Review of A Tribe Called Quest – We got it from Here…Thank You 4 Your Service


A Tribe Called Quest really made an impact in ’90s rap music. To wait 18 years between albums may leave some fans wary of what is to come, but We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service does not disappoint. On Nov. 13, 2015, the group performed on the same night as the Paris attacks. The group put aside their differences because of the attacks and decided to record the album in secrecy.

The death of Phife Dawg was also a huge setback because he was a pivotal member of the group. The group used previous recordings to finish up the parts they needed and continued to work on the album without him.

There is a nice mixture of old and new rappers throughout the album. Kendrick Lamar, Anderson Paak and Kanye West round out a group of newer rappers to feature with the group on the album. Busta Rhymes, who has previously featured with the group on tracks, comes back and is featured on multiple songs. Consequence also features on the album as well.

The features don’t just come from rappers on this album. Elton John and Jack White also lend their talents to the album. On “Solid Wall of Sound,” John lends his vocals in a mixture of both old and new. White also lends his vocals to the track, but his biggest contributions come through his guitar work. The live music adds a nice touch to the album and gives a different vibe from a traditional pre-recorded beat.

With “Mobius,” we get a ’90s vibe from the beat. Laid back drums and a simple piano line come together. Busta Rhymes adds to the ’90s style and brings his hard spitting lines to close out the song. “Melatonin” features some of the best guitar work from Jack White on the album. The sound is sleepy and psychedelic, but Q-Tip brings his fast paced raps in the track to balance it out.

“We the People….” is a great example of the group reaching out and rapping about current issues. Q-Tip raps about the current racial undertones in the United States when he says “All you Black folks, you must go/All you Mexicans, you must go/And all you poor folks, you must go/Muslims and gays, boy we hate your ways/So all you bad folk, you must go.”

We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service doesn’t just rest on the classic side of hip-hop that the group was known for in the ’90s. With the implementation of newer artists like Anderson Paak and Kendrick Lamar, the group reaches a demographic that they would not have originally reached. They bridge the gap between fans and the album brings together fans of old and new rap music. 18 years is a long gap between albums, but A Tribe Called Quest showed what the group has been working towards, and while the goodbye is bittersweet, it is a great curtain call and final album for the group.

Sean Lynch

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