The good folks at UNDRCRWN drop a mixtape of Tribe rarites mixed by Mick Boogie. I have all of these already, but so should you. This also gives me reason enough to post the video to “On the Road Again (My Jimmy Weighs a Ton)” by the Jungle Brothers. It’s one my fav Q-Tip productions and on the vinyl is the version that features a verse from the Abstract. Tracklist after the break. [H/T Kari Cruz]
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]
The Sprite commercials that incorporated respected Hip-Hop acts like a Tribe Called Quest and the under-appreciated Grand Puba starting back in ’94 were so official. Instead of shucking and jiving—sorry Hammer—the artists selected to obey their thirst and hawk Sprite kept to their core musical aesthetics. Catching a corporate check without having to (totally) sell out…can’t be mad at that. However, it’s a safe bet the participating MCs got paid peanuts when compared to how much Sprite, and in turn Coca-Cola, made off of Hip-Hop’s influence and cultural cachet.
I was looking specifically for ATCQ’s commercial about a year or so back and had no luck, until today. Pete Rock & CL Smooth’s clip, and a few others (Puba’s freestyle >), below. Never was too keen on the “battle” (i.e. MC Shan vs. KRS-One) commercial, though. I was reminded about these ads again while reading the incredible book The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop by Dan Charnas. It will be required reading in all Hip-Hop classes one day.
Also, Nas, stop playing and make an album with AZ already.
Pete Rock & CL Smooth
Large Professor & Grand Puba
MC Shan vs. KRS-One… RIP Mr. Magic
UPDATE, again: Let’s see how long the vid lasts this time…
UPDATE: The vid was here, I swear, but was removed. Will post as soon as (if?) it returns. Rap Radar with the save.
Since A Tribe Called Quest is
arguably easily one of Hip-Hop’s most influential groups, Beats, Rhymes and Fights is a must see. By the trailer it looks like it’s not going to a sugarcoated affair either. Native Tongue devotee rejoice. Put together by NYC native and actor Micheal Rapaport aka Remy from Higher Learning and whatever his name was in Zebrahead. [Props to Potholes In My Blog via Nah Right]
The folks at UNDRCRWN hooked up some tees paying homage to those Native Tongues (though, I think it’s just Native Tongue) peeps that made that music you love. A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul and Prince Paul get some nice looks. More tees after the vid. (Propers go to Cruziiie)