Thursday, July 28, 2011

Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest

Tonight Leo and I saw the new Tribe Called Quest documentary. Aside from being an excellent film, it put me back in touch with a part of my own history.

After the movie I was on friggin' cloud nine & yapping a mile a minute as we walked to our car. I was telling Leo how the Native Tongues posse (ATCQ, De La Soul, Jungle Bros, Monie Love, to name a few) were like The Beatles for me when I was in college. Leo said "No, The Beatles were like your Beatles". Well played. I went on to explain that groups like Tribe were coming out at a time when I was forging thru a big personal/academic/spiritual evolution. As a fan I had gotten into the Native Tongues on the ground level and followed them as they exploded onto the scene. Looking back, I feel like I grew up with them (unlike The Beatles, who had broken up when I was four).

Some of the Native Tongues: De La Soul,
Jungle Bros, ATCQ, & Monie Love (on drums)

I saw ATCQ perform with De La Soul in December, 1993 (at 1st Avenue in Minneapolis), and it was one of those pivotal, transformational shows. I had no idea (until seeing tonight's movie) that A Tribe Called Quest had begun its slow dissolution right around that time. They broke up five years later, in 1998.

I won't give away the rest of the story because this movie is worth seeing, even if you don't have much of an idea about who these guys are. Their individual personalities, along with their story, make this movie a super interesting ride.

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