In the late 1980s, the rap scene was basically divided into two types of artists. There were in-your-face acts like Public Enemy, Ice-T and N.W.A. and more tongue-in-cheek acts like MC Hammer, Digital Underground and Tone-Loc. The genre started moving in a new direction in 1990 with the release of A Tribe Called Quest’s “People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm” debut.
Comprised of Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Jarobi White, the Tribe took the traditional hip-hop formula and set it on its ear. They didn’t waste time with the tough guy posturing of their counterparts, instead choosing to tackle socially conscious topics in a laid-back manner. To mark the 25th anniversary of the groundbreaking platter, the folks at Legacy have served up a tasty reissue. Remastered from the original tapes, the set includes a trio of previously unreleased bonus tracks.
The silly fun “I Left My Wallet in El Segundo” was an MTV for the Tribe, but keepers likes “Push It Along,” “After Hours,” “Bonita Applebum” and “Can I Kick It?” are every bit as good. Among the bonus tracks, the CeeLo Green remix of “Footprints” and the J. Cole remix of “Can I Kick It?” are the one’s you’ll remember. (Jeffrey Sisk)