“I’m a Nubian yall…look what we did” -Q Tip
I catch a chill every time I hear this..What’s even crazier is that I HATED this song when I first heard it in 88′ (after so many years..it grew on me). Its stripped down, very minimal and warm.
This entire album got me through a lot I was dealing with at that time for a young age -street politics, family, puberty..just trying to figure s–t out!
This album was a fine medium of street, earthy and funk. I already had the heads up from The Jungle Bros “The Promo” and thought to myself “who is this dude with the soft spoken flow but is killing it!?” (Q-Tip). At the time, Hip Hop was going through a major transition of a less bravado tone. Icons such as Run DMC and LL COOL J at this point were struggling to stay afloat with the gold chain flow while a new generation was embracing medallions and chew sticks. Ironically, groups like NWA, EPMD, Kool G Rap and Polo, Schooly D, Ice T, Too Short etc were going strong with a new style called “Gangster Rap”…lol..I laugh because NOBODY in my hood or nearby ever used that term..we simply thought the s–t was dope and called it HARDCORE! The press created that whole “Gangster Rap” box (I want to say it was around the “Tipper Gore” era that I started hearing the mumbling about this “new sensation”).
What made A Tribe Called Quest so powerful is that they were re-defining and crushing the mundane images of the hyperactive, pro alpha African American male images -they were a healthy balance of intellect, street, spiritual and fun (along with the entire Native Tongue movement and like minds of that period). This album was a breath of fresh air for many of those who did not subscribe to being a prey to “keeping it real”, but rather elevate our pain and joy towards a more creative outlet. This album effected my life in so many ways…(stay tuned im going to speak more on this great group and album..)