Eso Tre, one-half of the hip hop collective Substance Abuse (hear them on Earbits), reviewed the recent release from A Tribe Called Quest, called ‘We Got It From Here…Thank You for Your Service’. It’s a unique look into what is proving to be a huge album – from an artist’s perspective. Check out the review, and grab the album!
You’ve probably heard the hubbub surrounding the latest and last installment from A Tribe Called Quest – “We Got It From Here…Thank You for Your Service”. It’s great, it’s dope, and most of all it’s “needed”, especially in a time when our country suffers from a volatile political climate where social media and it’s concomitant memes have made truth about as malleable as silly putty. But what you probably haven’t heard from Nate Silver or anyone else who was making predictions about how this final Tribe effort would turn out was that this is one of the few albums that actually lives up to the hype, exemplifying the classic production and lyricism that made People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm, A Low End Theory, and Midnight Marauders some of the greatest hip hop albums of all time.
The cameos are neither well-advertised or gratuitous, and there is no effort to “modernize” the sound that will always be eons ahead of the most laudable attempts at musical innovation. This is the Tribe album you always wanted, but may secretly have not been expecting to get. Indeed, any doubts about ATCQ’s ability to deliver are quickly dispelled by the opening track, “The Space Program”, where Q-Tip and Jarobi (Tribe’s most mysterious member) remind you of that feeling you got when you heard songs like “Award Tour” and “Footprints” for the first time. As the album progresses and you hear the rawness of “Whateva Will Be” or Elton John’s soulful contribution to “Solid Wall of Sound”, you realize this wasn’t a release people were pumping up to avoid having to admit that it’s just ok. This album has some truly great joints on it, and the rhymes spit by Busta Rhymes on “Dis Generation” and Andre 3000 on “Kids” will disabuse you of any idea that mega stardom somehow robbed these emcees of their ability to kick the unbridled freshness that marked the inception of their careers.
This album runs the gamut from fun to philosophy to politics without inadvertently paying tribute to the overexposed reprobates of our time. Tip provides clarity on the struggle with mankind’s self-indulgent impulses on “Ego”, while Phife playfully pokes fun at the enfant terrible on “The Donald”. The only truly disappointing aspect of this album is that you really will want to hear a follow up, and we’ve been assured that there won’t be one. But given the widespread acceptance of false promises that seems to be the hallmark of our time, this may be one instance where you hope someone is lying to you. “We Got It From Here…Thank You for Your Service” is a truly great work, and perhaps the beginning of a new era in hip hop where just being “aight” ain’t gonna cut it anymore.
R.I.P. Phife Dawg.