“We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service” A Tribe Called Quest (2016)

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“We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service” A Tribe Called Quest (2016)

The Artist

A Tribe Called Quest is an American hip-hop group formed in 1985 and originally composed of MC and producer Q-Tip, the late MC Phife Dawg and DJ and producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad. A fourth member, MC Jarobi White, left the group in 1991 after the release of their debut album. He continued to contribute to the band sporadically before rejoining for their 2006 reunion. Along with De La Soul, the group was a central part of the Native Tongues and enjoyed the most commercial success out of all the groups to emerge from that collective.

Many of their songs, such as “Bonita Applebum”, “Can I Kick It?”, “I Left My Wallet in El Segundo”, “Scenario”, “Check the Rhime”, “Jazz (We’ve Got)”, “Award Tour” and “Electric Relaxation” are considered classics. The group released six albums between 1990 and 2016. The band broke up in 1998 after releasing their fifth album. In 2006, the group reunited and toured the United States, and in 2016, they released their sixth album.

Q-Tip (Kamaal Ibn John Fareed) and Phife Dawg (Malik Izaak Taylor) were childhood friends who grew up together in Queens, New York. Initially, Q-Tip performed as a solo artist under the name MC Love Child, occasionally teaming up with Ali Shaheed Muhammad as a rapper and DJ duo.

In August 2016, Epic Records CEO L.A. Reid revealed that the label would be releasing a new A Tribe Called Quest album in the near future. Said Reid on the album, a brand new album that they recorded before Phife Dawg passed away. I’m really happy about it man, it’s really something special. It’s one of the things I’m most excited about over everything we’re working on. The album, We Got It from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service was subsequently announced in October for a November 11 release.

Image Credit: Pitchfork


Can A Tribe Called Quest really come out with a good album over +10 years later? Hello. I’m back again with another music review. This album titled “We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service” by A Tribe Called Quest. First of all, these dudes came out with an album like 18 years later!? That insane to think about, I seriously applaud them. I’m not the biggest fan of the old school east coast rap scene. As a matter of fact, I don’t even like too much old school rap from the east coast. I’m not a big Biggie small or puff daddy fan. I grew up in LA, so west coast rap is much a preference than anything else. Even though I’m from LA, I still have an open mind when it comes to artist work and musical performances. I think all albums should be considered because you never know how much work or dedication was really put into something.

As I did more research on the band, I learn a bit about how intense every song and album is. The music they put out is in some way related to politics and current events. This album is old school ‘A Tribe Called Quest’ at it’s finest.Alright, let’s talk about “We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service”. A tribe called quest is mostly known for that really chill jazzy hip hop sound. I could easily listen to their albums and relax on any day.

The Good

The first track is definitely an intro to this hour long album. I instantly got that jazzy hip hop vibe from the start. After hearing the sick lyrics and classic beats, I already knew what I was in for. Talking about just the first track “Space Program”, I had got two interpretations of the track, but now I think I understand it. I feel that the track is really just hitting on the fact that there is no more room for minorities. This is not our country and it never will be. Looking by race, minorities in LA (because that’s all I really know about) is max it’s capacity. This track does hit me personally being someone with small/uncultured background because my bloodline is so dirty with other races; at this point, all I can do is consider myself a minority. So there isn’t a space program for me or others like me. We just have to make with what we have, where ever we go.

I don’t think this album sounded too much like 1990’s, I think this album fits in with 2017 culture. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still the same old school feel, they are not incorporating that trap sound into this album. They really did a good job incorporating today’s issues with their lyrical flow. “Gotta get it together for brothas, gotta get it sistas” are the main lyrics I take away from the intro. Alright, we gotta talk about ‘We the people…’. This track is so good, I wish it would have opened with this track, but I do know they went into a crazy planned strategy into the track list, so I won’t hate on them for that.

These beats are so good. The melody and the flow of each track is nothing less than superb. I know that the production had a lot of artists come and collaborate with them. They had Busta Rhymes, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Andre 3000, and Elton John, just to name a few.

The Bad

Political Rap is always deep and intense. This album is no different in my mind. I think hitting on recent political views, such as Donald Trump, shows that A Tribe Called Quest knows about the issues, how to deal with them is a different case all together. Diving too much into politics is sometimes a double-edged sword. I hate politics, and I don’t want anything to do with it. The more I hear about ‘The Donald’ the more I want to research it, and the more I realize that I can’t do anything about that stuff. I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks that way. In tracks like ‘Solid Wall of Sound’ I feel the message may be lost with different sounds. This being one track where the overall message gets lost. It’s a great song, just seems like the lyrics are shadowed by the sounds in the foreground sounds.

Last Words

Overall I really did like this album. I’m always glad to see an artist come out of retirement to show their evolution. I really believe that A Tribe Called Quest can make people aware of the situation we are in, as a people. It’s hard to pinpoint any negative details that didn’t deliver a great experience, but I did my best to exploit flaws I heard. I recommend this album to anyone who likes Hip hop, rap, or music with great lyrics. Listen to it right here on Spotify. Also, their new album can be purchased on Amazon.

Like or hate the review I did? Have a question, comment, or concern? Let me know in the comment below. Don’t forget to also check out other music reviews on The EXP Grind.

The Good

  • Sick jazzy hip hop beats
  • Talks about recent events
  • Heavy hitter artist collaborated on tracks

The Bad

  • Too political
  • Not much experimentation
  • Message sometimes gets lost in tracks

Written by: Christian Galvez

Christian is the founder of The EXP Grind. He is interested in Indie musicians, Video Games, Anime, and just about anything in Arts and Entertainment. He tries to find art with true meaning in the new and upcoming artists and hopes to reach more creative professionals.

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