A Tribe Called Quest released their final album We got it from Here…Thank You 4 Your service on Friday, November 11th. The following evening, fans across the nation watched the legendary group perform on Saturday Night Live, with Dave Chappelle as its host. They not only watched in adulation, they also experienced the sobering moment when Q-Tip pointed his microphone to the face of the late, Malik “Phife Dawg” Taylor on the mural that became the backdrop to the stage. Q-Tip’s high octane commandeering energy while they performed the politically charged “We The People,” reflected the feeling of over 50% of the country in response to the recent President-elect choice.
Ironically, precisely one year ago, the group reunited on the The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon stage. During that time, Trump was the primary Republican contender with the platform of “building a great, great wall” to keep Mexicans out, and the proposition to temporary ban all Muslims from entering the the U.S. The night of ATCQ’s performance on Jimmy Fallon was the night the Paris attacks occurred, jolting the pioneer rap group into action through their art.
We got it from Here…Thank You 4 Your service is the group’s first album in 18 years, and unfortunately their last as a group. Produced entirely by Q-Tip with writer credits given to all group members, with collaborations from Busta Rhymes, André 3000, Elton John, Kanye West, Consequence, Anderson .Paak, Kendrick Lamar, Jack White, Talib Kweli, and Marsha Ambrosius. We got it from Here….Thank You 4 Your service was exactly what was needed the week Donald Trump was named President-elect. It reminded us of why A Tribe Called Quest are so revered. Their conscious rap with subliminal messaging to deepen one’s perspective, the lyricism within their storytelling with Tip as the Ying and Phife as the Yang, and a production unconfined by time. Though the album title is A Tribe Called Quest thanking us, we, really thank them for their service. RIP Phife.