Native Tongue x A Tribe Called Quest x New Birth
Despite the tit for tat that Q-Tip and Michael Rapaport are currently engaging in, the documentary they are riffing about, Beats, Rhymes and Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest is phenomenal. I said as much, though I’d like to think more eloquently, on ParlourMagazine.com. A moment that stood out for me in the flick is when Q-Tip described how Tribe’s extended crew of family (starting with Jungle Brothers and De La Soul) came up with the name Native Tongue.*
The story goes that the Abstract was at Baby Afrika’s crib cutting up a New Birth record that says “took away our native tongue.” After some digging—through the wonderful world of Google—I figured out the specific song in question is called “African Cry” [pay attention at the 0:32 mark below] from the Funk/Soul band’s 1972 album Coming Together. The record itself is deep; its soulful lyrics recount African’s getting stolen from their lands and being shipped across the sea and into slavery, over a funky bass line and wailing horns.
I found the MP3 of “African Cry,” which I feel obliged to share since Coming Together seems to be out print (I couldn’t even find it on YouTube). Get it while the gettings are good, to paraphrase ATCQ’s “Ham N’ Eggs.” If you’re so inclined, seek out the entire album because it’s a winner.
Download: The New Birth “African Cry” [Mediafire]
*Note, I’m of the school of thought that when used correctly—though even some members jack it up—the “tongue” is singular. The homie Keith Murphy wrote a great story on the influential crew for Vibe Magazine about four years back.
Helped on on this too. -> Top 30 Greatest A Tribe Called Quest Songs [XXLMag.com]