Today, legendary hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest releases its final album, We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service. After 18 long years, the group follows up 1998's The Love Movement with a work that stands tall among its storied discography. The circumstances surrounding the album's creation are tragic; on March 22, after a decades-long struggle with degenerative diabetes, founding member Phife Dawg passed away. However, in his remaining months, the beloved MC was able to reunite with his closest collaborators—Q-Tip, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, and Jarobi White—to record their magnum coda. Phife Dawg presence on the album isn't simply poignant; it's vibrant, ever-lasting, and celebratory.
In Part I of a three-part series devoted to this landmark album, Complex's Oct/Nov 2016 issue features exclusive photos from Q-Tip's home recording studio, where much of the album was recorded and produced. In Part II to come, Chief Content Officer Noah Callahan-Bever will share his thoughts and impressions on his time spent with the group during their final days together. And in Part III, we'll unveil a documentary that chronicles the making-of We Got It From Here, and reflects on the group's irreplaceable imprint on hip-hop. Check out the cover story today, and make sure to buy Complex's Oct/Nov 2016 issue now!