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Midnight Marauders

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iTunes Review

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.

Customer Reviews

just awesome

A Tribe Called Quest does hip-hop the right way. The beat in Sucka N***a was taken from a jazz song called Red Clay by Freddie Hubbard. I'm a sax player, and I love how they take jazz and make it into hip-hop. Right on.

True Hip Hop right here!

This album is amazing, my favorite from the group. Every single song has something special about it which makes the album great to listen straight through. It is a shame this kind of rap isn't going on today.

One of the Most Influential Albums in Hip Hop History...

...this album will go down in the books as one that forced the music to change direction. From production to rhymes, the album has no flaws. Award Tour was one of the most popular singles of the later half of the decade due to its infectious melody and the voice of a member of De La Soul on the hook. Sucka N***a started conversations throughout the ghettos of the country about the use of the N word and what it really stood for. Electric Relaxation was the sexiest hip hop track recorded at that time, with a bass guitar beat that was stuck in your head for days. Again, not enough can be said about ATCQ's Midnight Marauders. It is a classic.


Formed: 1988 in Queens, NY

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

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 nigger, the trials and tribulations of...
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