Friday, November 19, 2004

We rap ‘bout what we see

Quest That title is perfect because it’s what A Tribe Called Quest were all about. Their lyrics were witty BUT with a purpose; and they weren’t into that bullshit posturing “gangsta rap” and the feuding that went with it. They were Q-Tip (Jonathan Davis), DJ Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Jarobi and Phife Dog (Malik Taylor). Now That’s the only factual information I have for you I’m afraid. They’re no longer with us, but they were well, incredible then and even more now. “Midnight Marauders” is the best album that A Tribe Called Quest made. Fact! Err, now I have to explain myself..Their first three albums are classics of which there is no argument, but “Low End Theory” always ends up being their true masterpiece - It doesn't really matter of course, but for the sake of my psychobabble it’s going to. “Midnight Marauders” is genius! On this album they have that indelibly jazzy sound fully formed, the big time basslines, and the rhymes ("Lyrically I'm Mario Andretti on the momo") to compliment if not match this sound. It’s confident without being arrogant, and sounds more like a live set than a studio album.

If I’m going to be honest, I listen to this album more than anything than De La Soul and Pharcyde ever did - Not that I’m comparing these guys, they are afterall, completely different from one other, but it’s important to put it into context. It’s over ten years since it was released, and even though I wasn’t listening to it back then it still has that nostalgic sound that that you search for in records. I don’t have a favourite track, but I’ve decided to share We Can Get Down with you all. For me, the album, and this track in particular have aged really well. It’s slower, funky and has that Jazz meets old school hip-hop sound that was distinctive for them then, and even more so now. These guys are sorely missed.

You can buy the album from amazon people - Who else is disturbed by the lack of a website dedicated to these guys? I would have thought they'd at least have a site.


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