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Producers Speak on the Influence of A Tribe Called Quest’s The Low End Theory

It was the body of work. The samples they chose. Everything was meshed together so perfectly. All of Tribe’s stuff was just, always ahead of its time. But when that record came out, it had so many records on there that were back to back classics. From the artwork, the sequencing of the records, it was timeless man. That album had “Scenario.” It was responsible for too much shit. Busta Rhymes! The music was so ahead of its time. There are certain albums you need on your playlist, that’s one of them. I was DJing when that came out and Tribe was so left, but it was down the middle where everybody could relate. The whole creative packaging behind it, it was Tribe.

The way that it stood out back then, was the way it’s standing out now. Now, they call it hipster rap right now. In the age of all the trap music when you have people like Big Sean, back then… If we talking about ’91, you had a lot of niggas talking about gold chains. These cats were talking about life. You had so many different extremes. You had what was going on in the West with the gangsta rap, then you had New York with the flashy rap, battle rap. Tribe, was just about life. Just that whole movement with them, De La Soul and Leaders of the New School, they we talking about shit the average kid could feel.

It was dope. A lot of dudes are sampling break beats. Even what Dre was doing on the West Coast, it was a lot of break beat samples going on. Tribe was doing jazz. Tribe, just separated their music. No one was thinking about doing that. It gave them their own sound. It put them in their own lane. It created their own lane. Tribe Called Quest, this is the group that’s responsible for Kanye West to do what he does, or come out how he came out. It’s always that one artist or group that sets a trend when everybody else is going one way. The jazz samples definitely separated them from everybody else.

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