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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released November 13, 2015 | Jive - Legacy

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Reissue
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released September 24, 1991 | Jive

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
While most of the players in the jazz-rap movement never quite escaped the pasted-on qualities of their vintage samples, with The Low End Theory, A Tribe Called Quest created one of the closest and most brilliant fusions of jazz atmosphere and hip-hop attitude ever recorded. The rapping by Q-Tip and Phife Dawg could be the smoothest of any rap record ever heard; the pair are so in tune with each other, they sound like flip sides of the same personality, fluidly trading off on rhymes, with the former earning his nickname (the Abstract) and Phife concerning himself with the more concrete issues of being young, gifted, and black. The trio also takes on the rap game with a pair of hard-hitting tracks: "Rap Promoter" and "Show Business," the latter a lyrical soundclash with Q-Tip and Phife plus Brand Nubian's Diamond D, Lord Jamar, and Sadat X. The woman problem gets investigated as well, on two realistic yet sensitive tracks, "Butter" and "The Infamous Date Rape." The productions behind these tracks aren't quite skeletal, but they're certainly not complex. Instead, Tribe weaves little more than a stand-up bass (sampled or, on one track, jazz luminary Ron Carter) and crisp, live-sounding drum programs with a few deftly placed samples or electric keyboards. It's a tribute to their unerring production sense that, with just those few tools, Tribe produced one of the best hip-hop albums in history, a record that sounds better with each listen. The Low End Theory is an unqualified success, the perfect marriage of intelligent, flowing raps to nuanced, groove-centered productions. © John Bush /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released November 11, 2016 | Epic

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released November 8, 1993 | Jive

Distinctions The Unusual Suspects
Though the abstract rappers finally betrayed a few commercial ambitions for Midnight Marauders, the happy result was a smart, hooky record that may not have furthered the jazz-rap fusions of The Low End Theory, but did merge Tribe-style intelligence and reflection with some of the most inviting grooves heard on any early-'90s rap record. The productions, more funky than jazzy, were tighter overall -- but the big improvement, four years after their debut, came with Q-Tip's and Phife Dawg's raps. Focused yet funky, polished but raw, the duo was practically telepathic on "Steve Biko (Stir It Up)" and "The Chase, Pt. 2," though the mammoth track here was the pop hit "Award Tour." A worldwide call-out record with a killer riff and a great pair of individual raps from the pair, it assured that Midnight Marauders would become A Tribe Called Quest's biggest seller. The album didn't feature as many topical tracks as Tribe was known for, though the group did include an excellent, sympathetic commentary on the question of that word ("Sucka Nigga," with a key phrase: "being as we use it as a term of endearment"). Most of the time, A Tribe Called Quest was indulging in impeccably produced, next-generation games of the dozens ("We Can Get Down," "Oh My God," "Lyrics to Go"), but also took the time to illustrate sensitivity and spirituality ("God Lives Through"). A Tribe Called Quest's Midnight Marauders was commercially successful, artistically adept, and lyrically inventive; the album cemented their status as alternative rap's prime sound merchants, authors of the most original style since the Bomb Squad first exploded on wax. © John Bush /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released July 15, 1996 | Jive

With each of its first three albums, A Tribe Called Quest seemed to be on its way to bigger and better things, artistically and commercially. Beats, Rhymes and Life promptly ended that streak and still ranks as the group's most disappointing listen. Amplifying the bare beats-and-bliss of The Low End Theory but erasing the hooks of Midnight Marauders, Beats, Rhymes and Life simply wasn't a compelling record. In fact, A Tribe Called Quest sounded bored through most of it -- and, to put it bluntly, there wasn't much to get excited about either. Previously so invigorating and idea-driven, Q-Tip and Phife strutted through their verses, often sounding confused, hostile, and occasionally paranoid (check out the battle tracks, "Phony Rappers" and "Mind Power"). Meanwhile, the skeletal productions offered little incentive to decode the lyrics and messages, most of which were complex as expected. Though several other tracks had solid productions (like the spry, bass-driven backing to "Phony Rappers"), Beats, Rhymes and Life saw A Tribe Called Quest making its first (and only) significant misstep. (Constant touring off the success of Midnight Marauders may have been a factor.) Yes, they were still much better than the vast majority of alternative rappers, but it seemed they'd lost their power to excite. One of the few successes was a surprising R&B crossover called "1nce Again" (featuring Tammy Lucas). © John Bush /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released October 25, 1999 | Jive

For those who haven't discovered that A Tribe Called Quest made several of the best LPs in hip-hop history, Anthology is a perfect way to encapsulate the trio's decade-long career into one manageable portion. All of their best and biggest songs are here, from the early neglected joint "Luck of Lucien" to classic jazz-rap from The Low End Theory like "Jazz (We've Got)," and their 45-rpm peak with "Award Tour," all the way to their last big hit, "Find a Way," from 1998's The Love Movement. Yes, anyone who enjoys hip-hop needs to own at least Midnight Marauders and The Low End Theory, but Anthology succeeds in delivering all the highest points from a great hip-hop group's career. The collection also includes the first solo track from Q-Tip, 1999's "Vivrant Thing." © John Bush /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released September 28, 1998 | Jive

Continuing with the subdued, mature stylistic flow of Beats, Rhymes and Life, The Love Movement, the fifth album from A Tribe Called Quest, is the group's subtlest album yet -- which may just be a polite way for saying it's a little monotonous. Throughout the record, Tribe mines the same jazz-flavored, R&B-fueled beats that were the hallmark of Beats. Although the "love" concept provides a thematic cohesion to the album -- almost all of the songs are about love, in one way or another -- the overall effect is quite similar to its immediate predecessor: the music is enthralling for a while, but soon it all sounds a little too familiar. Part of the problem is that Tribe functions on a cerebral level, a point made painfully clear by Busta Rhymes' and Redman's roaring, visceral cameos on "Steppin' It Up." On their own, Tribe favors craft over raw skills. That means there are plenty of pleasures to be had from careful listening, but Tribe has reached a point where it's easier to admire the Ummah's stylish production and the subtle rhymes of Q-Tip and Phife than it is to outright love them, which is ironic for an album bearing the title The Love Movement. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 17, 2003 | Jive

Unquestionably one of the most influential acts in the history of hip-hop, the Tribe left behind them a legacy few could contend with and most have revered since their debut release. And while Hits, Rarities & Remixes is not as thorough a compilation as 1999's Anthology, it does offer highly sought-after tracks that are out of print, including a few that were featured exclusively on movie soundtracks. A good number of the crowd-favorite anthems that made Tribe one of the most adored groups of its time are featured here, and a few that were secret weapons in many a DJ crate during their initial release. What separates this collection from the earlier anthology is its ability to function as a comprehensive road map through the group's career for the inquisitive first-timer as well as offer up obscure tracks for the die-hard beat heads. And while serious fanatics will already have all of these releases on CD, it's well worth the purchase price to have them all in one place. © Rob Theakston /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released November 10, 2016 | Epic

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released June 1, 1992 | Jive - Legacy

As the years go by, the number of obnoxious remix collections multiplies faster than a tribble. The dance contingent is the worst criminal of this exercise, whereas the farthest hip-hop groups usually stray is by releasing "instrumental" versions of their albums. Thankfully, Revised Quest for the Seasoned Traveler is a refreshing exception to both such workmanlike rules. Fans will notice something pleasant right off the bat: The majority of the remixes on this compilation are actually done by the band themselves. So you get the rather faithful re-take of "Description of a Fool" by A Tribe Called Quest (and the Jungle Brothers), "Public Enemy" in a more club-friendly environment, and even the smiley "Bonita Applebum" turned into a fun piece of Top 40 cheese. It's most of the third-party perspectives that should be passed over (the simplistic house of Tom and Jerry's "Luck of Lucien" remix is as predictable as it sounds). Which means only a couple of these outsiders go much above and beyond the call of remix duty. The "Boilerhouse Mix" of "Can I Kick It?" adds a layer of dark solidity to the Lou Reed-sampling classic while Norman Cook (in his pre-Fatboy Slim days) does a fiesta, horn-blaring reggae take on "I Left My Walled in El Segundo." Both of these are unique -- and tasteful -- remixes done of such Tribe favorites. So generally, the quality is quite high here compared to what one may expect from cobbled-together remix albums. It's half-way personal, half-way engaging. Revised Quest for the Seasoned Traveler is a treat for both hardcore fans as well as those listeners curious enough as to how to properly compile a hip-hop remix collection. Especially without the tribbles. © Dean Carlson /TiVo
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Soul - Released March 15, 2012 | Vintage Masters Inc.

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Rock - Released January 1, 2005 | The Tribe

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Pop/Rock - Released June 1, 2020 | iMD-The Tribe

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R&B - Released January 1, 1994 | Island Mercury

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Pop/Rock - Released October 22, 2018 | The Tribe

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 10, 2019 | The Tribe Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 4, 2019 | The Tribe Records

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Pop - Released February 27, 2012 | Shel Talmy Productions

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Rock - Released October 23, 2013 | The Tribe