A Tribe Called Quest

Hip hop Universe A-Tribe-Called-Quest

A Tribe Called Quest is an American hip-hop group formed in 1985 and originally composed of MC and producer Q-Tip, the late MC Phife Dawg and DJ and producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad. A fourth member, MC Jarobi White, left the group in 1991 after the release of their debut album. He continued to contribute to the band sporadically before rejoining for their 2006 reunion. Along with De La Soul, the group was a central part of the Native Tongues, and enjoyed the most commercial success out of all the groups to emerge from that collective. Many of their songs, such as "Bonita Applebum", "Can I Kick It?", "I Left My Wallet in El Segundo", "Scenario", "Check the Rhime", "Jazz (We've Got)", "Award Tour" and "Electric Relaxation" are considered classics. The group released six albums between 1990 and 2016. The band broke up in 1998 after releasing their fifth album. In 2006, the group reunited and toured the United States, and in 2016, they released their sixth album.

Q-Tip (Kamaal Ibn John Fareed) and Phife Dawg (Malik Izaak Taylor) were childhood friends who grew up together in Queens, New York. Initially, Q-Tip performed as a solo artist under the name MC Love Child, occasionally teaming up with Ali Shaheed Muhammad as a rapper and DJ duo. While the duo frequently made demos with Phife, then known as Crush Connection, Phife only became a full member once Jarobi White joined. The group's final name was coined in 1988 by the Jungle Brothers, who attended the same high school as Q-Tip and Muhammad. Q-Tip made two separate appearances on the Jungle Brothers' debut album, Straight Out the Jungle, in the songs "Black is Black" and "The Promo".

In early 1989, the group signed a demo deal with Geffen Records and produced a five-song demo, which included later album tracks "Description of a Fool", "I Left My Wallet in El Segundo" and "Can I Kick It?". Geffen decided against offering the group a recording contract, and the group was granted permission to shop for a deal elsewhere. After receiving lucrative offers for multi-album deals from a variety of labels, the group opted for a modest deal offered by Jive Records. Jive Records was then known as an independent rap label that partly owed its success to building the careers of artists Boogie Down Productions and Too Short.

 John Bush of AllMusic called them "the most intelligent, artistic rap group during the 1990s," while the editors of About.com ranked them number four on their list of the "25 Best Rap Groups of All Time". In 2005, A Tribe Called Quest received a Special Achievement Award at the Billboard R&B Hip-Hop Awards in Atlanta. In 2007, the group was formally honored at the 4th VH1 Hip-Hop Honors.

Phife was diagnosed with diabetes mellitus in May 1990. Conflicting reports indicate it as type 1, while other sources report it as type 2. He mentioned being a "funky diabetic" in the single "Oh My God" from the group's third album, Midnight Marauders. After being on a waiting list for two years, Phife received a kidney transplant from his wife in 2008. This was unsuccessful, however, and by 2012 he once again required a transplant. Taylor died in his home in Contra Costa County, California on March 22, 2016 due to complications relating to diabetes at the age of 45.

Discography

Studio albums

People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm (1990)
The Low End Theory (1991)
Midnight Marauders (1993)
Beats, Rhymes and Life (1996)
The Love Movement (1998)
We Got It from Here... Thank You 4 Your Service (2016)

Compilation albums

Revised Quest for the Seasoned Traveller (1992)
The Anthology (1999)
Hits, Rarities & Remixes (2003)
The Lost Tribes (2006)
The Best of A Tribe Called Quest (2008)