Every Tribe song has quotables. Starting with TLET, “Excursions” is lyrically a great song. On “Check The Rhime” Tip put out “Industry rule No. 4080,” which is still quoted and talked about today.
One of my favorite lines onis on “Oh My God,” Phife saying, “Mr. Energetic, who me sound pathetic, when’s the last time you heard a funky diabetic?” Just the idea of him calling himself that. The thing about Tribe was they were so regular and so vulnerable. That line was him really acknowledging the sickness he had that, later on, would really do a number on him—but doing it in such a fly way. Only in hip-hop would you call yourself the funky diabetic.
One song that I think is underrated lyrically is “Sucka Nigga.” Obviously, just the title of it is significant, what he’s saying, what he’s talking about, and how he does it. That consciousness was in Tribe on every album. They were conscious, but it was so subtle, and that’s what made it so effective.
When he says, “I do the figure eight,” and then he actually does it with his lyrics... I mean, if you listen to that song, and I’ve listened to it over and over, the rhyme pattern is so unique. He’s really an underrated emcee. I would have to call this one a dead heat too. Individually, both of them were great on both albums, and when they did songs together they were both great. So that one’s another draw.