2016 has been chock-full of amazing surprises, particularly for rap fans, with seminal rap group A Tribe Called Quest's new album being the latest. We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service, the crew's first release as a full unit since their 1998 album, The Love Movement, is possibly the most unexpected LP of the decade, given the fact that it was widely believed that Tribe would never record a project again due to internal strife between members Q-Tip and Phife Dawg.
The two even admitted themselves that the prospects of them fulfilling their contractual obligation to Jive Records and blessing fans with a fifth album were slim to none. But luckily, for us music fans, they've clearly had a change of heart with the new LP currently being the hot topic of choice for hip-hop junkies.
Although Phife Dawg passed away earlier this year, his spirit and voice is present throughout the album, as is group member Jarobi, who was long a mystery to even the most die-hard Tribe fans. He comes out of hibernation with a slew of verses of his own. Ali Shaheed Muhummad's guiding hands are back on the 1s and 2s, as are Q-Tip's, who appears to be as lyrically invigorated as ever. Consequence, who joined the group for their 1996 effort, Beats, Rhymes, Life, is also back in the fold, making this a true family affair. Contributions from extended family like Busta Rhymes, Kanye West, Andre 3000 and Talib Kweli, as well as musical offspring like Anderson .Paak and Kendrick Lamar complete the cipher, making We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service one of the blockbuster releases of the year.
During a preview of the album earlier this week, Q-Tip let everyone know just where their heads were at when making this masterpiece. “The drapings of ageism and questions of where we’re at, that shit flew out the fucking window,” he said. “We just locked in. We became fucking kids again.”
To mark the occasion of this monumental release, XXL highlights 20 of the best bars on the album. Get your rewind buttons ready.
"The Space Program"Jarobi White
"None of our people involved/Pouring Henny and Smirnoff to get it cracking off/Cracking off a Smirnoff to quickly turn to Molotov/Molotov the spaceship though before that bitch is taking off/It always seems the poorest persons are people forsaken, dawg"
"Guilty pleasures take the edge off realityAnd for a salary I'd probably do that shit sporadically/The OG Gucci wasn't spittin' with iguanas/The IRS piranha see a nigga gettin' commas/Niggas in the hood living in a fishbowl/Gentrify here, now it's not a shit hole"
"Whatever will be will be/Like a billionaire investin' in a nigga's dreams/Certainly a head scratcher, like Pac and Big's killas capture/Or a women with the wisdom who's leadin' the way/The rarity is in the rear, but never today"
"Whateva Will Be"Consequence
"I just wanna feel as liberated as lions in Liberia/'Cause recently my heart turned cold as Siberia/'Cause everywhere I go, bein' cold is the criteria/Let's see how well you know all your Tribe trivia"
"I'm in a world where my princess is Leia/And she feeling my Vader/And my lure grows greater and greater/Chemtrails droppin' poisonous vapors/Had to shake her like gator/Been trill, nigga, process the data"
"Dude's rude and it's useless as coin, shoot 'em boys/Versed and rehearsed in the soothing of loins/Talk to Joey, Earl, Kendrick, and Cole, gatekeepers of flow/They are extensions of instinctual soul/It's the highest in commodity grade/And you could get it today"
"I ain't even gon' lie, I was probably high/Just forgot to call you back, simple as that/I ain't no almanac, so lick my dictionary/I might just call a cab 'cause I dig canary"
"My mother said a lotta lives were shooting, her Bible was like her toolie/Peasy headed and unruly, I made her think she got to me/Follow in the trail of reefer and niggas talking through speakers/Fattest laces through my sneakers, and rap is for ghetto preachers"
"As I nibble your neck naughtily, sex is a big part of me/Agencies want to audit me, searches in for sodomy/My thrust bust artery, I know you're on to me/Just wanna have shenanigan, don't wanna make you mad again"
"Ooo, child, things are gonna get easier/'Long as they get my page right on Wikipedia/'Long as they say my name right in the media/If you don't, that's a sin like Cincinnati/'Cause ever since I had the polo suit at the Grammys/I been spittin' at the camera like Trick Daddy"
"Keep a fresh cut from Aunt B/So I always match the picture in my ID/They packin' Dub C and run with MAC 10/I was still a baby Similac then/And what the crack era did to black men/It had to be an error if you had a Cadillac then"
"You already know the script, roundhouse kick/She lookin' at me, lickin' her lip/Put my arm around her like a bowl of chip with the dip/With your bitch, what the fuck, niggas erupt/I got the half moon clip, that's banana, a good planner"
"Now who want it with the Trini gladiator?/The finger to you haters, you biters not innovators/I take zero for granted, I honors my gift/Champion pen game, plus I’m freestyle equipped"
"You better flame 'em in the J's that they standing in/Ostracize they memory for not remembering/The articles reduce their body parts to particles/And dust the Dead Sea with their cremated molecules/I’m leaving, but nigga you still got the work to do/I expect the best from you, I’m watching from my heaven view"
"The Killing Season"Talib Kweli
"Tears disappear when they fall in the summer rain/Bleedin’ through this mic, but they call it entertainment/Running across stages is a drug/It’s like a blunt that we crumple in raw papers/Call it the Lord’s name/Cause we taking it in our veins
Like the feeding us intravenous"
"The Killing Season"Consequence
"Now they wanna condemn me for my freedom of speech/'Cause I see things in black and white like Lisa and Screech/Presidents get impeached and others fill in the throne/But veterans don’t get the benefit of feelin' at home"
"Moving Backwards"Anderson .Paak
"They wanna see my downfall/Turn a good day into a downpour/Thorns in the crown and the cross I bear/Why they wanna see me hangin' like a towel somewhere"
"Gwaan move with the fuckery/Trump and SNL hilarity/Troublesome times kid, no times for comedy/Blood clout, you doing/Bullshit you spewing/As if this country ain't already ruined"
"Conrad Tokyo"Kendrick Lamar
"Toleration for devastation, got a hunger for sin/Every nation, Obama nation, let the coroner in/Crooked faces, red and blue laces for the color of men/Just embrace it and die alone, song, a Revelation"
"Who wanna spar? ha ha, well, here I are/Unorthodox spitter orbing on the southpaw/No doubt, I'mma set it, dudes best be ready/Off top on the spot, no reading from your Blackberry/Leave the iPhones home, skill sets must be shown/I'mma show you the real meaning of the danger zone"