14 Songs, 51 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

By their third album, A Tribe Called Quest was paving new ground for the next two decades of hip-hop culture, promoting originality and playfulness in its brand of music. If the group's sophomore effort, Low End Theory, was anchored by Ron Carter’s stomach-deep bass lines, Midnight Marauders is all in the hips: it's still jazzy but more bouncy. The singles “Award Tour,” “Oh My God,” and “Electric Relaxation” have become essential in any rap fan’s collection. Phife Dawg continues his maturation into the “five-foot assassin” with battle-inflected rhymes, and Q-Tip ascends to career-high levels with rhythmic lyrics that travel wherever they please (evidenced by his greeting—“Wassup kids, the Ab is speaking from the moon”). The keen balance of otherworldly sounds and down-to-earth likability has made this a fan favorite.

EDITORS’ NOTES

By their third album, A Tribe Called Quest was paving new ground for the next two decades of hip-hop culture, promoting originality and playfulness in its brand of music. If the group's sophomore effort, Low End Theory, was anchored by Ron Carter’s stomach-deep bass lines, Midnight Marauders is all in the hips: it's still jazzy but more bouncy. The singles “Award Tour,” “Oh My God,” and “Electric Relaxation” have become essential in any rap fan’s collection. Phife Dawg continues his maturation into the “five-foot assassin” with battle-inflected rhymes, and Q-Tip ascends to career-high levels with rhythmic lyrics that travel wherever they please (evidenced by his greeting—“Wassup kids, the Ab is speaking from the moon”). The keen balance of otherworldly sounds and down-to-earth likability has made this a fan favorite.

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