During rough times of political turmoil alas, A Tribe Called Quest resurrected and brought to our troubled souls what is thought to be their final masterpiece, We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service.
This comeback is like no other, considering the fact that we are without Phife Dawg, who passed away after a long battle with diabetes at the age of 45 last March. The late Five Foot Assassin can be considered to be the seed of this album, since before his passing he worked to persuade the rest of the group to reunite and produce their final piece. Getting over broken bridges and bad blood between Phife and Q-tip, the group began recording and producing their material. Including contributions from Phife Dawg before his death, the name of the album was originally selected by Phife himself and kept thereafter.
The album begins with “The Space Program”, a jazzmatic and electric call to its listeners, with “Gotta get it together forever / Gotta get it together for brothers / Gotta get it together for sisters” staying raw, political and rhythmic. The following track, “We The People…” goes into the discussion of gentrification, homophobia and deportation. The release of such material comes in the most timely manner, just as their delivery of lyrical abyss takes us into this journey through sound clips that smoothly transition from track to track.
It is sonically a mixture between the 90s and today. Its beats and lyrical flow mix with modern instrumentation. The edge of funk and twangy baselines afloat the album keep it surreal along with the incorporation of R&B and soul makes the overall product even more appealing to the ear for its smooth and thick substance.
In tracks like, “Solid Wall of Sound”, the group samples Elton John’s “Benny and the Jets”, producing a wonderfully laid out hip hop track that rides along a slick piano tune. The album includes several other collaborations with artists like Kanye West in “The Killing Season”, Kendrick Lamar in “Conrad Tokyo” and others like Andre 3000 and Jack White.
Playing most of the keys, bass and drums throughout the album, Q-Tip goes out in tracks like, “Black Spasmodic”, where he raps about Phife in the afterlife, and with other tributes like “Lost Somebody”. Phife remains as a dominant part of the group throughout the album and the last track, “ The Donald” features Busta Rhymes and serves as his final say, named after Phife’s nickname, “Don Juice”.
This album stays relevant to today all while maintaining their Midnight Marauders originality. Bouncing off each other’s feed and remaining inseparable musically, A Tribe Called Quest delivers soulful flows with a signature vintage sound giving us a luxurious gift from the past and call for action now and in the future. Let’s get it together.