» » A Tribe Called Quest: Hip Hop and Politics

A Tribe Called Quest: Hip Hop and Politics

pagoskawaii 6 de July del 2017 celebrities
A Tribe Called Quest is one of the fundamental pieces to understand the Hip Hop of the last 27 years. Since the appearance of People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm, this group became an inescapable reference for alternative Hip Hop. Revolutionary production, absurd and abstract lyrics, and a sound that dived into funk and jazz shaped songs that became classics. With We Got It from Here … Thank You 4 Your Service, the band returns after 19 years, and shows that that formula continues nourishing.

a tribe called quest

The album in its conception was crossed by the death of Phife Dawg, due to diabetes complications. Phife with Q Tip were the two main parts of the group, so this was a hard blow, which was to be processed on the album itself, which functions as a farewell and as a form of mourning in the loss.

We the people

If there is one feature that remained on the six previous ATCQ albums is their keen social commentary. The band perspective sounds like an energy shock that is proposed to immediately challenge the status quo from a perspective answer.

We the people, second song on the album, is a typical exponent of this position. Its chorus announces that Mexicans, African-American, and Poor people “must go.”

This has clear references to the racist, xenophobic and discriminatory Trump / Pence’s speech.  But Q Tip and Phife Dawg do not just criticize Republicans. They also aim their lyrics against the media, which constantly promote an empty entertainment and false narratives, trying to build a consensus of “Gods that came up against the odds”, that is, a criticism of the American dream concept itself.

The answer for the band is clear: starting from the grassroots, popular culture and the idea that beyond cultural differences, it is everyday life, economic problems and disillusionment with government that unites society classes.

The Donald

The “last album” category is always strange. In the Final Cut, Floyd’s last recording with Waters in front, this adjective was for a plurality of audiences and critics a too big weight. In the cases of Bowie and Leonard Cohen, this was not so, since they received immediate recognition.

But the case of A Tribe Called Quest is particular, given that unlike the cases named, the album works with full awareness that this is a farewell, and takes the opportunity to make a tour of its history. With the voice completely free to make the necessary criticisms of the system.  The last track of the album, The Donald, works on both levels. On the one hand, as farewell to Phife, A.K.A The Don.

But it cannot escape the obvious reference. Especially when listening to the obsessive repetition of the president’s name, sexist, racist, and xenophobic. But who also had hegemonized all media during the first year of his administration with furious attacks on minorities and women.

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