A Tribe Called Quest
"We Got It From Here-Thank You 4 Your Service"
June 07 - 13, 2020
Year of Release: 2016
The Space Program
We The People
Whateva Will Be
Solid Wall Of Sound
The Kiling Season
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Hip-Hop group A Tribe Called Quest's 2016 release, We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service would be their last album. This album
would be their second album to hit #1 on the Billboard Top 200 albums chart. Guest appearances on this album included Andree 3000 (of OutKast),
Kendrick Lamar, Jack White (of The White Stripes), Elton John, Kanye West, Busta Rhymes. Led by rapper Q-Tip, this album would also be their last.
Member Phife Dawg died in March, 2016 from complications of diabetes. He was 45 years old. A Tribe Called Quest's first album to reach #1, was Beats,
Rhymes And Life (1996).
Since the 1990s, Hip-Hop/Rap music has pretty much dominated the music industry. Of course, some love it, others do not. But, we realize,
that this music is a "popular souce" in music, even today. And, it's not a really bad idea to see (and hear) what "today's music" is "worth"
listening to. This kind of music is easily accepted by the young crowd. Today's teenagers. Black youngsters. Black teenagers. Are there "older
fans" ? I'm sure there are.
The opening track, "The Space Program" does lead to a positive saying: "We gotta get it together." This is what we need more of in
Hip-Hop/Rap, positive lyrics. Part of the Hip-Hop/Rap lyrics is vulgar language. Accepted or not, it is part of the history of this music. Throughout
this album, is alot of "sampling" from movies and past musical performers. In continuing of listening to this album, by the fourth track, "Solid Wall
Of Sound" has an increasing effect. The album is getting better, with each tune. (Let it be known, that Jack White of The White Stripes band is
co-writer of this song.) Also to mention, the album's second track, "We The People..." samples Black Sabbath's drum break in their song "Behind
The Wall Of Sleep." Writing credit to is referred to all of Black Sabbath members: Anthony Frank Iommi (Tony Iommi), Terrance Butler (Geezer Butler),
John Osbourne (Ozzy Osbourne), William Ward. This song also refers to another sample, Elton John's "Bennie And The Jets."
Busta Rhymes helps out on the next track, "Dis Generation," and again, it's getting better. And speaking of sampling again, there is a
sampling of Musical Youth's "Pass The Duchee" on this track. Andre 3000 (from OutKast) helps on "Kids..." (Ok, this track just may not
be as "energetic" as the previous.) But that doesn't change how the albums is, as a while. The next track has more of a rock groove, "Melatonin"
combines a good rock and hip-hop feel. (Does the ending of this song sound like the synthesizers of Steve Miller's "Fly Like An Eagle" ? You be the
"Enough!!" continues the rock/hip-hop grooves. "Mobius." "Black Spasmodic," "The Killing Season" are a pure Hip-Hop/Rap tracks.
"Mobius" samples a porton of the Progressive Rock band Gentle Giant's "Prologue." Busta Rhymes returns on this one. Kanye West helps out
on "The Killing Season." "Lost Somebody" is another Hip-Hop/Rap track, yet its a bit better than the previous three tracks. (Hip-Hop/Rap
is now becoming the main genre now.) Another band, the experimental band from Germany, Can, is sampled here -- "Halleluhwah."
"Movin' Backwards" starts out as sound effects, with a "Prince-styled hard-rock guitar solo", yet its turns into not just another Hip-Hop/Rap
track, but it has it's own Rock form. It's not a bad track, to say; better than some of the other true Hip-Hop/Rap tunes...)
"Conrad Tokyo" is another true Hip-Hop/Rap track. It's just "ok here." "Ego" however, has a certain mystery to it. The music sounds
like something out of a James Bond movie soundtrack. It blends into it's own groove. Jumpin' Jivin' Kinda like a DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince tune.
This one samples from the 2001 Space Oddysey movie.
The album closes with "The Donald." Donald Trump? Maybe? Actually no. This song is the group's final goodbye to its member Phife Dawg,
who passed away of diabetes complications. He was nicknamed "Don Juice," which is a name used in the song. Was it just a coincidence that 2016 was a
presidential year, in which Donald Trump was the lead Republican nominee? And speaking of Trump, the track "We The People..." - The chorus of the
politically-charged song parodies Trump's presidential campaign.
As mentioned in
A Tribe Called Quest and the Shadow of Trump:
A Tribe Called Quest’s “The Donald,” the final track on their first album in 18 years, is not about Donald Trump. Maybe. With playful DJ scratches, jazzy
keys, and patois all radiating the warmth of friendship, the song is the group’s final goodbye to its member Phife Dawg, who died at age 45 from
complications of diabetes earlier this year and who had claimed the nickname “Don Juice.” Still, you don’t call a song “The Donald” and release it three
days after the presidential election without knowing the implications. You don’t sample a newscaster saying “Donald” over and over again without wanting
to conjure up the billionaire who in his campaign’s final days made hip-hop yet another non-white scapegoat for America’s problems. You don’t create a song
like this without wanting to draw a comparison between Don Juice and The Donald, or really, in this case, a contrast.
The album is also reviewed from the above link, and I would have to agree -- A Tribe Called Quest's We Got It Frome Here - Thank You 4 Your Service
is a very good Hip-Hop/Rap album.
18 years and despite the death of member Phife Dawg, A Tribe Called Quest recorded their last album as a good album to what would be the end of their
Hip-Hop/Rap legacy. As mentioned in reviews, Hip-Hop/Rap is not for everyone. Yet, it's part of our American music culture. And this album blends
sampling, and it's interesting to hear how this all blends. It's also to mention that the first part of this album not only blends the sampling, but mixes
both Rock and Hip-Hop grooves together. And as mentioned in the review link above, "Melatonin" was the reviewer's personal favoritem and again,
I would have to agree to be my favorite track from the album:
My favorite track of the moment is one of the more subdued ones, “Melatonin,” which could exist out of time but is all the more powerful because it doesn’t.
As the band moves from stop-start-stop-start passages to smooth reveries and back, Tip raps about anxiety keeping him awake. “The sun is up, but I feel
down again,” he says, and for the song’s length the only remedies are sex and sleeping pills. He’s not exactly offering solutions here; he’s offering
forgiveness for feeling the need to momentarily recharge. The miracle of the album is that it’ll help listeners do just that, even as it does quite the
opposite of distract from the world.
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