A Tribe Called Quest have dropped their final music video for the We got it from Here... Thank You 4 Your service opening cut “The Space Program.”
The Warren Fu-directed visual opens with Q-Tip playing chess on a spaceship—later, again, we see Q-Tip playing chess again, but this time with a faceless man in an empty field. Throughout the visual, mini-televisions show clips of riots and white supremacist phrases. It’s a theme that’s visited throughout the video, particularly emphasized at the end, when the spaceship’s oxygen reserve runs out and the message “I CAN’T BREATHE” appears. In the end, he three remaining members of Tribe end up on another planet.
A lot of familiar faces pop up throughout, including Erykah Badu, Vince Staples, Pharrell, and Common, Questlove, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Rosario Dawson, Janelle Monáe, Alicia Keys, Anderson .Paak, and more.
At the end, we see a dedication that reads “For Malik” or Phife Dawg, who passed away in 2016, followed by a collection of photos, which accompany the credits.
Q-Tip spoke with Zane Lowe on Thursday about the video and Phife’s passing.
“I miss my boy still. I doubt that there’s an acceptance but then if [you] lost someone you accept that, you deal with it, but then you have those moments that are pretty salient for you. And it just hits you and takes you there. I'm saying so [because] I don't think anybody could ever avoid that—one of the pitfalls of being human I guess, so I'm never going to stop loving them. Missing them.”
Tip continued, “And in this moment, I just break up when I hear my man's voice or when I see [a] picture of us, or even if it's not a Tribe record it I could hear a song that we grew up with, and we will always talk about something that was a personal favorite of ours or a tour favorite, or something that we would joke about or we would recall things like that. But in terms of the actual group, in a professional setting you know—I have the closure; I'm good with it. Like I look back at what we contributed to hip hop, I look back at what we contributed to music, sometimes with disbelief.”
The video is part of the highly anticipated joint capsule between A Tribe Called Quest and Pharrell’s Billionaire Boys Club, with the collection aptly titled The Space Program.
Preview the clip below, or watch the full eight-minute video on Apple Music.