Queens, New York natives Q-Tip , Phife Dawg , and Ali Shaheed Muhammad of Brooklyn, formed A Tribe Called Quest in 1985. The group is one of hip-hop’s most legendary, beloved and revered groups of all time. Easily recognized for their unique approach to rap music by employing jazz infused soundscapes to Afro centric rhymes, ATCQ was largely responsible for the popularity of a new genre that dominated the East Coast sound of the early 1990s.
Sonically, ATCQ was a decisive and welcomed tangent of jazz, bass-heavy rhythmic vibes and eclectic sampling when compared to the mundane recycling of soul loops, breaks and vocals of their contemporaries.
Lyrically, emcees Q-Tip and Phife Dawg addressed social issues relevant to young blacks such as use of the n word and its relevance, date rape and other interpersonal relationships, industry politics and consumerism with infectious energy and fun and having a good time while still promoting positivity. ATCQ composed a number of successful singles and albums with their creative approach to rap music.
In 1990, the group released Peoples Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm. Their sophomore effort, The Low End Theory, considered one of the greatest albums in hip-hop history that would solidify them as legends. In recent years, the anticipation for another ATCQ album has been building. The Abstract Poetic, Five Foot Assasin, and Mr. Muhammad have yet to grace the studio for another record, but have hit the road again.
Today, the power of their music is still evident in their dynamic stage shows and in the reception of their adoring fans.