A Tribe Called Quest

From Rap Dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A Tribe Called Quest is a rap group from New York City. They are generally seen as pioneers of alternative rap. They were members of the Native Tongues.

A Tribe Called Quest, originally formed in Queens, New York City in 1988, was an influential rap group of the 1990s. The group is comprised of Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, and DJ Ali Shaheed Muhammad. A fourth member, Jarobi, was with the group for the first album, but parted ways with the group after.

Q-Tip and Phife had grown up together in Queens, and met Muhammad in high school. The group's name was coined by The Jungle Brothers, whose members attended the same school. Soon after, the group began performing live and recording on a local label.

At the time of their inception, A Tribe Called Quest was unique within the hip-hop community for eschewing gangsta rap and macho posturing. Their lyrics focused on abstract and social issues such as the word "nigger", date rape and consumerism. Musically, the group helped pioneer the jazz-rap style (along with groups such as Gang Starr and De La Soul). They made their studio debut in 1990 with People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm. Though this album was critically acclaimed and lead to a strong fan following, their next album, The Low End Theory (1991) was a massive artistic success, appearing on several best of the year lists. It is considered one of the most important hip-hop albums to date. The Low End Theory was followed by Midnight Marauders (1993), Beats, Rhymes and Life (1996) and The Love Movement (1998).

Following their final album, the group disbanded. Q-Tip, Muhammad, and Phife Dawg went on to pursue solo careers with Muhammad founding the R&B group Lucy Pearl.

In 2003 the group reunited for a song named ICU [doin' it]with Violator and Erykah Badu


  • People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm (1990)
  • The Low End Theory (1991)
  • Revised Quest for the Seasoned (1992)
  • Midnight Marauders (1993)
  • Beats, Rhymes and Life (1996)
  • The Love Movement (1998)
  • Anthology (1999)
  • Hits, Rarities & Remixes (2003)

Q-Tip (Solo)

  • Amplified (1999)
  • Kamaal the Abstract (2002) (shelved)

Phife Dawg (Solo)

  • Ventilation: Da LP (2000)

Ali Shaheed Muhammed (Solo & Group)

  • Lucy Pearl (2000)
  • Shaheedullah and Stereotypes (2004)