Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Underrated Classic: A Tribe Called Quest 'People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm'

Hip-hop began in 1973 when Bronx DJ Kool Herc coined the term at house parties he was DJing, through that decade the genre began to grow. In the 80's, the urban sound began to break into the mainstream with acts like Blondie, Run DMC and Beastie Boys breaking down color barriers and showcasing that this poetry over a beat is for everyone. By the 1990's, hip-hop emerged into it's golden age. Released 14 years ago this month, one of those early golden age records was from Queens, New York collective A Tribe Called Quest, whose debut, People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm, combined jazz samples, street humor, social awareness and a way to bring in a new subgenre to the young genre with Alternative Hip-Hop. On it's release the album gained mixed reviews, The Source gave it a perfect 5 Mic review, while others said it was too far out for rap, even Rolling Stone gave it a 3/5 star review. Charged by the three singles, "I Left My Wallet in El Segundo," "Bonita Applebum," and "Can I Kick It?," the album would break barriers and gain support for its diverse sound and style. The album would be the perfect kick-off to summer in the big city and while the 90's ended, so did Tribe. Now, years later, we look back and see the genius and distinctive sounds that Q-Tip, Phife Dog, Jarobi, and Ali Shaheed Muhammad, crafted. A year later, they would blow the entire music world away with their flawless sophomore effort, Low End Theory, yet, the Tribe's journey began with their Paths of Rhythm.