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]
Melvin Bliss passed away today. The man is responsible for “Synthetic Substitution,” easily one of the greatest and most prolifically sampled records ever. The list of Hip-Hop songs that straight ganked the “Substitution” break is extensive, so I’ll include only a handful of my favorites (De La Soul, Public Enemy, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Ghostface Killah and Ultramagnetic MCs) below.
Ol’ Dirty Bastard “Cuttin’ Headz” Produced by The RZA
De La Soul “Potholes In My Lawn” Produced by De La Soul & Prince Paul
Ghostface Killah “Mighty Healthy” Produced by Allah Mathematics
Ultramagnetic MCs “Ego Trippin’” Produced by Ced Gee and likely Paul C
Public Enemy Enemy “Don’t Believe Hype” Produced by The Bomb Squad
Melvin Bliss Documentary Trailer
Kid Robot celebrates tradition by bigging up the 20th anniversary of De La Soul’s 3 Feet High & Rising with these limited edition figurines. Posdnous, Trugoy the Dove (uhh, Dave) and P.A. Pasemaster Mase all get the collectible toy treatment.
A tad bit late since 3 Feet High dropped in ’89, but it’s all good. Each figure comes with unique accessories and the set will cost you about 50 beans. Due in stores and online March 18. More images after the videos; which oddly are not readily available on YouTube. Sounds like a case of potholes. [Checked at High Snobiety]
De La Soul “Potholes in My Lawn”
De La Soul “Me, Myself & I”
De La Soul “Buddy”
De La Soul “Say No Go”
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)