Hip hop group, A Tribe Called Quest released a new album Friday, Nov. 11 after an 18-year hiatus. We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service is a long-awaited piece of art that does not disappoint its listeners, especially a die-hard fan of the group like myself.
It stays true to the group’s experimental hip hop genre, but with a faint outer space theme, a few of the featured artists, and the absence of Phife Dawg’s comedic tributes (besides some samples from past songs), the album takes a different turn than some of the group’s earlier works like The Anthology or The Low End Theory.
“The Space Program,” the very first song on the album, instantly shocked me for its inclusion of the Oompa Loompa song from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. That’s when I knew that this was going to be one of 2016’s most substantial pieces of music for its ability to mix older music and new techniques.
Interstellar sounds similar to the ones in 2001: A Space Odyssey can be heard in many of the songs’ backgrounds. The fourth track, “Solid Wall of Sound,” samples Elton John’s famous “Bennie and the Jets.” These samples enhance some sense of nostalgia and warm feelings, however, the rest of the album incorporates so much more that makes this a total trip to listen to.
We got it from Here also features large names like Kanye West, Andre 3000, Kendrick Lamar, Busta Rhymes, as well as an upcoming artist, Anderson .Paak, who is featured in the song “Movin Backwards.”
The album heavily comments on the societal state of the U.S., especially in the song “Dis Generation,” as well as pays tribute to Phife Dawg who passed away earlier this year. The song “Lost Somebody,” featuring a Jack White guitar solo, honors the loss of the beloved member.
Although this album generally veers from the group’s adored past albums, it combines the new sounds of hip hop and rap with Tribe’s previous influences exquisitely.
Hopefully this won’t be the last album we see from A Tribe Called Quest.