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Midnight Marauders

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Album Review

Though the abstract rappers finally betrayed a few commercial ambitions for Midnight Marauders, the happy result was a smart, hooky record that may not have furthered the jazz-rap fusions of The Low End Theory, but did merge Tribe-style intelligence and reflection with some of the most inviting grooves heard on any early-'90s rap record. The productions, more funky than jazzy, were tighter overall — but the big improvement, four years after their debut, came with Q-Tip's and Phife Dawg's raps. Focused yet funky, polished but raw, the duo was practically telepathic on "Steve Biko (Stir It Up)" and "The Chase, Pt. 2," though the mammoth track here was the pop hit "Award Tour." A worldwide call-out record with a killer riff and a great pair of individual raps from the pair, it assured that Midnight Marauders would become A Tribe Called Quest's biggest seller. The album didn't feature as many topical tracks as Tribe was known for, though the group did include an excellent, sympathetic commentary on the question of that word ("Sucka N***a," with a key phrase: "being as we use it as a term of endearment"). Most of the time, A Tribe Called Quest was indulging in impeccably produced, next-generation games of the dozens ("We Can Get Down," "Oh My God," "Lyrics to Go"), but also took the time to illustrate sensitivity and spirituality ("God Lives Through"). A Tribe Called Quest's Midnight Marauders was commercially successful, artistically adept, and lyrically inventive; the album cemented their status as alternative rap's prime sound merchants, authors of the most original style since the Bomb Squad first exploded on wax.

Customer Reviews

the height of real hip hop

even to this day this album stands a real contender for one of the best hip hop albums of all time. its perfect for chilling late at night, driving through the town with the windows down, or just to chill to in the evening the smooth melodies and beats, most notably in the second half of the album (Electric Relaxation, clap your hands, the chase and mostly lyrics to go - my faiv) are timeless. theres a suprisingly perfect sense of calm to the whole piece with smooth mellow chords providing the back drop to some excellent beats and some of the most melodic and fitting rap you'll ever hear. phife dawgs lyrics in particular are phenominal, and his first intro in Electric Relax proves his weight "i like 'em brown, yellow.." etc.. to put it short, whenever i reccomend a good HH album to a mate i always start with this one. love it, phenominal.

Great, again.

This is the third Tribe album, and this showed less consistency in some areas, but evolution in others. Never-the-less, this is an exceptional piece of hip-hop, and you would be a fool to miss it. This album saw Phife and Q-tip reach there zenith as a rap-duo, and there skill and brilliant match as a pair is something to behold. Ali-Shaheed's production, while not as consistent, is more skilled in some area's, and album sounds amazing, with a more concise and rootsy sound, buy it.

Dear Help us All... Brilliant!!

Really, the last ATCQ album that fused their infamous jazz/lounge sound with their extrovert lyrical and musical personalities. Although each Album is brilliant in their own individual way, this one is brilliant in every way possible. From the mellow journey of Electric Relaxation, to the hectic proclamation found in Clap Your Hands, the listeners mood will sail up and down through this rollercoaster of an album, yet interest and enjoyment will remain peaked throughout.

One of the most influential Hip-Hop LP's ever in my opinion, and although it does not focus on the ecstatic creativity found in Peoples Instinctive Travels, or the careless, smooth jazz found in The Low End Theory, it contains much much more. A flawless fusion of the two key esscences that make the Tribe the utterly brilliant act they are, and always will be. This album will be their legacy for generations to come.

This album was also the real beginning of the masterful lyrical interplay between Q-Tip and Phife, as previously, Q-Tip had usually taken a firm hold of most verses, with Phife only getting a look in every so often. Yet from this album and onwards, the fire top notch verses flawlessly back and forth to each other, the likes never really seen in hip hop before. The only example i can think of previous to this album is in Check The Rhime, In the Low End Theory. Yet in this Album, it is a consistent and common, yet unigue feature.

So, a must buy, however, you simply cant ignore the other four albums, as i said they are all brilliant in their own way. So please buy this and SUPPORT REAL HIP HOP!

Happy Listening Guys :)


Formed: 1988 in Queens, NY

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Without question the most intelligent, artistic rap group during the 1990s, A Tribe Called Quest jump-started and perfected the hip-hop alternative to hardcore and gangsta rap. In essence, they abandoned the macho posturing rap music had been constructed upon, and focused instead on abstract philosophy and message tracks. The "sucka MC" theme had never been completely ignored in hip-hop, but Tribe confronted numerous black issues — date rape, use of the word n****r, the trials and tribulations...
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