A Tribe Called Quest fans got a special treat Friday evening (March 2nd) when an ensemble of musicians and special guests paid homage to the legendary group with a tributary performance in NYC.
Movement 2 – Excursions: A Tribe Called Quest was held in Harlem at the Marian Anderson Theater. The Revive Da Live Big Band, a large collective of musicians including a 13-piece brass section, two emcees and a DJ, performed through the night. But, a definite highlight of the evening was when Leaders of the New School’s Charlie Brown and Dinco D reunited on stage to perform “Scenario” with the aide of hip-hop vets Sadat X (Brand Nubian) and Buckshot (Black Moon).
Although Q-Tip, Ali and Phife Dawg did not show up, ATCQ member Jarobi White represented the group with a rock solid performance of his own. During the opening set, Jarobi, who performed with Black Sheep’s Dres as the experimental group EVITAN (Native spelled backwards), explained how the two Native Tongues members came together.
“Initially Dres called me two years ago and he was like, ‘Yo Jarobi we need to do a EP. It’s about time. I know you got it in you!’”
Jarobi explained he was reluctant at first, but a year later he reconsidered and began working on the first single with Dres. After fellow band mate Q-Tip heard the first song “Keepin On,” he encouraged Jarobi to continue with the project. According to J, Q Tip exclaimed, “Yo! Yall sound ridiculous together. You should be a group!” 25 songs later, EVITAN was formed. (Check out the latest video, “Occupy Wall Street,” by the group below.)
Andres “Dres” Titus, spoke about Jarobi’s talent and the need for this much anticipated project.
“Jarobi is a friend of mine,” he said. “He’s actually on my first album. I’ve known him for years and I wanted him to put an EP together for my company, Pool of Genius Records. We did the first record and played it for a few of our friends and they loved it, so we ended up doing more records.”
Dres went on to say, “In 20 years of him being in ATCQ, cats have never heard him rhyme. Dude is really dope!”
XXL got a chance to talk to Jarobi backstage, asking him if ATCQ would ever reunite for a future album.
“Probably not,” he responded honestly. “I think our time has passed. I’m gonna be doing stuff with Tip, Ali and Phife of course in the future. But as far as A Tribe Called Quest doing a project, I’m not sure that’s gonna happen.
“I’m just trying to strike out on my own,” he continued. “I fucking love those guys. They are all my big brothers. They’ve been very protective and nurturing of me the whole time. They support my project whole-heartedly.”
EVITAN’s new album, Speed of Life, is due out in the Spring. They are also scheduled to perform at the 2012 SXSW. —Chanel Clark