A Tribe Called Quest f/ Large Professor “Keep It Rollin’” (1993)

Album: Midnight Marauders

Label: Jive/BMG

Producer: Large Professor

Large Professor: “That’s when Tip had his equipment in Phife’s basement. We used to just go through records. We would go record shopping, go to Phife’s basement, throw the needles on the records, whatever. So we would go through our batch of the stuff we got that day.

“So there was this joint, and I looped it up. And my boy Tony Rome, and Yusef, they had looped it up a while ago, and I was like, ‘Yeah, that shit is hot.’ But I never really knew what it was. But when I threw that record up there, I was like, ‘Oh shit, [I remember this joint].’ Then Tip was like, ‘Yo, that’s dope!’ Then I threw the drums to it, and it was cool.


That’s when Tip had his equipment in Phife’s basement. We would go record shopping, go to Phife’s basement, throw the needles on the records, whatever.


“I didn’t think they were gonna use it. It was crazy. He was like, ‘Yo, I’m in the studio, and I got that joint that you looped up. Come on, let’s rhyme over it.’ And you know, we were going record shopping together while he was working, so it was like, I would hear the work he was doing in his sessions. He’d come through like, ‘Yo, check this out,’ and play me ‘Lyrics To Go,’ and I’d be like, ‘Yo, that shit is crazy.’

“So I rolled through the studio. And I think at that time with Tip, he knew it was right when all the Main Source shit disintegrated, [which is why I’m like, ‘Fuck those two DJs’ on my verse]. He was like, ‘Yo, just get it out. We got your back.’

“At that time I was really going through a whole lot, with the breakup of the group, and just myself growing as a person, and now Nas is doing his thing, and like, ‘Oh shit, now I’m a solo artist.’ So Tip was like, ‘Yo, just come roll with us for a moment.’ That’s why all throughout that album he was kind of biggin’ me up, trying to get me to straighten up.

“I was torn up over that Main Source shit. I hadn’t planned on being a solo artist. I was the one saying the rhymes, but it was still like, ‘Yo, scratch this,’ or, ‘Yo, scratch that.’ So ‘Keep It Rollin’’ was nice, because it was it pretty much like, ‘Yo, keep it rollin’, man.’ For real.

“That [appearance] brought me to a whole other level. A lot of people were like, ‘Who is this guy?’ And then [they’d go back to my Main Source stuff and connect the dots].

“I like The Low End Theory [over Midnight Marauders]. I just like that time better. The Low End Theory, that’s when I was out in Jersey, and I’d be with the girls or whatever. And the girl, she would be driving me around. And I’d be like, ‘Yo, you ain’t got that A Tribe Called Quest The Low End Theory?’ Next day, she’d have that shit like, ‘Yo, yeah, this shit is so dope!’ All the girls I would be coolin’ out with, I’d be like, ‘You gotta get that A Tribe Called Quest shit.’ That was a nice time.

“And then musically, it had a lot of them ‘rock you to sleep’ loops. ‘Verses from the Abstract’ with the live bass. It was real ill. And then even ‘Butter.’ They were still tricky in Midnight Marauders, but The Low End Theory [was crazy]. And I was kind of involved in The Low End Theory, because that’s when we really first started clickin’. He would let me hear stuff. I was there when he just had the drum loop for ‘Check The Rhime.’ And he threw the other loop in there [with the bass line in front of me], and I was like, ‘Yo, that’s crazy!’”