In November 2017, Q-Tip loudly voiced his displeasure with the Grammy board for not nominating A Tribe Called Quest's critically acclaimed final album, We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service. "It's the last fuckin' Tribe album and y'all ni**as don't give us no nominations?" he said in a series of Instagram videos. "Y'all ni**as is corny. Fuck y'all Grammy ni**as. Fuck y'all. I'm tired of biting my tongue all the time and being nice and shit."
Tuesday, fellow ATCQ members Consequence and Ali Shaheed Muhammad stopped by Sway's Universe to share their thoughts on the snub during an interview about their upcoming Billionaire Boys Club collaboration.
"Just to be honest with y'all, I thought we was going home with the statue," Consequence said.
Host Sway Calloway then played a clip from Grammys Chair Emeritus Jimmy Jam who had this to say: "Remember, Tribe was on the Grammys last year and there's a lot of people that would be going, 'What are you complaining about? You actually got to perform on the show.' Which in many ways is just as relevant as getting the actual nomination."
Muhammad disagreed and explained, "To say that the group performed and that should be your consolation prize, I think is very disrespectful to the art that you put forth."
"That was his last effort on Earth," Consequence added, reminding everyone that the album contained Phife Dawg's final work. "I want you to understand the magnitude on that." Then he added, "What happens so many times with black people, is that we come up with notions why other brothers and sisters shouldn't be celebrated. Ain't no notion for that shit. They fucked up."
Consequence continued, "Anybody who comes back 18 years after a hiatus and performs the year before, naturally you would assume that I should have something on my mantle in 12 months."
"You can't go into any party in the world and A Tribe Called Quest song is not played still, 28 years later," Muhammad noted. "So, when you put forth an album that 18 years later will still do the same thing, it's like: Who is at the wheel in the present moment? That's what the present moment is about."
Muhammad explained that the group normally doesn't put an emphasis on Grammys and other awards, so he was surprised to hear Q-Tip ask him, "What do you think about us getting a Grammy?" when they were rehearsing for tour. Muhammad continued, "There's a lot that comes with getting that Grammy nod. It's political. [Q-Tip] told me right then and there, 'You're not going to have a problem with that?' I go, 'It's just political.' And he said, 'I might have a chip on my shoulder.'"
Consequence admitted that there may have been more they could have done from a business perspective to get a nomination. But he said, "In human consideration and respect of a legacy, should we have been given a little preferential treatment? Absolutely. That's what this game is."
Finally, Muhammad explained, "If you look over the history of the Grammys, there are other people who have influences and their artists get pushed forward for whatever reason. It's not always the merit of the record." Then he added, "Our Grammy is [our] 30 year legacy." The Grammys conversation starts at the 7-minute mark.
The group's Billionaire Boys Club capsule collection dropped on Tuesday and they're gearing up to release their final music video with "The Space Program." You can watch a teaser of the video below.