Saturday, 24 December 2016

We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service

From 1990 to 1993 A Tribe Called Quest was the greatest active Hip Hop group, and perhaps the greatest artist of the time. They innovated the genre with People’s Instinctive Travels and pushed the genre further than ever before with Midnight Marauders, and then they released two okay albums and called it a day in 1998.

We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service is a worthy sequel to Midnight Marauder. It’s fresh, innovative, and funky and despite the album being made by 40 year olds it sounds incredible contemporary.

The album artwork of their sixth studio album. 

The obvious comment all reviews must say about the album though is about Phife Dawg who died earlier this year. Every review then comments on how he is the domineering voice of the album, but to me this album is the perfect collaboration and no one member shines brightest.

As well as their first album in 18 years it’s also likely to be their last, and in a way that’s a good thing, because this album is current and great and adding another album risks spoiling the image of the 3 members of A Tribe Called Quest: political, funky and powerful.

The Space Program is where they get most political with lyrics like “Imagine for one second all the people are coloured/Please imagine for one second all the people in poverty/No matter the skin tone, culture or time zone/Think the ones who got it/Would even think to throw you a bone.”

Then of course they sing about Donald Trump and about the rights of people throughout. The album is incredibly political but they pull it off without becoming a lecture and manage to perfectly convey their message.

Another great song is Solid Wall of Sound, which sample Bennie & The Jets by Elton John, who guests on the song towards the end, and featuring guitar by Jack White.

The New York Hip Hop group are considered pioneers of Alternative Hip-Hop.

The first disk is perfect; we’re talking about an album that would have been praised as the best of 2016. Sadly though there are some songs which let the second disk down and while songs like Conrad Tokyo and Movin Backwards are perfect, it really disappoint he album.

At the end of the day though the record is great and an essential listen to both the hip hop fan and the music lover, it’s full of hooks, powerful lyrics and has a message, so it has the sort of recipe for greatness most records would die for.

It’s an essential listen, and while some tracks are weak, none of them are revolting and none of them are meaningless.