My Ranking: 7/10
Genre: Hip-Hop, Boom Bap, East Coast Rap
Length: 37:03, 16 Songs
Release Date: 11/1/19
Gang Starr’s 7th album and 7th project. Gang Starr was a classic hip-hop duo, made up of the late rapper Guru and producer DJ Premier. They unofficially disbanded in 2006, and Guru died in 2010. However, with posthumous vocals, Premier crafted this album to finally mark the end of Gang Starr. The lyrics are strangely relevant to today’s music climate. Guru did a great job with the rapping as well, but the features really don’t live up. I’d say Cole, Foxxx and Royce do well, no one else really put as much effort in. The scratches and interludes are some of the brightest spots surprisingly. The outro starts with a really well done sample, exemplifying how much these two have done despite the era they came up in. One big problem tho: Premier is a great DJ and a great scratcher, but I don’t agree with the common sentiment that he’s one of the best producers. A handful of these beats are just amateur to be honest. However, he does pull through with enough great sounds to make a good album all around.
So Many Rappers: 10/10
Bless the Mic: 10/10
Family and Loyalty (feat. J. Cole): 8/10
Bad Name: 8/10
What’s Real (feat. Group Home & Royce da 5’9”): 7.5/10
Lights Out (feat. M.O.P.): 7/10
Hit Man (feat. Q-Tip): 7/10
Bring It Back Here: 7/10
From a Distance (feat. Jeru the Damaja): 6/10
Business or Art (feat. Talib Kweli): 5.5/10
Take Flight (Militia, Pt. 4) [feat. Big Shug & Freddie Foxxx]: 5/10
Get Together (feat. Ne-Yo & Nitty Scott): 4/10
The Sure Shot (Intro): N/A
NYGz/GS 183rd (Interlude): N/A
One of the Best Yet (Big Shug Interlude): N/A
Keith Casim Elma (Interlude): N/A
Lemme know your thoughts in the comments about how Gang Starr sounds like Gangster 🤯
A Tribe Called Quest - Check The Rhime - 1991 ➘
"Extremity in rhythm, yeah that's what you heard
So just clean out your ears and just check the word"
Sometimes an album comes along that is so special, so groundbreaking, so important for hip-hop, that the entire game is flipped on its head. When A Tribe Called Quest dropped their now legendary second album, The Low End Theory, that is precisely what happened. Their debut, People's Instinctive Travels And The Paths of Rhythm, released a year prior and was equipped with positive and intellectual lyricism over minimalist uptempo beats. Tribe hinted at their next move with the use of low end samples, while also beautifully signifying their musical trajectory via lyrical talent. The sound they brought was both innovative and totally refreshing. This was taken to a whole new level with The Low End Theory. Hip-hop in 1991 was enveloped by the hard-hitting content and heavy production of gangsta rap, but A Tribe Called Quest’s smooth delivery over their jazzy samples breathed fresh, melodious air into a hardcore landscape dominated by Public Enemy and N.W.A.. Most notably, this album differed sonically to other rap music of the age. The album had a significant jazz influence; the tracks are tempered, with trumpets and piano thrown in alongside classic hip-hop drums. However, Tribe’s key throughout is underscored by the album title, as each song features some variation of a groovy, alluring and intoxicating heavy bass line. Tribe brought us the meeting of two prominent genres, in the best possible way. This incredibly progressive album could be the greatest single assemblage of hip-hop to date. In mid-album track, Check The Rhime, Tribe went against the norm of sampling funk or soul in a drum loop, and instead layered multiple beats on top of one another, to form a textured, rich and downright captivating orchestra of sound, embodying the heart of jazz. Hip-hop is equally represented in the rhymes of this track, as Q-Tip and Phife Dawg echo a classic cipher-style call and response chorus. Tribe broke all the rules with this album, and it paid off exceptionally. Never be afraid to push the boundaries.
🗣 Le #rappeur et producteur franco-camerounais @jamesbks, première signature du #label d’Idris Elba @7.wallace, vient se sortir « New Breed ».⠀
On y retrouve en featuring @qtiptheabstract (A tribe called Quest), la talentueuse rappeuse anglaise @littlesimz et @idriselba. Tu apprécieras le beat hip-hop, les sonorités africaines, alliés aux chœurs swahili (langue du Kenya, de Tanzanie et de la RDC). De l’afrofusion à l’état brut.⠀
“Little Simz, Idris Elba, Q-Tip et moi-même, représentons fièrement et avec force, le mouvement nouvelle génération (ndrl : de musiciens), une nouvelle façon d’appréhender la musique sans frontières, sans jugement, sans étiquettes » déclarait l’artiste.⠀
Visuellement remarquable, la vidéo d’animation nous transporte du cosmos à la savane, en passant par la banlieue new-yorkaise et le métro londonien. A l’image de sa musique, c’est une ballade réaliste, identitaire et musicale, entre l’ #afrique , l’ #europe et les États-Unis. Bon allez, on le dit, il est aussi le fils de Manu Dibango. Il a définitivement le regard tourné vers l’Afrique – à réécouter « Kwele », premier single de cette signature atypique – tout en puisant le meilleur de son background en France. En toute subjectivité, on kiffe grave ici !!! #pressplay ⠀
Q-Tip, JuJu and 88-Keys wearing Polo Ralph Lauren at the Roosevelt Hotel Record Convention, 1993-5. These photographs are courtesy of the late, great record dealer John Carraro and 88-Keys. @qtiptheabstract@junkyardjuju@eightyocho
Poetic Justice (1993)
♡It was a rumor for years after the release of Poetic Justice that Janet Jackson demanded that Tupac get an AIDS test before they did a kissing scene in the movie. Co-star Q-Tip confirmed the demand but John Singleton seriousness was downplayed. "That was a joke that we used to have on set, because Tupac was attracted to Janet, I was attracted to Janet. We were both on set trying to flirt with her and then I was like, ‘I don’t know if I should have him kissing on my actress when you’ve been f—king around, because you know Pac was just coming and going then’ he said. "Then, I was like better yet you gonna have to do an AIDS test before y’all do this love scene [but] it was a joke."
Pac apparently did not find it funny, telling MTV News, “I did not disagree if we were really going to make love. But if I’m gonna do a love scene with her just like somebody else did and they didn’t take a test, I’m not taking a test.”
•Follow @stylingitvintage (me) for more! 💗
Album: Midnight Marauders
Artist: A Tribe Called Quest
Release Date: November 9th, 1993
Genre: Jazz Rap / East Coast Rap
Thoughts: Where do I even start with this album? It has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My mom had this CD and played it constantly. I remember being really offput by the robotic female voice that guides you through the album. It wasn't until later in my life that I truly understood the genius of ATCQ and this album. It is a perfect blend of jazzy instrumentals, laid back flows, and really positive messages. I think hip hop has always lacked positive figures in the mainstream, and ATCQ and De La Soul were some of the first to have this attitude. This album just creates a calming and trippy vibe that I am happy to experience any time. You can really still hear the influence of this album in hip hop today and I don't see that changing for quite some time. This album is also credited for being one of the first conscious rap albums ever, which is one of my favorite genres. Also have to say this is one of the most iconic covers in hip hop history. The pressing I own of this album doesn't sound great, I don't think it was mixed very well for vinyl. This kind of leads to me listening to this album less, which is a shame.
Best features: Busta Rhymes
Favorite Songs: Electric Relaxation, Award Tour, Sucka N***a, Oh My God, Midnight, Keep It Rollin', Steve Biko (Stir It Up), 8 Million Stories
I wrote this piece over 2 years ago, for my mixtape "From the Darkness..." it's amazing what a bit of curiosity overtakes one and creates something manifested from the deep banks of knowledge within. It's not perfect, but who needs that any way?
Vince LaSalle as Q-Tip rapping the classic, “Breathe and Stop”. RIP J Dilla. Big shout to @qtiptheabstract . I’ve done a whole bunch of Phife videos, and only a couple for Tip, plus keep getting requests for Recess, so it was time to make it happen. I’ll be in LA for the week two weeks from tomorrow, so hit me up West Coast peeps! Keep the non-garbage requests coming in the comments... #qtip#jdilla#classichiphop#early2000s