'Word Play' (1996)
By A Tribe Called Quest in 1996Updated Mar 2022
A Tribe Called Quest was an American hip hop collective formed in 1985 and originally composed of MC and main producer Q-Tip, MC Phife Dawg, DJ and co-producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad, and MC Jarobi White,…
A Tribe Called Quest was an American hip hop collective formed in 1985 and originally composed of MC and main producer Q-Tip, MC Phife Dawg, DJ and co-producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad, and MC Jarobi White, who left the group amicably in 1991. Later that year, the group released its jazz-influenced second album, The Low End Theory, regarded for helping shape alternative hip hop in the 1990s. Along with De La Soul, the group was a central part of the Native Tongues, enjoying the most commercial success out of all the groups to emerge from that collective. In 1998, the band broke up shortly before releasing its fifth album, The Love Movement, but in 2006, the group's original members reunited and toured the United States. In 2016, the group released its sixth and final album, We Got It from Here... Thank You 4 Your Service, which was still incomplete when Phife Dawg died suddenly in March 2016, and was completed by the other members after his death.
The group is regarded as a pioneer of alternative hip hop music. John Bush of AllMusic called them "the most intelligent, artistic rap group during the 1990s." The Source gave the group's debut album, People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm, a perfect rating of five 'mics,' the first time the magazine gave out this rating. In 2005, A Tribe Called Quest received a Special Achievement Award at the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Awards in Atlanta. In 2007, the group was formally honored at the 4th VH1 Hip Hop Honors.