiness”
(0:55 mark)
27.  The Dream wrote Rihanna’s “Umbrella” and Beyonce’s “Single Ladies. 3
26.  Beyonce made a cameo as Case’s main girl in his “Happily Ever After” video.
25.  Kid Cudi enjoys watching AMC’s The Walking Dead.4
24.  A Tribe Called Quest‘s “Scenario” was not featured in their documentary Beats, Rhymes and Life because of clearance issues. 5
23.  Lauryn Hill played Rita Watson in Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit.  Jennifer Love Hewitt also plays one of her classmates. 6
22.  Queen Latifah appeared on Fresh Prince twice.  Once as Hilary’s demanding boss, Marissa Redman and second as Will’s friend, Dee Dee. 7 8
21.  Before The Roots, the first popular rap group to use live instrumentation was Stetsasonic9
Stetsasonic – “Talkin’ All That Jazz”



1. [GQ Magazine http://www.gq.com/entertainment/tv/blogs/the-stream/2012/12/the-gqa-kendrick-lamar.html]

2. [MTV http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1703156/kanye-west-sway-first-tv-hottest-mcs-in-the-game.jhtml]

3. [Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The-Dream]

4. [Complex Magazine http://www.complex.com/music/2013/01/kid-cudi-february-march-2013-cover-story]

5. [http://origin.avclub.com/article/michael-rapaport-58864]

6. [IMDB http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0108147/fullcredits?ref_=tt_cl_sm#cast]

7. [IMDB http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0583075/]

8. [IMDB http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0583023/]

9. [http://www.answers.com/topic/stetsasonic]