Essentials

Essentials: Phife Dawg’s Body of Work with ATCQ

One thing we always strive to avoid with our writing is being opportunistic. This week, we lost Phife Dawg, frontman of the seminal rap group, A Tribe Called Quest. You’ve read the tributes, you know his legacy. Hip-hop wouldn’t be hip-hop without Phife. My good friend and fellow hip-hop head Brent Tactic acutely noted that Phife’s modestly-stated dopeness was what made him so great – he was the lyrical Yin to Q-Tip’s Yang, a balancing force that delineates ‘hip-hop’ from ‘rap.’

We’ll let the heads argue about what was the best, but for times like this, you just gotta sit back and let some tunes play. You don’t have any more essential weekend, early Spring listening than these records, not this weekend. RIP Phife, and thank you for pointing so many in such an amazing direction.

People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm (1990)

The Low End Theory (1991)

Midnight Marauders (1993)

Beats, Rhymes and Life (1996)

The Love Movement (1998)

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