Yesterday saw the vinyl release of the sixth and final A Tribe Called Quest album, ‘We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service’. What a way to go out! Much has been said already about this album since it’s release in November 2016 but we thought we’d throw our thoughts in the ring too now that we’re able to spin it on vinyl and enjoy.
Musically the soundscapes created are varied but always appropriately to the feel of the tune. The smattering of purposefully picked samples, some of them quite extensive (see Gene Wilder’s rant as Willy Wonka at the end of ‘The Space Program’), others more subtle (pretty sure that’s Rotary Connection’s ‘Memory Band’ on ‘Enough!!’) accentuate the tracks but never distract from the core message. Nothing sounds out of place in the album and the flow track for track is simply beautiful, oozing intent as we journey through.
Lyrically the subject matter of the 16 tracks (we didn’t get sold short on this releases that’s for sure) seek to challenge the status quo and highlight modern day issues, with tongue in cheek style at points. Whilst this is par for the course for ATCQ, some may fear that the poignancy of what they have to say may have faded over time. Na mate, they’re as on point as ever.
The guests are plenty (André 3000, Busta Rhymes, Elton John, Talib Kweli, Kendrick Lamar, Anderson .Paak, Kanye West and Jack White to name but a few) and again like the samples always complimentary. This still remains an ATCQ album in its style and delivery throughout.
We know that this will be the last offering we get from ATCQ as we have known them for the past 25+ years, due to the untimely death of MC Phife Dawg last March. What he and his co-conspirators have left us with to enjoy since his passing is nothing short of excellent. So it just leaves us to say thank you for your service and R.I.P. Phife Dawg.