A Tribe Called Quest Resist For ALL OF US At The Grammys (Video)

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Nearly 20 years after their latest Grammy nomination, A Tribe Called Quest took the stage tonight (February 12). While their 2016 release of We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service is not eligible for awards at the 59th Grammys, tonight’s showcase may be a preview for 2018. Certainly, A.T.C.Q. and Anderson .Paak put on an award-worthy performance.

With a spotlight on empty microphone stand for the late Phife Dawg, Anderson .Paak on the drums, two DJs (Ali Shaheed Muhammad and DJ Scratch), the set began with a callback to Tribe classic “Award Tour,” with splashes of “Can I Kick It?” Then, Q-Tip, Jarobi, and Anderson .Paak dropped into “Movin Backwards.”

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That journey progressed to “We The People” with Busta Rhymes and Consequence coming to the stage. The night got incredibly political with Busta speaking out against dictator “Agent Orange” and condemning treatment of Muslims, before breaking into the performance of a song written prior to the 2016 election. Actors in an array of garbs, including traditionally Muslim head-wrapped women, took to the stage. This happened as Q-Tip, Jarobi, and Phife (by recording) spoke about the citizens being turned away. Fists of power and resistance were raised after the incredibly captivating performance.

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Ali Shaheed played bass for much of the set in a specially-designed A Tribe Called Quest red guitar. There was a mural portrait of Phife behind the red-accented stage. Phife’s name was mentioned in the opening monologue and in the memorial during the live event.