Tag Archives: a tribe called quest

A Tribe Called Quest Tribute feat. Sadat X, Charlie Brown, Dinco D, Dres, Buckshot

Buckshot, Sadat X, Charlie Brown, Dinco D and Dres got together with Revive Da Live Big Band to pay tribute to A Tribe Called Quest at Harlem Stage in New York. They performed some of Tribe’s classic cuts.
By the looks of things, it’s been a long time. Who ever thought Charlie Brown would be anything besides a beanpole? He could paraphrase Q-Tip’s line on Bonita Applebum: “I gained 20 pounds, 6 inches wider…”

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Mix Down: Black History Month Mix in March

Well, well well time for another mix of the week. Something pleasing for your  listening pleasure.  This was supposed to be the Black History month Mix.  Ooops, about that.. didn’t post it in time.. but since Black History is 365 why should we change the name.  Yes it IS Women’s History Month but the mix wasn’t all that feministic (I don’t think that’s a word) BUT it does feature a whole lotta black artist, ANYway check it out.


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1. Buggin Out – A Tribe Called Quest
2. Electric Relaxation – A Tribe Called Quest
3. Ms. Jackson – INSTR
4. Etenalist – Reflection Eternal
5. The Corner – INSTR
6. Gazzilion Ear – MF Doom
7. I’m A Huslter – INSTR
8. Run It – Boogie Boys
9. Fly Girl – Boogie Boys
10. Pisol Grip Pump – INSTR

12. Step It Up – Akrobatic
13. Mother Funkin Groove – INSTR
14. Pipe Dream – 5 Ela
15. Beat F – INSTR
16. I’m Too Much – Chubb Rock
17. Just The Two Of Us – Chubb Rock
18. Tight Rope – Brother Ali
19. Top Billin – INSTR
20. The Formula – D.O.C.

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Audio Session: Evitan – PTI (Occupy Wall St.) – single

Dres of Black Sheep and Jarobi from Tribe Form A Group

(from Evitan’s people)
In 2010, Dres reemerged, releasing From The Black Pool Of Genius, and now the Black Sheep emcee is joining forces with Jarobi, one-fourth of the founding core behind fellow Native Tongues group A Tribe Called Quest. The duo will release a currently untitled album under the moniker EVITAN (NATIVE, spelled backwards) in early 2012, and the first single from that album is “P.T.I. (Occupy Wall Street),” a song that touches not only the specific happenings of the Occupy movement, but also on the broader feelings of anger, uncertainty, and a desire to mobilize felt by young and old people across the country.

“The 99% need to have not just a voice, but voices,” says Dres on what inspired he and Jarobi to write the song. “We need to have more voices that speak to our plight beyond what is given to us via the media.” And despite the logistical difficulties, Dres and Jarobi were adamant about shooting the video amongst the OWS protesters, noting that they “couldn’t be soldiers and not see the front line.”


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Audio Session: They Say (REMIX) ft. Phife Dawg & T3

We just (FINALLY) saw the Tribe Called Quest documentary “Beats, Rhymes and Life”.  We’re tryin to get K-Rocka to buy (and not the bootleg) of the movie so we can discuss it on Grownhead Convo.  As you know Big Pooh is formally of the group Little Brother another crew that got lots of dap before they disbanded.  When I saw this remix featuring another storied percieved number 2 guy, Phife Dawg, I had to check it out.  Big Pooh’s newest CD Dirty Pretty Things is in stores now.


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The Hip Hop Purist: The Devil and Ms. Monae

“The dichotomy in me knew something was fishy.” – Saafir
I recently went to a Tribe Called Quest show in Atlanta. It was wonderful.
They performed all of their popular songs and then some. Jarobi even came on stage. Of course, Jarobi was supposed to be there. But someone else was not.
At the end of their set, Q-Tip announced the foreigner. I became a xenophobe, hoping for a Trouble T-Roy moment when Puffy grabbed the mic and said “Wassup, New York”. Boos were automatic. So were obscene finger gestures. I even participated in the fun, myself.
Puff, as hip hop’s Antichrist, has more than one reason to be hated (besides cheesecake delivery). He is the sole reason I check for the 7 Daggers of Megiddo on ebay. But this ain’t about him. It’s about his motives.
I recently had the pleasure of listening to ArchAndroid for the first time. This album snuck up on me completely accidentally. I heard good things about it so I decided to give it a listen via illegal download.
I bought Badu’s first album when it came out based on the strength of her first single. She was sneaking 5%-er mythology into mainstreamer-isms. I thought that this might be the thing that would change the R&B genre into something listenable. I bought the album and noticed it was replete with love songs and immediately gave it away. Lauryn Hill did something similar to me. I really want a female MC to be in my top 10 list. Medusa is the closest thing, but she just does not have enough material.
So in steps Janelle Monae. “Dance or Die” has her flowing her ass off over a fast, pop-y beat. I was impressed. I was even more impressed when I read the lyrics.
Then I noticed she had some videos. “Tightrope” seemed to have the most Youtube hits, so I gave it a try, still expecting the worst. Sometimes I love being wrong. The video was dope. I think I get the concept. The mental institution is symbolic of the mind. She starts off in her room and then sneaks into a hallway. She (Janelle) is symbolic of a thought. She is met by more thoughts (her dancers) and they start having a good time. Not sure about the minions dressed up as the grim reaper with mirrors for faces. They seem to be symbolic of convention or pragmatism.

Lyrically, she touches on the balance of emotions. Life is full of highs and lows. You have to know that either is on the horizon at all times. So don’t get too caught up in either the highs or the lows — thus the balance of tipping on a tightrope. She even shows that you can escape your mental state and go other places you have never seen before.
“I learned to relax in my room and escape from New York and return through the womb of the world as a thought.” – Rakim
She danced right through the wall of the institution and into the wilderness while gazing with what seemed to be awe. The mirror-faced minions followed her though and guided her back to her room in the institution.
Even if I am completely wrong about my interpretation of the video, it still provokes thought and discussion. Try to get that from Nicky Manaj (am I hating?).
So after I watched that video a number of times, I clicked on the next one. At first glance, it seemed much shallower than the previous one. It is one take of her singing “Cold War” with different camera angles focusing on her face. But she seems to go through a range of emotions during the take. There is one point where she even starts crying, although she tries valiantly to hold it back. When she says “I was made to believe there’s something wrong with me,” I completely felt her. I, too, was taught that there had to be something wrong with me through elementary, middle school and high school. I met up with a bunch of other weirdos in college, though. But those memories do hit hard and they hit randomly and they evoke an emotional response. She forced me to deal with those emotions while showing her own. Again, I was impressed.
I have not fully digested ArchAndroid yet. I really want to buy the album but I am torn. I want to show this talented young person that I respect her voice and her imagination. But I do not want to put one red cent in the pocket of the Antichrist.
Why would Puff sign her? Is he trying to add some sort of legitimacy to his legacy by promoting someone with actual talent? Naw, he is the Antichrist, and he has no soul. Right? Or could he be trying to prove a point? He signs a person with originality and imagination and throws his marketing machine behind her just to get a mediocre return on investment (on purpose, maybe) to show that the marketplace has no urge to be moved by thought.
I have read on some sites that the record sales have been pretty bleak. Janelle is a superstar. She is a role model for young women. She shows them that they can still be beautiful without being scantily clad. Having an imagination is a virtue! Having independent thought is not a crime! Fuck convention! Be the person you are supposed to be.
She should be selling out arenas. I checked her tour dates and she is merely opening up for other groups in small venues.
When I get my paycheck Friday, I will ask the Hip Hop Gods to forgive me in a moment of weakness. As a crusader constantly compelled to seek justice, I will spend my hard earned money to buy a copy of ArchAndroid, giving Diddy more power to destroy the art form I hold so close to my heart. Hell, I may even buy 2 copies.

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Which Old School Did YOU Go To?

The New Old School

by Adam Bernard for Adam’s World

I was having a conversation with DJ Riz of Crooklyn Clan the other day and for a few minutes we got curmudgeonly about Hip-Hop. Like a lot of folks who are reaching, or are already in, their 30’s, we lamented the lack of knowledge younger Hip-Hop fans have of the old school. Riz, however, also brought up the interesting point that teenagers today have their own version of old school and it may surprise a lot of people to see which artists fall under their “oldo-school school” classification. If you’re around my age the list will also make you feel really really old.

I started listening to rap music when I was nine or ten years old. To make this equation easier let’s just say ten. I was ten in 1988, so anything before 1988 is my version of “old school.” It just so happens, because of when I was born, all of that music also falls into the traditional definition of “old school,” as well. With that timetable in mind, let’s take a look at the current incoming college freshman class, most of whom are 18 years old. They were all ten in 1998, so providing they didn’t have older siblings who could introduce them to Hip-Hop earlier in life their version of “old school” starts in the mid to late 90’s.

The idea of Wu-Tang, A Tribe Called Quest, The Fugees, Redman, DMX, Onyx, Naughty By Nature, and even NORE being “old school” is painful to a lot of Hip-Hop fans.


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HOT 5 – 5 Best Song Intros

You know these songs. It only takes their first few notes to get a party hype, even if the party is only you in your car on the way to work. DJs wouldn’t dream of skipping these intros—they’re guaranteed to please everyone from true heads to radio surfers.

Shook Ones Pt. II – Mobb Deep
“Shook Ones” will probably go down as Mobb Deep’s biggest hit. As a DJ back in ’94 (daaamn, I know), if I even scratched in those first few distinctive notes, the dance floor would be packed by the time you heard “To all the killers and the five-dollar billers.” I don’t think any of their songs since have created that much excitement.


When they Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.) – Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth

It’s almost a DJ commandment: “Thou shall always play the opening horns from T.R.O.Y.”  I haven’t been at a party yet where they played “Reminisce” without them.  Skipping the very beginning of this song would be like not playing Busta’s growl in “Scenario”—you just don’t do it.

Check the Rhyme – A Tribe Called Quest
The beginning of Tribe’s “Check the Rhyme” just kicks in. When you hear that “uh, uh.uh. uh…” all the heads in the place break they necks for that nod. Other than “Case of the PTA” by Leaders of the New School, it’s the best song to get your 2- step on to.

Choice Is Yours – Black Sheep
The bass line under “Choice is yours” can sometimes catch you off-guard. Maybe because they’re whispering or something. What usually happens is a DJ blends it in with another song and you see signs of recognition slowly start to register on people’s faces. By then, Dres is saying “This or that, this or that,” and everyone is just waiting for that first line to drop. BOOM “Who’s the black sheep? What’s the black sheep…”

TIE (we couldn’t figure out which one to drop)
Jam On It – Newcleus 
Chief Rocka – Lords of the Underground

Taking ya way back.  “Jam On It” always seemed to come on after a slow song, but it’s the bass line — it’s gotta be the bass line. It’s a slow build, but once they hit the wiki-wiki wiki-wiki it’s on and probably pop-lockin. It’s the bass line, it’s GOTTA be the bass line (again).

“Chief Rocka” starts with the bass line too, and coupled with the “Chief Rocka-Chief Rocka” scratch, gives partiers a few seconds of “Oh, shit!” time to rush the floor. Even if you don’t know the rest, the opening “Boom shac-a-laka” line is strong enough to shake a room.

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