Released: Nov. 11
Why does this album sound like the 2016 version of 1997? The drums on “We the People” hit harder than an Onyx track; the video should’ve premiered on Yo! MTV Raps. I was crossing the George Washington Bridge the weekend after this dropped, and when those drums hit at the tollbooth, I had a flashback to when I was cutting class and smoking grass in my Honda, with old-school Tribe blaring through my Pioneer speakers that a crackhead stole and later tried to sell back to me.
With the passing of Phife, celebrating the final Tribe album is bittersweet (especially with his beloved Knicks finally showing so much promise). But New York City rap needed this—the rap game in general needed this. Busta Rhymes and the 5-Foot Assassin spitting in patois like they never missed a beat was needed. Consequence, Kendrick, André 3000, Talib Kweli, Anderson Paak, and Kanye went above and beyond with their contributions. This is A Tribe Called Quest album, not an album made by some old guys trying to sound new. —Angel Diaz