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A Tribe Called Quest To Drop New Album In Winter 2004

10.01.2003 6:54 AM EDT

A Tribe Called Quest's Q-Tip

"Our records sound like we never left." — A Tribe Called Quest's Phife Dawg



A Tribe Called Quest's Phife Dawg says fans should expect the first single from his group's reunion LP to drop in the fall and the album in the winter — the winter of 2004, that is. No, the Tribe's full-fledged reformation isn't going to blast off right away, but we will get a taste of what's to come very soon.


The trio of Phife, Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad teamed up last month for the first time in many moons to record the song "(ICU) Doin' It," which will be a track on the upcoming Violator Records compilation V3: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (see "G-Unit, Missy, Busta, Others Lined Up For New Violator LP").


"Our records sound like we never left," Phife beamed last week on the phone from San Diego. "The chemistry never dwindled. We saw each other for the first time in a minute, but it sounded like we never stopped recording with each other. The voices are pretty much the same. Tip's still got the whole nasal, abstract thing going on. My voice grew a little bit ... that's the only difference, my voice sounds a little older.


"['(ICU) Doin' It' is] a vintage joint," he added. "A call-and-response, like that record we did on the Love Movement, 'Against the World.' Or the hook to 'Check the Rhyme': 'You on point, Phife?' [We're] going back and forth like that. It was produced by Rashad Smith's crew, Tumbling Dice."


The five-foot freak, as he calls himself, said that ever since the word got out that he and his crew had gotten back together and were making another album (see "A Tribe Called Quest Plot Possible Reunion"), everyone's been sending them tracks to rhyme to.


"One problem that I've seen thus far is that a lot of producers come to me and say, 'I got the Tribe sound locked, I know exactly what y'all need,' " Phife said. "I don't think they should do that because first of all, you don't have the Tribe sound locked. We don't even know what the Tribe sound is. It's a vibe that we've got when we go into the studio. That's not what you do when you want to submit beats. Submit what you're best at doing and if we like it, we're going to spit to it. Tribe is no exception as far as trying to be different [is concerned]. Just send some hot sh--."


Tribe's vibe in the early '90s strayed away from the norms of the style of rap music at that time. Breaking new ground in hip-hop with their socially conscious lyrics and jazz-infused tracks, three of the group's most highly influential releases — People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm (1990), The Low End Theory (1991) and Midnight Marauders (1993) — were hailed as classics, paving the way for equally eclectic rap groups such as Outkast.


Phife isn't sure about when his crew will actually begin recording its new disc, but he does mention that the group members have been keeping busy. Both Q-Tip and Ali have solo LPs dropping soon and Phife is trying to help launch the careers of some up-and-coming acts he's taken under his wing. Also contributing to the delay of the album's start date was the recent death of Q-Tip's longtime manager.


Itching to perform again, two-thirds of Tribe made a surprise appearance earlier in the month during a De La Soul show at L.A.'s House of Blues. Tip and Phife jumped onstage and gave the fans a special treat.


"We would've gotten tomatoes if we ain't do the Tribe joints and we [was] onstage together," the Dawg laughed. "We could've freestyled, but I think we needed to do at least one Tribe joint. We ended up doing three joints together. The singles, 'Check the Rhyme,' 'Find a Way' and 'Award Tour.' They were pretty exhausted by the end of the show, which I was quite happy with."

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Yeah me too...their last album (before the anthology, which was pretty good of course) was "The Love Movement"...wasnt as tight as "Midnight Marauders" but was a solid album (Common Ground, Find a Way, the Booty, Against the World, Like it like that - some remixes of classics, some cool guest spots from Mos Def, Redman, Busta etc) - if we saw another like that one, id be happy.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Yeah, i didnt know Phife & Tip had beef, but im hopin they squashed it, despite alla solo stuff.

Man, i cant get enough of "ICU (doin' it)", its more of the old school jazzy/tight lyrics thing they always had...no bad review's gonna stop me from pickin up this album the day it comes out. :D I'm mad hyped.

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  • 4 years later...

aw, that's cold. I cant get tired of Midnight Marauders. JD did some fine beats across their works too...earlier stuff was more preachy/afro-centric but the end stuff from Love Movement & such didnt have as much, i though.

i gotta disagree, i can listen to Tip go on all day, prolly going to Rock the Bells this year just to see them.

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some guys who introduced me to hip-hop gave me tribe first, got a huge soft spot for them


de la soul are really gay now [imo], though


it's the the afro-centric stuff.. common does that a lot as well. but hell that is one guy i really don't like in general. spiritual shit naaaahhh i want gangstas

Edited by Lorelei
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haha, i go for spiritual over gangsta myself cause we had so, so much of that in the '90s. But if were talking Com, i go for Resurrection way more than i do his last album. I think its good that Kanye's making him money but i dont like it as much, you know?


Tribe's solo stuff hasnt been solid though: Tip's best has been his 2004 unreleased shit, and Phife is barely listenable. At this point, i dont expect them to do another album, sadly, even after that one single they did (unless they say otherwise at rock the bells) but my opinion, low end/midnight/love movement are some of my favorite shit.

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i actually downloaded midnight m cause of you, brings back old memories, thanks


hmm cant remember what de la soul album i used to dig... just sounds way too retro now


yeah there was a lot of the G stuff in the 90s... mobb deep - the infamous you just can't argue with though. i love hearing people all, "oh but music shouldn't be about violence" just sit them down and make them listen to a few joints off of that and they start seeing the picture

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yeah, that was when west coast shit was going crazy. I was really into Cube's shit in the day too, Lethal Injection and Death Certificate. few years later, i couldnt go to a party without hearing the Chronic or Doggystyle, and the underground guys i knew got me into Gravediggaz.


im gonna go listen to Shook Ones now, heh.

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damn, that's a fickle-ass ex.

"how can you listen to those guys it's so violent and sexist. it's disgusting"


why can't people embrace the mentality? jeez


used to play alternative hip-hop (tribe, el-p, kidz in the hall) as well, she said the same thing lmao

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  • 7 years later...

My hopes for humanity were at an all time high the week of and after Phife's passing. Seemed like every DJ in every club in town was playing a tribute. No matter how small. Joints you'd normally never in those venues were on blast. At least for a few minutes a night. Made me really happy. RIP, Dawg.


Also, Nick, did you hear Tip and a few others were colabin' with Andre 3000 on some new shit for the latter? Not some new OutKast, but close enough.

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yeah, i mostly heard the love on the radio, but shit was really touching, agreed...and nah, i gotta look that up. last i'd heard, Tip was working on Zulu Nation, but that was a year or so back, i'd be down for him to bring 3k back around!

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André 3000, Jack White, A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip and Jarobi White, andD’Angelo were all in the studio together last night. What exactly they were doing, however, is a bit unclear.


Chris Rock posted a photo of the musicians, along with fellow comedian Dave Chappelle. “Me , Dave , D-nice , jack white and jarobi hard at work on the new Andre 3000 album,” he wrote as the caption.


A subsequent photo shows the group in front of a board:




While it certainly looks like they’re recording something, a separate posting from producer D-Nice suggested the gathering was impromptu. As many of these musicians alsoappeared at the Phife Dawg memorial earlier in the week, they could’ve simply been celebrating the life of music of the late A Tribe Called Quest member, and Chris Rock is just one big prankster.


For what it’s worth, in an interview withBillboard earlier this year, André said he was “always recording.” In the last few months, he’s made appearances on Erykah Badu’s “Hello” and Kanye West’s “30 Hours”.



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  • 4 months later...

According to L.A. Reid - New A Tribe Called Quest album recorded before Phife Dawg's death "coming very soon"



During an interview on the Rap Radar podcast, L.A. Reid revealed that a new A Tribe Called Quest album is in the works. Reid, who is the CEO of Epic Records, was on the podcast to discuss the future of the label. “You know what I'm excited about, though: A Tribe Called Quest,” he said. “We have a Tribe Called Quest album coming. I'm really excited about that.” Reid said it was recorded before Phife Dawg passed away earlier this year, and that the entire group (including Jarobi White) was included.


“Man, it's really something special,” he said. “It's one of the things that I'm most excited about of everything we're working on.” He also said the album is “coming very soon.”


The album would be the group's first since 1998’s The Love Movement.




please, please be more Love Movement & less Beats, Rhymes & Life - either way, ive got their whole catalog so hyppppppeeee

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  • 2 months later...




Leading up to the album release, a new video for a song called "We Are the People" is expected to be released Friday, along with the pre-order of the album on iTunes. Album details expected to arrive Nov. 9.



Additionally, Tribe will be the musical guest on Saturday Night Live following the album's release, with rumors of a special guest joining the group for a special performance (a rep for NBCUniversal said the company could not confirm at this time whether Tribe will be a musical guest). The group reunited in 2013 to open dates on Kanye West's Yeezus Tour, their last public performances together before Phife's passing.


AOTY finally arriving ya'll

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