An Album Review: We Got It From Here...Thank You 4 Your Service
I must admit I had no awareness there was another A Tribe Called Quest album in the works until I caught some of the marketing push just ahead of its release. The thought of getting to dig into another slate of Tribe beats and lyrics made me overjoyed.
When I learned the album was created prior to Phife Dawg’s passing and would contain his signature sound and style, I became flush with gratitude in addition to the excitement.
We Got It From Here…Thank You 4 Your Service is the reprise release from one of the truest and most profound acts from the world of Hip Hop. Anything and everything you ever loved about a Tribe album is contained in this new release.
Getting to once again immerse yourself into that rarified state that only Tribe can create feels like a gift from the musical Gods.
The pristine beats that are so uniquely sourced and created. The thought provoking lyrical themes. The tit for tat back and forth flow between Q-Tip and Phife Dawg. All of these familiar Tribe elements are fully on display on We Got It From Here...Thank You 4 Your Service. They are all welcomed revivals.
There are few acts in hip-hop that make me hang on their every lyric so intently like A Tribe Called Quest can. They can drop a line to challenge the collective conscious of society or slide in the cleverest of quips to crack a smile in the listener. They always bring the perfect blend of substance and slyness along with the auditory stimulation.
We Got It From Here...Thank You 4 Your Service kicks off with a track titled “The Space Program”. It is chocked full of samples layered over a smooth and subtle beat.
Instantly you recognize this is a real Tribe album. This is not some cobbled together, half-hearted effort. This is not a legacy act trying grasp at cash, reclaim some spotlight, or do whatever an artist does beyond the purest calling of creating art.
If after the first track there are still any lingering doubts this is Tribe in all their glory, the second track “We The People” comes crashing in with the thump and thunder to render any other doubts obsolete.
The beat and hook for “We The People” stacks right up top amongst other iconic Tribe thumpers like “Can I Kick It?” and “Buggin’ Out”.
Worldwide Love For ATCQ
The universal love for A Tribe Called Quest is much like the reverence bestowed upon rock n roll’s Motorhead. Other artists respect them. Fans from all walks of life passionately champion them.
The strong showing of guest performers on We Got It From Here… completely underscores the worldwide appreciation that A Tribe Called Quest receives. It is love and respect that they have rightfully earned.
Andre 3000 shows up on the fiery track “Kids…”. Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, and Jack White all make appearances. Of course, long-time collaborator Busta Rhymes shows up in full force.
Even Elton John contributes for one of my personal favorites off of the album titled “Solid Wall Of Sound”. The track brilliantly samples the Elton John classic “Benny And The Jets”.
A Connection With ATCQ
When Phife Dawg passed it hit a little harder for me than hearing the news of other celebrities who had died. I felt a more personal connection to Phife and the music he created. Phife Dawg’s rebellious spirit and braggadocious lyrical flow were infectious. How could you not love and root for Phife Dawg?
The Low End Theory, the second full-length release from Tribe, came out in September of 1991. That was the fall I started my senior year of high school. That album is so ingrained in my youth. It was such a seminal period of my life.
I was incredibly lucky to see Tribe perform a few times back in the early and mid-‘90s. They were as brilliant live as they were recorded.
We Got It From Here...Thank You 4 Your Service certainly sparks feelings of nostalgia for me but to A Tribe Called Quest’s credit there is nothing retro or recycled on this album. The tracks are another step forward sonically for an already hall of fame worthy career.
If you are younger and just getting your first taste of Tribe, welcome to the party. Enjoy this proper introduction and then go back and study up on the classics.
If you are a diehard Tribe fan from back in the day, this album will do nothing but further solidify all the many reasons you love and respect them.
We Got It From Here...Thank You 4 Your Service truly stands up and delivers. As A Tribe Called Quest fans we have plenty to celebrate and be thankful for with this release.