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People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm

A Tribe Called Quest

1990

Buy At Rough Trade
People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm
Album Summary

People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm is the debut studio album by American hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest, released on April 10, 1990 on Jive Records. After forming the Native Tongues collective and collaborating on several projects, A Tribe Called Quest began recording sessions for People's Instinctive Travels in late 1989 at Calliope Studios with completion reached in early 1990. The album's laid back production encompassed a diverse range of samples which functioned as a template for the group's unorthodox lyrics. People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm was met with acclaim from professional music critics and the hip hop community on release, and was eventually certified gold in the United States. Its recognition has extended over the years as it is widely regarded as a central album in alternative hip hop with its unconventional production and lyricism. It is also credited for influencing many artists in both hip hop and R&B. In a commemorative article for XXL, Michael Blair wrote that "People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm was immensely groundbreaking, and will eternally maintain its relevance within the culture and construction of hip-hop".

Wikipedia

Rating

3.62

Votes

11497
Genres
Hip Hop

Reviews

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Mon Jul 26 2021
5

Wipe your feet really good on the rhythm rug. One of the greatest hip hop records of all time. Genius writing. Flawless delivery. Impeccable production value. Every song runs like honey and each interlude provides a perfectly paced breath to introduce the next chapter of the story. Packed with some of the greatest 90's hip hop tracks of all time, Can I Kick It being the obvious example. Description of a Fool is the progressive antithesis of the toxic behaviour glorified by so many of their peers at the time. Left My Wallet in El Segundo is a comedically leaning work of story telling perfection. Both Devoted to the Art of Moving Butts and Mr Muhammad even have elements of early 90's rave styles (it's a stooone groove, baby). Dropping a track purporting the benefits of a healthy diet in the middle of it all is a master stroke, not to mention hilarious. The near incoherent French over Lucien also falls into this category. One for the collection.

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Tue Aug 10 2021
5

Really solid Tribe album, complete with fun rhymes and creative, old-school instrumentals you would expect. Classic!

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Fri Aug 20 2021
5

Favs: Can I Kick It?, Bonita Applebum, Ham 'N' Eggs, all of them really Mehs: The opening bit of Push It Along isn't my favorite but, yeah, all these songs are great Lot of fun to listen to for the first time in a couple years. Still sounds fresh and innovative. Great lyrics and song variety (STDs, breakfast food, French Cassanovas!). Fun little unexpected jazzy bits. Great sampling (always love the Lou Reed on "Can I Kick It?"). Is it just me, or did Hamilton totally rip off "Luck of Lucien" in tone and sound? Hmm.

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Sat Oct 09 2021
5

A Tribe Called Quest came out swinging with this phenomenal, genre-changing record. It was positive, experimental, well-rounded, and exclusively different than anything that rap and hip-hop was known for in the early 90's. The foundation of jazz music paired with modern hip-hop rhythms is exceptionally beautiful and joyous to listen to. Each member is a master of their craft, and though Q-Tip was more of the frontrunner than he was in later releases, you can tell each songs was given the proper treatment by every member's role. I just get pure bliss and comfort from listening to this record, even if it doesn't hold the spot for my favorite ATCQ album. Favorite Songs: Footprints, I Left My Wallet in El Segundo, Can I Kick It?, Mr. Muhammad Least Favorite: Rhythm

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Wed Sep 15 2021
3

If part of Q-Tip's strategy was ensuring I slapped a juicy rating on this, he couldn't have done much more than ending Description of a Fool and the album with a Sly & the Family Stone sample. Of course, I didn't figure into his strategy one (Diogo) jot(a). As with all the groups in the tentative Natives Tongues collective, the target audience here is other black people, who Tip & co. want to join them in a celebration of all things pan-African. As ever, I'm humbled to be allowed to the party--especially one whose DJ has Luck of Lucien, El Segundo, Bonita Applebum and Can I Kick It on the decks. To my ears, this doesn't groove to rhythms as Afrocentric as you'd assume from ATCQ's image, but therein in lies my ignorance. Celebrating your African roots ain't about aping Youssou N'Dour, Fela Kuti or Tabu Ley Rochereau. The very Americanness of ATCQ's sound is a reminder of how deeply American music has been shaped by people of African descent, and how disgracefully that's been overlooked and overwritten. Slapping the Ghanaian colours on this puts it front and centre, where it should be.

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Thu Apr 01 2021
5

Love Tribe, I like the next few albums more though, feel like they were still finding their way with this one. Regardless, it's another 4.5 (5) stars.

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Wed Dec 14 2022
5

In case you had any doubt that everything was cooler in the 1990’s than it is today, consider this exhibit A.

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Thu Jul 01 2021
5

Teraz to mnie pikerka pozytywnie zaskoczyla, nie sadzilem ze ATCQ pojawi sie na tak wystakowanej liscie i to w dodatku debiutanckim albumersem, chociaz z drugiej strony, to nie jest glupi pomysl wybrac akurat peoples instinctive travels and the paths of the rythm, jako przedstawienie tworczosci tribowej, bo zakladam ze jednak zaden inny albumik sie nie pojawi, niestety, bo jako debuitancki album slychac na nim najwiecej kreatywnej wolnosci, bo plyta wydana byla przez jive, ktore raczej jest kojarzone z popowymi wydaniami, no i swiezym ksieciem, kolejnym czynnikiem ktore z pewnoscia mialo wplyw na brzmienie plyty bylo studio calliope, w ktorym obok tribersow tworzyli junglowi bracia, czy chocby prince paul razem z stetsasonic, ktory pojawia sie nawet goscinnie na traku rhythm, ale najwazniejsza jest chemia miedzy czlonakami ekipy, a tutaj ukazuje sie ona przede wszystkim jako koperacja miedzy qtipem i phifem, czyli duetem lirycznym ktory rozumie sie bez slow i konczy jeden drugiemu linijki, jeden z najlepszych duetow na majku w historii murzynskiej piesni rapowanej, a jak w dobrej historii, to tlem bedzie tutaj przyjazn od malego i wspolne dorastanie, jada jada, chociaz ta plyta jest bardziej przychylna dla qtipa, jesli chodzi o podzial linijek, ktory wedlug mego odczucia wynosi 4:1 po stronie Q, co do kolejnych czlonkow to za produkcje odpowiedzialny jest dj muhammad, czyli polaczenie perfekcyjnosci w masteringu, skillsow djskich i instyntku samplowego, bo jest to album opierajacy sie glownie na brzmieniu zlotej ery jazzu, choc potrafia sie pojawic bardziej funkowe zapetlenia, czy nawet cos bardziej rokowego, nie mozna takze zapominac o szadolowym czlonku, czyli panu bialym jarobim, ktory chociaz nie rapuje i pojawia sie jako wodzirej i jest osoba ktora przedstawia bande na openingowym push it along, ale ktory takze mial swoj udzial w tekstach, zwlaszcza na najwiekszych hitach plyty, czyli i felt my wallet in el segundo czy can i kick it, a jesli juz przy liryce, to plyta jest mocno zwiazana z tak zwanym pozytywnym rapowaniem i jest utrzymany w klimacie de la soulowego 3 stopy wysoko i jeszcze wzlatuje, wiec milosc, pokoj i mlodosc, a jak mlodosc to robienie glupot, a to wszystko przedstawione z humorkiem i inteligentnym samokrytycznym spojrzeniem na samego siebie, im wiecej wiesz o plycie tym trudniej jest zapisac jakas notke, bo o kazdym traku mozesz napisac osobna note, ale przynajmniej na plejke nie bedzie problemu, bo z 14 trakow albumu 6 znalazlo sie na niej wczesniej, wiec na dokladke otwierajacy push it along i polowa jest, oby wiecej takich pozycji

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Thu Nov 11 2021
5

Bold samples, boasts for days, cerebral and street level at the same time. This is Tribe really nailing how to burst into the music scene, and especially the hiphop scene

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Tue Jun 06 2023
5

Not only brings me down memory lane but reminds me of the brilliance of this group. Their sampling is groundbreaking, lyrics exciting, and their sound? Chef's kiss.

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Fri Apr 02 2021
4

Album koji je lansirao ATCQ na duge kvalitetne staze hip hop, jak debitanski album sa par klasika i neotkrivenih dragulja. Iako mi je njihov Midnight Marauders u top 3 hip hop albuma ikad, nikad nisam slušao ovaj naslov. Misleći to što imaju dva jako kvalitetna albuma iza ovoga da će ovaj biti neki slabiji trud, naravno sam promijenio mišljenje nakon slušanja. Za 1990. godinu, beatovi su friški, groovie i mog reć u neku ruku za tancanje dok se spremaš na posao (što je u mom slučaju bilo) pa se ujedno sklopilo sa lijepim vremenom i tako stvorilo pozitivnu vibru. Razlikuje se od prethodna dva albuma u tome što nije toliko jazz inspiriran/sempliran. Tldr; kvalitetna grupa kao što su ATCQ - nerazočarava! (4/5)

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Tue Jun 29 2021
4

I finally have a 3.5 that gets rounded up to a 4 rather than down the the 3. Some classic things in here absolutely. I did feel their "sound" kind of starts to all feel the same after awhile, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

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Wed Mar 10 2021
3

Hip Hop und Rap... was kann das schon werden? Witzig! Und überraschend! Kein Schimpfen oder schlüpfriger Lobgesang an eine „thicc biatch“. Dafür eine witzige Geschichte, wie er seinen Geldbeutel in einem Restaurant vergisst. Relatable! Der Beat ist entspannend und wenn ich wollte, konnte ich den Rap überhören. Teilweise gab es sogar groovy Melodien. Quasi das beste, was man aus Rap rausholen kann.

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Mon Nov 01 2021
3

Smooth, joyous melodies, with a mix of serous and light-hearted lyrics covering a wide range of themes. Musically, this is trippy and laid back, but full of crisp and tasteful compositions, slickly produced but seeming almost like an extended jam session. A testament to the confidence of the group. Top tracks: footprints, public enemy, can I kick it?

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Thu Nov 18 2021
3

Having found ATCQ's next album, Low End Theory, to be extremely dull and dated, I was surprised to actually quite like this. Fun, catchy and laid back hip hop with a good balance of instrumentation and samples from a range of genres. Can/do I kick/like it? Yes you/I can/do. 3/5.

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Tue Apr 13 2021
1

Took van in for check up,talked to Brenda. JENNI rent paid. Her behavior out of control.

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Mon Jul 12 2021
5

Everything you want from a hip hop album… chilled beats and amazing rhymes!

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Sat May 08 2021
5

Absolute fire. I could probably jam this all day.

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Wed Jul 21 2021
5

People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm is the debut studio album by American hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest, released on April 10, 1990[1] on Jive Records. The album's laid back production encompassed a diverse range of samples which functioned as a template for the group's unorthodox lyrics. A Tribe Called Quest formed in Queens, New York, in 1985.[6] After establishing a friendship with hip-hop act Jungle Brothers, both groups formed a collective dubbed Native Tongues, which also included De La Soul People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm has been described as "a celebration of bohemia, psychedelia and vagabondia",[11] as well as "laid back"

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Wed May 26 2021
5

Good storytelling and immaculate beats. Gets a bit long by the end. 9

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Wed May 26 2021
5

the beats and flows are so smooth. a lot of rap from this era sounds dated to me but this just sounds classic. i think the back end is a little weaker, but overall a great album 9/10

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Thu Mar 04 2021
5

Love Tribe, OG shit. Highlights: Luck of Lucien, Footprints, Bonita Applebum, (Pubic Enemy is about crabs haha), Can I kick it. 5 stars

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Fri Jul 16 2021
5

Amazing album. Awesome sampling and lyrics. Each song is a great listen.

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Thu May 13 2021
5

SICK BEATS, classic hip hop, 10/10

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Tue Jul 06 2021
5

Love it. "Luck of Lucien" is favorite Tribe song. Discovered "Youthful Expression" and "Ham & Eggs" and "Push it Along"

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Mon Jul 26 2021
5

I am beyond embarrassed that with all the love I have give Tribe over the last year, I didn't realize what their debut album was. I always thought it was Low End Theory so while I have been blaring that and their subsequent albums so frequently, I have never actually listened to this one. These are the days I appreciate this album list. I'm only a couple songs in now but this is just as great as their other albums. Tribe may be one of my favorite hip hop groups of all time and I think this solidifies it. Amazing album art work and that same classic beats and rhymes in each song. Glad I fixed my mistake.

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Mon Jul 26 2021
5

Best samples I have heard in Hip Hop, rapping and lyrical content is excellent and Unique album concept - A love letter to Rhythm and it's damn sweet 💓

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Fri Jul 30 2021
5

Obviously it’s amazing. Such a sign of what was to come - genre changing.

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Mon Aug 23 2021
5

What a great dicovery this one was. Will listen to this again, loved it.

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Thu Oct 28 2021
5

Experimental hip-hop/progressive rap album done extremely well, with interesting musical and lyrical motifs that get referenced.

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Fri Nov 05 2021
5

ATCQ never miss. I dig their later stuff a bit more but this album still rules.

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Tue Nov 09 2021
5

Perfect album front to back. Highlights include Bonita Applebum and Can I kick it?

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Thu Nov 11 2021
5

Interesting discovery, enjoyed it even though hip hop is not my usual type

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Thu Nov 11 2021
5

Chill, relaxed, and fun. Such good beats and such good bars. I liked this even better than Low End Theory tbh, even though that is the Tribe album I always hear the most praise for. Loved this one.

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Sat Nov 20 2021
5

This was more like a delicious cake than an album

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Fri Dec 03 2021
5

Tribe is one of the shining examples of what rap can be...love this album

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Sun Jan 02 2022
5

Love this album. Bonita Applebaum and Can I Kick It? are two of my favorite Tribe and hip hop songs.

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Mon Jan 03 2022
5

Just a vibe and a half. So good.

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Wed Jan 05 2022
5

Another absolutely phenomenal album, with some iconic tracks in it. The groove, the rhythm, all of it comes together to create a wonderful experience that just doesn't let up.

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Tue Jan 11 2022
5

я просто очень люблю этот альбом, всем спасибо

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Thu Jan 13 2022
5

I love the sound they produce. So smooth and feels so old school. Huge tribe fan.

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Fri Jan 21 2022
5

Great example of how alt hip hop can be so enjoyable and uplifting. Really interesting use of jazz rhythms and sounds. Near perfection.

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Sat Jan 22 2022
5

It's 1990 and it's the new decade and there is so much hope and promise. I'm at my friend's parents' beach house, having a chill summer party with friends and this album is the soundtrack. This never happened, but this is always what People's Instinctive Travels makes me think of, to the point where this might as well be real. The album has a fresh, feelgood sound, with social and political commentary among the party music. It's something to be said that ATCQ can deliver tunes about sexual health, cholesterol and losing one's wallet in El Segundo and not sounding preachy or dumb. Also check out the "Why" remix of "Bonita Applebum" because that is extremely dope.

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Thu Jan 27 2022
5

Lofi hiphop came from tribe more than any other group I've listen to (Wutang, NWA, ect)

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Mon Feb 07 2022
5

So good! Lot of songs I hadn’t heard from this album but some I like even better than the classics like bontia applebum and can I kick it!

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Mon Feb 21 2022
5

This may be the greatest hip hop albums of all time.

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Fri Feb 25 2022
5

Listening to hip-hop albums that were part of the golden age of sampling is such an interesting experience. Hearing snippets from extremely famous songs melded into the idiosyncratic rap style of QTip is cool; this album could only have been made in this era. I really enjoy Tribe, but I sort of forget about them when I'm not listening to them. It's nice to have their albums put in front of me through this list. Their style is so relaxed, which separates them from the more intense rap style and lyrical content that became more popular in this era. Q-Tip does great work throughout the album. The fact that this was their first album shows how quickly everything came together for this group. It's also crazy that the aspect of this album that has aged most poorly is their stance on cholesterol in eggs 5/5

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Sat Mar 19 2022
5

2 tracks in and I know I'm giving this a 5 star rating. Golden era of hip hop right here. I listened to Black Sheep in the early 90s but didn't know about all the other Native Tongue groups until several years later. The downside of amazing music coming out when you're still in middle school living in a small town.

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Mon Mar 21 2022
5

This is one of my favorites yet. So fun, witty and fresh as fuck.

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Sat Apr 02 2022
5

A masterpiece on multiple levels –  beats and samples, the rhymes and flows, plus world-class production. Plus, a ton of fun to listen to. Humor underrated in every genre of pop music and Tip et al make it look/sound so easy. Loved it 30+ years ago (Christ, can it be that long!?!?!) and it sounds just as good today.

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Tue Apr 12 2022
5

I absolutely loved this. PERFECT chill party music. Loved the lyrics. Fantastic.

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Wed Apr 27 2022
5

I know Tribe has their detractors. "They don't come hard enough." "They're trying too hard." "They're too silly." "They're too serious." It's exhausting to hear people whinge on and on about 'em. The truth is this album is just so chill and fun it's hard to hate on it unless you're really trying. If you're too hard for Tribe, it's time to rethink your life choices and calm the hell down. Because this album is just fantastic. It's all boom-bap tracks and laid back raps and the whole thing just slaps. It's impossible to stay still during tracks like "Can I Kick It?" The head nods are compulsory. Easy 5-stars. Easy.

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Wed Apr 27 2022
5

This album was a lot of fun to listen to! The lyrics are witty and I didn’t pick up on anything terribly exploitative or offensive. Enjoyed it the first time but really found it great the second time. Great fun!

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Wed Apr 27 2022
5

Funk and rhythm kept me groovin' all day. Loved it.

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Wed May 11 2022
5

11/10- Would Leave My Wallet In El Segundo Again. Still don’t get that baby crying at the beginning tho

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Sun Jun 12 2022
5

A masterpiece and right up my hip-hop alley, with chill beats and fun samples, easy rhymes and flows and great production. Sounds just as fun today as did 30 years ago.

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Tue Jul 26 2022
5

This album is so good. Such a vibe. I mostly know Tribe from the anthology, but this might as well be a greatest hits. Plus the flow from start to finish and the lil sample interludes added to the feel of it being an album not just songs. RIP Joe C.

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Tue Jul 26 2022
5

recommended for: kickin it. So good. Started the album expecting to give it a 4, but ended up at a 5. Every song is good and Can I Kick It? is iconic. Just read that atcq didn't get any money from Can I Kick It? because Lou Reed said they could use his sample but only if he got all the money from the song lol. So Lou Reed. https://www.factmag.com/2015/11/18/a-tribe-called-quest-lou-reed-money-can-i-kick-it/

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Tue Aug 09 2022
5

I've written about how I'm not a rap guy on previous rap albums, but this is one of the few rap albums that I'd listened to a few times before this. I read that one of the members mentioned how at the time rappers were supposed to appear tough and how this album wasn't. I think that works a lot in its favour as it ages a lot better than that tough-guy rapper image which to me is very dated and part of my issue with a lot of the rap albums I've encountered on this list so far.

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Thu Aug 18 2022
5

trying to figure out who my favorite old-school hip-hop group is hearing A Tribe Called Quest’s first three album has made me think it’s probably these guys this album (along with the other two I listened to) is easily a 10/10 fuckin amazing

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Mon Aug 22 2022
5

ATCQ straight up bring the funk, the joy, the boom, the bip (the boom, bip) and some sweet jazz samples to hip hop. The interplay between Q-Tip and Phife Dog (RIP) is always a joy to hear. A four star album only because Midnight Marauders and The Low End Theory would get five.

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Thu Aug 25 2022
5

Love this album, icon of the genre

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Tue Sep 13 2022
5

This is my kind of hip-hop, clever rhymes and creative lyrics/storytelling. Definitely going to dive deeper into this group, really enjoyed this one.

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Sat Sep 17 2022
5

3rd best hip hop debut behind Illmatic and College Dropout.

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Mon Sep 19 2022
5

Fantastic stuff, a groove-a-licious gem.

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Thu Oct 06 2022
5

Based on this album's technical and artistic achievements, it is hard to imagine that it is a debut album. But that can be explained by the experience and talent of the artists that put it together. The album is a mosaic, not a melting pot, of musical styles that come together to form a colorful, vibrant picture. A Tribe Called Quest elevated all hip-hop by dropping sounds with so much weight that it is not hard to understand why so much of the alternative hip-hop scene orbits around them.

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Mon Oct 10 2022
5

While most of the hip-hop world was hopping on board the gangsta rap train, the Tribe blazed off in another direction—a lighter, jazz-inflected Afrocentrism that was unconcerned with gangs and gats. I had "The Low End Theory" on cassette as a kid, but missed out on this one. I was familiar with "Bonita Applebaum" and "Can I Kick It?", but the rest of this album was new to me. Unsurprisingly, their debut album is as fantastic as one might expect, with Q-Tip's lyrical prowess in particular shining brightly at every turn. This isn't quite as good as "The Low End Theory," but I'm giving it 5 stars nonetheless.

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Thu Nov 10 2022
5

I really like the vibes and attitude of A Tribe Called Quest. Also really like their voices and the musical styles on this album.

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Thu Nov 17 2022
5

WE ALREADY KNOWWWW ITS A GOAT favourite song: ham n eggs... LOL (probably luck of lucien but el segundo has a special place in my heart)

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Thu Nov 17 2022
5

One of my favourite albums of all time from the vibesiest rap group to do it. The start of Push It Along is cosmic birth through a wormhole, setting you up for just under an hour (see later why) of blunt-on-a-sunday instrumentals and mellow raps. An underrated feature is the name of the album that encapsulates the sense of irreverent journeying you undergo, meticulously structured (though it feels so natural) by Q Tip. Social, mystical, and most importantly pure FUN - this album was the start of a movement and impactful. The last 4 songs on the album are pretty trash so mentally I have just excluded them. Since it is a run of songs at the end doesn't feel wrong. Also the colourful album cover is better but this is still iconic. Favourite song - I left my wallet in El Segundo* or Rhythm devoted to the art of moving butts *It's kinda my Rosebud, the kids are gonna be very confused when I spit 'we left Brooklyn and made big tracks'

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Fri Nov 25 2022
5

Too many times albums are labelled ‘classic’. This one fits the bill. It also has CRAZY prophylactics.

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Tue Nov 29 2022
5

Mon préféré reste Low End Theory, mais les bases sont sur ce premier album de ATCQ. Les pièces Bonita Applebum et (surtout) Can I Kick It? sont des essentielles du groupe. Outre Beastie Boys que je mets dans une catégorie à part, ATCQ est définitivement mon collectif de Hip Hop préféré.

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Tue Nov 29 2022
5

Tout un premier album. Propos intelligent, sample savament trouvés, flows distinctifs, influence pour tous les autres.

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Thu Dec 01 2022
5

One of hip hops greatest complete albums. From top to bottom for me this is absolutely excellent. I’m Cool Like That and so is this record a must listen!

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