The Story of A Tribe Called Quest

The Story of A Tribe Called Quest

Aiden Gromley, Staff Writer

A Tribe Called Quest was the group to help change the hip hop movement and to help inspire many current music artists in the world today. The hip hop group changed the game in the 1990s with some of the freshest and clean-sounding music throughout the decade. How Tribe came to be and became who they are is a tale for the ages.

The members, Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Ali-Shaheed Muhammad, and Jarobi White, originated the group in the year 1985 in the city of New York City. Coming straight out of high school, the group entered the game with Hip Hop being young and new to the general public. Their general inspirations when it came to artists and what they wanted to try to emulate were Prince, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder.

Now the reason that A Tribe Called Quest was such a success was the way they had changed the sampling of music forever. Hip hop had originally been sampling more funk songs and adding drums to the loops to make the beat and instrumental for the songs. Tribe focused more on the jazz samples and had created a whole new sound and style to the game of hip hop that continues to change in the world today and inspire plenty of artists like Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, and even a considered one of the greatest rappers of all time, Andre 3000, in which he claimed that Q-Tip, “lit his fire.” But not only did they inspire artists, Twista became a mainstream artist when featured on the song “Scenario” with A Tribe Called Quest.

According to Spotify, A Trible Called Quest is “without a question, one of the most progressive and crucial rap groups of the 1990s.”

Quest released their first two studio albums in the year 1990, called The Love Movement and People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm. Although these were their first albums, the group really started to get recognition after a span of three great albums through the years 1991-1996: The Low End Theory in 1991, Midnight Marauders in 1993, and Beats, Rhymes, and Life in 1996.

These three albums helped to skyrocket the group into a following as a group and furthered their respect in the rap game. But the group hadn’t always had it easy and they did have some tough times.

After their 6th studio album, Beats, Rhythm, and Life, the group ended up breaking up because of a power struggle for credit between Q-Tip and Phife Dawg in the year 1998. It was eight years before they would reunite again to make a final album together as a whole in the year 2006, called The Lost Tribes.

Quest faced a tragedy when Phife Dawg died at the age of 45 in the year 2016 from complications from diabetes. He was able to show up on the last Tribe album released called, We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service .

A fun fact about A Tribe Called Quest was that they almost collaborated with another great rap duo, OutKast. It was supposed to happen before the death of Phife Dawg.

A Tribe Called Quest had changed the rap game forever with the different mixes of musical genres in their loops and created a new sound. Through their influences, they were able to help inspire and create a great new movement of rap and influence some of the greatest rappers until this day.