A Tribe Called Quest’s Abbey Road
Written by Danny P Ocean on November 12, 2016
Once upon a time there was a group called The Beatles, you may have heard of them. They were 4 lads from Liverpool who happened to take to Rock music and change the world in the process. Well, they made a string of good albums in their heyday but the group dynamics began to crumble their statue and the band broke up. However, before they put their weeping guitars up they decided to make one last album for old times sake. That album was Abbey Road, and it was a return to form for the band that everyone loved. Well, the year is 2016 and the band is A Tribe Called Quest. This week Quest dropped perhaps what will be their Abbey Road and it is a nice way to bow out in front of the crowd.
The last time we received a new Quest album it was in the form of a disc called The Love Movement. And for all the red, black and green Tribe ladies, the album was not their best work. The collection of songs represented a group that was limping to the finish line. Not a way to go out from perhaps the one of the greatest hip-hop groups of all-time. But they dropped t, we listened and they faded into an El Segundo sunset. Fast forward 18 years and we now have We Got It from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service, a new Quest album!!
I will admit when I first heard about this album I was skeptical. I mean the last time we heard from the crew it was Love Movement. At that time it already seemed like whatever juice they had was pretty much all dried and crusted up. What more could they give us? Well, Moguls, I was wrong. This is a good album, bottom line. It isn’t the game stopping album of a Kendrick Lamar, but it is a Quest album in 2016. And that is all one could really ask for.
Now even with all the greatness that makes up We Got It From Here, I had to readjust my ears and expectations. Going into this album I was expecting an album from a group that dreamed about recreating Electric Relaxation or Jazz, and it left me disappointed. But I played it again and the album made since. It wasn’t throwback shout out to their glorious past, but it was a tribute to what the group has become after all of these years. It is a Tribe opus for today and that is a good thing.
One reason this album sounds so good and on point is because legend has it that if you wanted to be on the album you had to show up to the studio and craft your lyrics in front of everyone else, a true group concept. Imagine sitting in a room with other rappers and jotting down your thoughts on a sheet of paper and watching everyone else do the same, that is truly the Magic Hour. And at times throughout the album, the magic is clearly witnessed. The way Q-Tip and Phife trade, finish, and share rhymes on Dis Generation, and The Space Program is an example of what a true hip hop group should sound like. Nowadays with all of the 16 bars – hook – 16 bars – hook set up that has become rap music it is refreshing to hear MCs that are not afraid to be creative with how they create songs.
Another reason this album is special is the fact that Jarobi has bars to share with us, common folks!! Who the hell knew? Imagine if Jarobi would have stayed with the group? Also since the band got back together it was only natural to call up Consequence and Busta Rhymes, the extended Questers, to join the party. Mixing in these 5 MCs truly turns We Got It From Here into a gumbo that your favorite Nawlins chef couldn’t create.
All in all, this is the perfect way for A Tribe Called Quest to say goodbye not only to us but to the brother Phife. This is certainly A Tribe Called Quest’s Abbey Road. Great job Brothers, we needed this one.