The Black & White

Tribe’s Dedication to Phife is touching without losing quality of sound

Album artwork courtesy Jive Records.

Album artwork courtesy Jive Records.

Album artwork courtesy Jive Records.

By Michael Gorman

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With “We’ve Got It From Here…Thank you 4 Your Service,” A Tribe Called Quest proves that even with an 18-year break, they’re still one of the freshest groups in the rap industry.

The album is modern in their verses and lyrics, but features the classic 90s hip-hop production that garnered the group’s fame and inspired future rappers, Kanye West, Andre 3000 and Kendrick Lamar, who all appear on the album.

Although MC Phife Dawg tragically passed away in March, the album was at least partially recorded by then, so thankfully he has a few verses on the album.

The best song on the album is “Lost Somebody.” It’s a beautiful track, produced by Q-tip and dedicated to Phife. It’s supported with soft female vocals and pleasant piano throughout. “Malik, I would treat you like little brother that would give you fits/ Sometimes overbearing though I thought it was for your benefit.” Q reminisces on his time with Phife, about how they grew up together, like brothers.

Another great song is “Conrad Tokyo.” Phife Dawg opens the track with a smooth verse on the ruined state of the nation, and Lamar comes in with a fantastic verse, despite its disappointingly short length. His flows will whet the appetite of any fans anxiously awaiting his next album. “Look around/ Sayonara tomorrow, it’s just blood on the ground.” Lamar raps about how if people don’t look around and create change, we might as well say goodbye to the worldpowerful verses for a deeply divided country.

It’s a great album that blends the 90s with 2016. It’s a shame the album is shrouded in such sorrow, but still stands as an incredible dedication to one of the all-time greats.

R.I.P. Phife Dawg.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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