It's coming down hard out there, and we've got to get our shit together. We've gotta get it together, come on lets make something happen. Our beautiful country is in an interesting point in it's history and this could be a huge turning point in time that either moves us forward as a whole, or it could divide us more than we have ever been. We can all do our part in any way that we can, and we are lucky to have Hip-Hop here to save us when we need it most. In remembrance of the late great Phife Dawg, known as Malik Izaak Taylor, this collective was able to create the most socially, politically, and emotionally relevant album that represents the current state of our country.
A Tribe Called Quest
We Got it From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service
November 11, 2016
Unfortunately for me, I never listened to ATCQ religiously throughout my life. I probably would have learned a lot about not only their lives, but everything I needed to know about what is going on in the world outside what the media wants us to see and hear. I knew they were one of the greatest hip-hop collectives to ever be formed and that they paved the way for many artists of yesterday and today, but with this album they proved they can still pave the way for the future. Their last album "The Love Movement" was released in 1998, and it was said for a long time that it was the end for them, until they recorded this album in secrecy. That underground sound can be felt in sequence as each song passes, as they were able to encapsulate the music they created in the past while fusing it with lyrics that are so true to our culture.
They were able to record more than half of the songs while Phife Dawg was still alive and well, and his influence and love for music can be heard through his production and lyrics. Joining them on the album as well were some greats in their own right with Busta Rhymes, Andre 3000, Consequence, Elton John, Talib Kweli, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, and Anderson .Paak. The album is split up into two "Sides," giving it that feel of a vinyl record of the past. (FYi you can still buy vinyl records)
Every single song brings a different and important message that can only be fully understood through listening at high volume and an in tune mind, or as the kids say "Woke." On Side A, there is heavy influences of peace and love that spread from your ears to your heart and soul. Q-Tip went above and beyond, and took it upon himself to represent an entire group of people that want to make the world a better place. He takes on the role of American citizens who have expressed hate in their heart, not only in the past, but now more than ever.
All you Black folks, you must go
All you Mexicans, you must go
All you poor folks, you must go
Muslims and gays, boy we hate ya ways
Said all you bad folks, you must go
That sounds like something out of a twisted and sadistic poetry journal from the 1930's, but the sad thing is that those words represent the feelings of about half of our country right now. Now Side B is more about taking action, and using a more aggressive approach towards moving our country forward. Phife Dawg did his part while he was here to share with us a little bit of his feelings towards what is going on in our country. Even in death, his words from "Conrad Tokyo" are still going strong.
Rather watch the Nixon shit than politicians politic
CNN and all this shit, gwaan yo, move with the fuckery
Trump and the SNL hilarity
Troublesome times kid, no times for comedy
Blood clot, you doing, bullshit you spewing
As if this country ain't already ruined
This album didn't go number one on any charts, it wasn't up for any awards, it probably wasn't even heavily talked about on your Twitter feed. But that is what made this album so incredible. The fact that it was formed in secrecy just before the death of Phife Dawg makes it all the more unbelievably powerful. Their message to the world was displayed when they performed at the Grammys, a message so powerful that even the leader of the free world could hear them.
Just a man trying to make the most of his time on this planet.