A Tribe Called Quest released their first album in 18 years last month entitled “We Got It From Here, Thank You For Your Service”. The sixth and final album has been reviewed quite well and truthfully it’s because Tribe hasn’t lost a step in their hiatus.
In fairness, I haven’t listened to much of the groups work from the 90’s and that’s mostly because I wasn’t alive for the vast majority of it; however, from the limited songs I have heard, the group has remained true to their roots in this new album.
Obviously, much of the hip hop community has changed. Many new faces have emerged into the culture and have been aptly featured. The song “Conrad Tokyo” features a verse from Kendrick Lamar whose signature lyrical style is easily distinguishable. It adds to the already diverse group of voices that Tribe has to offer.
In addition, Tribe featured Jack White in “Conrad Tokyo” and Elton John in “Solid Wall of Sound”. The diversity of the featured artists really adds to this album as these musicians really are the masters of their crafts.
Unfortunately Tribe’s rapper Phife Dawg passed away due to complications involving diabetes at the age of 45 just a few weeks before the album’s release. The title of the album is an homage to Phife; according to fellow Tribe member Q-Tip, “We’re just going with it because he liked it.”
The album is comprised of sixteen tracks making the diversity of sound speak for itself. It is a Tribe album through and through, with catchy rhythms and hooks, creative samples from obscure tracks, and of course a myriad of political ideals and odes to real issues in the United States.
Overall the album is a great release that has broken up the monotony of low end heavy songs that contain very few lyrics. Not that those mainstream bass tones that are popular these days don’t get everyone dancing, but the nature of Tribe’s music really has changed the hip hop repertoire for 2016, and it has been a beautiful thing.