Funny how time flies, so goes the saying.
Since the late 80s, iconic rap quartet A Tribe Called Quest has captivated Hip Hop listeners who still rabidly debate the merits of the veteran rap group’s second album. Released in September of 1991, The Low End Theory ushered in a more aggressive sound for the crew – going away from the sample loop heavy offerings of their debut People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm.
Whereas the preceding album managed to highlight front man Q-Tip as the face of Tribe, Low End was fellow microphone rocker Phife Dawg’s coming out party. With their 1-2 punch solidified in the annals of rap, VH1 caught up with the longtime and formerly feuding rap pals as they reminisced over the creation of what’s considered to be their landmark classic.
Joining Tribe in the discussion of their seminal second release are critic and writer Nelson George, journalist Boss Lady, and our own Hip Hop encyclopedia Sway Calloway – who all weigh in with their thoughts on the significance of The Low End Theory. Of course the brothers Tribe offered plenty of insight throughout the two-part VH1 anniversary piece, revealing that aside from the rumored grumblings inspired by their Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels Of A Tribe Called Quest documentary from director Michael Rapaport that the pains of all are slowly being buried.
“It was a dope time,” said Q-Tip of the early 90s. “N.W.A. was crushing it, and I just remember being influenced by that, how it sounded sonically.” Q-Tip’s brother-in-arms Phife chimed in with, “We just spoke on how we felt at the moment and it was the truth. We were one of those groups that didn’t have a problem admitting that we cried in front of our mothers.”
Head on over to the VH1 Blog site to see all of the interviews and read the rest of the backstory on their classic album by following this link: http://blog.vh1.com/2011-09-29/the-low-end-theory-turns-20/
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