A rumour for 18 years, the sixth and final album from the prolific hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest has finally been released. It’s closure for the group as they remember the beloved Phife Dawg who sadly passed away earlier this year.
Forever forward-thinking when it comes to their production and lyrical flow, We got it from here… Thank You 4 Your service stays true to their style without feeling nostalgic. However, for the final album, they brought on board some of the finest talent that are gracing our stages today, from Kendrick Lamar and Anderson Paak. Not forgetting their close friends and long-time collaborators – ‘tribesmen’ – Busta Rhymes and Andre 3000. Recorded in Q-Tip’s home studio following their performance on Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show over a year ago – the album touches on current social and political issues.
Here at Nouveaux, we have picked our top, stand-out tracks from the two-disc, 16-track album.
Kids is a dark, rumbling track that touches back on the world that they grew up in as kids and being sold an ‘American dream’. Featuring André 3000, him and Q-Tip repeat throughout the track ‘kid, don’t you know how all this shit is fantasy?’
Featuring Jack White on guitar, Ego has an aggressive feel to it with the rumbling sound of the bass guitar. This track discusses the importance of the Ego and how it could go one of two ways ‘make you violent or govern like a tyrant’. Prevalent in society today with huge personalities using it to build careers on social media and in more recent affairs, it can be used to sway a nation to vote for you regardless of your personal views.
Dis generation, rules di nation. This infectious track talks about life as we know it today, from all the rappers that are killing the game at the moment to pop culture ‘Magic Mike on the mic’ and how the world has become totally obsessed with Uber and how most US states are waiting for the law to pass for legalising cannabis. It is a lighter touch on our world from ‘Kids’. The track includes the as-always fast paced verse from tribesman Busta Rhymes.
The Space Program
The opening track, ‘The Space Program’ shows how they have progressed with their sound, sampling Charlie & The Chocolate Factory and haunting laughs – this track pushes the boundaries whilst still sticking to their same groovy, old-school vibe. Q-Tip, Phife and Jarobi flow through the track, rapping how we’ve got to get together as we go through life part of this programme that the media has built for us.
The album would not have been completed without a touching tribute to Phife Dawg – their fallen tribesman. Opening with Q-Tip ‘Yeah, Phife –for your life’, the track pulls on your heartstrings as Cat sings in the chorus ‘have you ever loved somebody? Way before you got to dream? No more crying, he’s in sunshine’ with Phife’s name being echoed throughout. As Jarobi says, ‘never thought I would be ever writing this song’. The track stops abruptly, giving the listener and the group time to reflect before moving into ‘Movin Backwards’.