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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  • Hip Hop Since 85

    As far as groups go, Tribe is in the top 4 or 5 greatest of all times… Of course you have in no certain order,
    Run DMC, Tribe, Oukast, NWA, 2 Live Crew….(I know-I know…) but in the late 80′s and and early 90′s) they (2 Live) had the radio on complete lock down. Tribe was a great group though, you felt like hip hop when the album came on, AND THEN, when that midnight Maurauders came out—WRAP!!! Nothing like it….

    • illionaire603

      That is a weak ass top 5 group, Wu should def be up there you crazy, Wu, Tribe, Outkast, BCC, De La Soul

      Or you could even throw in NWA if you want, or Brand Nubian, but you’re gonna throw 2 live crew in? whack.

    • smokey

      You’re hella old if you think 2 live, Run-DMC, and NWA deserve to be up there. They were all influencial but no where near the best. Run-DMC was hella simple, even for thier time, 2 Live was fun but thats it and their run was only a lil while, and NWA was cool for Straight out of Compton but after Cube left they lost all direction.

  • billy blank

    how the fuck can u put 2live crew in ur top 5 groups of all time but not WU-TANG…….F.O.H.

    • d

      hahahaha….EXACTLY! wtf

  • iamlegend100

    Damn, Tribe is legendary, lyrics to go, God lives through, clap your hands, f*ck it the whole Midnight Marauders album was a str8 up classic, the low end theory was the truth 2 but Midnight was and will always be one of the best hip hop albums of all time hands down, bar none!!!

    • ptc


  • oskamadison

    @ Hip Hop since 85…

    Your inclusion of 2 Live Crew caught me off guard as well but…EVERYBODY HAS A RIGHT TO THEIR OWN OPINION! No one’s “top 5″ list is any better or wacker than anyone else’s. That being said…
    I always respected The Low End Theory but I’m probably in the minority that actually prefers People’s Instinctive Travel’s…to TLET. I just like the vibe of the first one better. Their BEST joint is of course Midnight Marauders. Their most slept-on joint (not just in their catalog but in Hip-Hop, period) is Beats, Rhymes and Life. Damn…doesn’t it seem like The Love Movement never even happened?