A Tribe Called Quest & Many More Gave Hip-Hop Much To Be Thankful For In November (Audio)
November 2016 was one of the most tumultuous months in a generation. Regardless of one’s political affiliation the world seemingly changed over one long night on November 8 for hundreds of millions of Americans. When not fixated on the news, many turned to music for relief from the onslaught or, at times, looking for a voice to make sense of what was transpiring. For a large portion of the Hip-Hop Nation, the arrival of A Tribe Called Quest’s final album, We Got It From Here…Thank You 4 Your Service satisfied both objectives.
ATCQ’s first album in 18 years was shockingly timely, with songs like “We The People,” which sounded like they could have been written after the election. Yet, it also was reminiscent of days past, with its re-injection of melody and lyricism in a time in which neither is as prominent as it used to be in mainstream Rap music. Even their theme of having 8 and 8 tracks, instead of 16, reflective of an era where vinyl and cassettes ruled, was throwback, while the album was largely-consumed on streaming music services. To that end, this month’s “Best Of” playlist is split into two sections, in part as an ode to Tribe and in part because in our fractured music world, not all songs are available on one platform.
While Tribe’s return to music was a dominant story, it was far from the only story in Hip-Hop in November. Though the Thanksgiving holiday slowed the output, plenty of great music surfaced. Pete Rock and Smoke DZA began releasing heaters from their stellar collaboration album, Don’t Smoke Rock. Rapsody made a surprise return with a 10-song EP, Crown. The Roots, Busta Rhymes, Joell Ortiz and Nas sent shots from The Hamilton Mixtape. Method Man, Raekwon, Masta Killa and Cappadonna held a mini Wu-Tang Clan reunion with Joe Young. Childish Gambino channeled Prince and Funkadelic on “Redbone.” And, even a previously unreleased J. Dilla and Madlib Jaylib collabo was unleashed.
Listen to all that and more in the playlists above.