This US male rap outfit originally comprised Q-Tip (b. Jonathan Davis ―later changed to Kamaal Ibn John Fareed, in the mid-1990's, on conversion to Islam― 10 April 1970, New York, USA), DJ Ali Shaheed Muhammad (b. 11 August 1970, Brooklyn, New York City, USA), Jarobi and Phife Dawg (b. Malik Taylor, 20 November 1970, Brooklyn, New York City, USA; d. 22 March 2016, USA). They formed at school in Manhattan, New York, where they started out as part of the Native Tongues Posse, with Queen Latifah and the Jungle Brothers, and were given their name by Afrika Baby Bambaataa of the Jungle Brothers.
Following their August 1989 debut, "Description Of A Fool", they had a hit with "Bonita Applebum" a year later, which was apparently based on a real person from their school.
Their biggest success came the following year with the laid-back "Can I Kick It?", typical of their refined jazz/hip-hop cross-match. A UK Top 20 single, it was later used extensively in television advertisements. Q-Tip also appeared on Deee-Lite's August 1990 hit, "Groove Is In The Heart".
As members of the Native Tongues Posse they were promoters of the Afrocentricity movement, which set out to make US Africans aware of their heritage, a theme emphasized in the group's music.
While their debut, "People's Instinctive Travels And The Paths Of Rhythm", was more eclectic, and even self-consciously jokey, "The Low-End Theory" (recorded as a trio following the departure of Jarobi) saw them return to their roots with a more bracing, harder funk sound.
They were helped considerably by jazz bass player Ron Carter (who had worked with Miles Davis and John Coltrane), whose contribution rather dominated proceedings. Tracks such as "The Infamous Date Rape" stoked controversy, while samples from Lou Reed, Stevie Wonder and Earth, Wind & Fire were used in a frugal and intelligent manner. By "Midnight Marauders" there were allusions to the rise of gangsta rap, although they maintained the optimism predominant on their debut. Q-Tip appeared in the 1993 movie "Poetic Justice" opposite Janet Jackson, and helped to produce Tony! Toni! Toné! (whose Raphael Wiggins made an appearance on "Midnight Marauders"), Nas, Shyheim and labelmate Shaquille O'Neal.
They were rewarded with the Group Of The Year category at the inaugural Source Magazine Hip Hop Award Show in 1994, before being pulled off the stage by the arrival of 2Pac and his Thug Life crew, attempting to steal some publicity. Two years elapsed before "Beats, Rhymes And Life" debuted at number 1 on the Billboard album chart. Their lyrics on this album were highly evolved, addressing issues with greater philosophy than the crude banter of their past recordings. Q-Tip's conversion to the Islamic faith in the mid-1990's may have had some bearing on this style.
"The Love Movement", which debuted at US number 3 in October 1998, was another mature, stylish collection of material that lacked the spark of their earlier work. ATCQ released "We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service" on November 4, 2016, nearly 18 years after their last album. In the midst of record verses for the album as well as verses for his solo album, Phife Dawg passed away on March 22, 2016. During its first month of release, the album was greeted with both critical acclaim and fan support.
A Tribe Called Quest is a hip-hop group formed in Queens, New York City in 1985. The group was composed of Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, and DJ Ali Shaheed Muhammad. A fourth member, Jarobi White, was an intermittent collaborator appearing on their first album, but he left the group soon after, although he is mentioned as a 'sometimes' member on their third album liner notes. Along with De La Soul and Jungle Brothers, the group was a central part of the Native Tongues Posse, and enjoyed the most commercial success out of all the groups to emerge from that collective. Q-Tip and Phife had grown up together in Queens, and met Muhammad in high school. The group's name was coined by The Jungle Brothers, whose members attended the same school. Soon after, the group began performing live and recording on a local label. The group became a part of the Native Tongues family, a Hip-Hop artist collective also consisting of the groups Jungle Brothers, De La Soul and Black Sheep. At the time of their inception, A Tribe Called Quest was unique within the hip-hop community for eschewing gangsta rap and macho posturing. Their lyrics focused on abstract and social issues such as the word "nigger", date rape and consumerism. Musically, the group helped pioneer the jazz-rap style (along with groups such as Gang Starr and De La Soul). They made their studio debut in 1990 with People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm. Though this album was critically acclaimed and lead to a strong fan following, their next album, The Low End Theory (1991) was a massive artistic success, appearing on several best of the year lists. It is considered one of the most important hip-hop albums to date. The Low End Theory was followed by the equally strong Midnight Marauders (1993), while Beats, Rhymes and Life (1996) and The Love Movement (1998) did not meet with as much success. Following The Love Movement, the group disbanded in 1998. Q-Tip and Phife Dawg went on to pursue solo careers while Muhammad co-founded the R&B group Lucy Pearl. Recently, there have been rumors of a reunion between the trio, ignited by a spate of group concert apperances around the US, one of their recent appearances was at Bumbershoot, a three-day music festival in Seattle in 2006 and there has been little news of an upcoming album, leading some to believe that the rumors may be unfounded. Since then, the group have been touring on average every other year with the original four man lineup. Q-Tip stated that their last performances as a group took place during Kanye West's 2013 The Yeezus Tour. The group first went back into the studio in November 2015, following their first televised appearance in 18 years. On October 27, 2016, Q-Tip announced that the new A Tribe Called Quest album 'We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service, would be out on November 11. The album features Busta Rhymes, Consequence, André 3000, Jack White, Elton John, Talib Kweli, Anderson .Paak, Kendrick Lamar and Kanye West; all the recording sessions took place at Q-Tip's home studio in New Jersey. The official site is located at:
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