Its been a horrific 2016 for Hollywood and the entertainment business. So many legendary icons passed throughout the year that its been almost hard to keep count. In highlighting with Black Icons alone. 2016 haven takened away Muhammad Ali, Prince, Dr Wells Lansing, Dr Sebi, Afeni Shakur, Kimbo Slice,and A Tribe Called Quest member Phife Dawg. That’s just off the head! The death of Phife Dawg was a severe blow to the hip hop community and mainly the group itself. Phife played a heavy piece to the group’s energy, concepts, and delivery. The self-proclaimed “Five foot” Assassin’s microphone presence could never be recaptured and hopes of a reunion album seemingly to be out of the picture.But during the fourth quarter of 2016, Long time fans were left with a surprise.
Comedian Dave Chapelle appeared out of exile and appeared on National TV for the first time in almost 10 years. He hosted Saturday Night Live and introduced the Tribe as the nights musical act to promote their album and new single We the People which is vintage Tribe:
This project was originally in the works since 2015 and was slated for a release the following year. But due to the unfortunate passing of Phife, This would end up being the group’s final album and it was the appropriate send off: No forced trap beats, no hot at the moment rappers, no heavy catering to the radio audience or thot anthems.
Qtip wanted to take the direction back to the essence with the sounds that made folks fall in love with the group. Longtime friend and collaborator Busta Rhymes appears on a few tracks and he proved why he deserves legendary accolades in the game. They bring that Native Tongues 90s flow back on Dis Generation, the reggae type vibe to Solid Wall Sound, and Mobius which captured the heavy essence of the mid 90s with Consequence’s Prodigy inspired flow.
Despite appearances from Kendrick Lamar, Andre 3000, Talib Kweli, and Anderson Pakk. The focus still was heavy on Tip and Phife to carry the load and to see if they still had any juice left. This album proved that they never lost a beat and still go together like Peanut Butter and Jelly. Even though they haven’t been in a studio together since 1998, Songs such as Black Spasmodic, Conrad Tokyo, The Donald, and Kids prove that both Phife and Tip haven’t lost a step.
Overall there isn’t no complaints of this album. There are some songs that could have mixed Phife’s vocals but those complaints are minor because this was the perfect send off. Thank You Qtip, Mc Jarobi, Consequence, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, and R.I.P. to Phife Dawg. We appreciate everything you guys contributed to the culture. Fans of hip hop should BUY and support this album.
Vic Rating: 10 outta 10