Tuesday, July 12, 2011

About five minutes ago I read this interview with Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest and Michael Rapaport, who is director of the documentary, "Beats, Rhymes and Life". The movie is finding its way around this fine country of ours, and I will be going to see it this weekend, but in the meantime, I have to whet my appetite by listening to old music and reading interviews like the one I linked above.

However, one of Phife's answers in regards to whether A Tribe Called Quest would ever get back together and record annoyed me:

The fans might want it like that, but they have to understand that we can’t just get together as far as recording is concerned and put out anything. It has to be correct and right because the consensus will be that, ‘We waited 13 years and all you came up with is this crap.’ I’d rather not do it and have people say we tarnished the legacy. So I’m happy the way things are right now; people still love us and hopefully if we do decide to do an album it will be one we can be proud of.

I literally said "what the f**k?" out loud when I read that quote, and it reminded me of the kind of talk I heard when Michael Jordan said he was coming out of retirement in 2001. Back in 1998, he had done this to win his six consecutive championship:

NBA writers, other players and fans thought that shot was the ideal way to end his career, and no matter what he tried to do from there, he could not top that. Some people even went as far as to say, that if he did ever come back, he would not be the same MJ everyone knew and loved, and the greatness he had spent 14 years establishing would disappear. Michael basically gave them the middle finger and said, I'm going to continue to play until my health gives out and they have to drag me off the court.

MJ came back, and had flashes of his former brilliant self, but he also had plenty of embarrassing moments that the old MJ would never allow to happen, like missing wide open dunks. Two years later he retired, a few years after that he made the Hall of Fame, and today, he is still regarded as one of the best players in NBA history--and more importantly his legacy has gone unscathed.

So what the hell is A Tribe Called Quest's problem? Every album (yeah I'm dating myself by calling them albums) can't be "Low End Theory" or "Midnight Marauders", but your fans don't expect that anyway. Your fans want to hear you all together touring and rapping again, and they know that you all would not put out anything that was terrible (although some people who bought their last two offerings may disagree). And what is so hard about making good music that both you and your fans enjoy? If you tell me your heart isn't in rapping anymore that's one thing, but to say you don't want to make a cd after 13 years because of how your legacy it might be tarnished? That pisses me off..

My dad has been a Temptations fan for over 40 years, and he will tell you that in that span, they have put out some classics and they have put out some crap. There were some albums he played front to back with ease, and there were others that contained two good songs, and the rest were garbage--but he always bought their albums. Even today in 2011, when all but one of the original members are dead and gone, my dad STILL buys Temptations albums, and I asked him why, and he says, "I'm a fan for life, through the good and bad". That's how I feel about Tribe..so man up and make me a goddamn cd.

And now switching gears totally, here is a beautiful song by Minnie Riperton and the Rotary Connection called, "We're Going Wrong". I didn't even know this was on my iPod until yesterday morning, and now I'm hooked.


tia said...

umm, have you heard the love movement? i'm perfectly fine with them never making another album - and once you see the movie you will be too.

tour? sure. album? i'm good.

£ said...

um... I'm kinda with phife on this. I'd prefer to remember them as they were, rather than have them get back together in a well intentioned, yet unsuccessful attempt to recapture the magic.

I think its pretty obvious that they're all in different places now(I even heard phife had a falling out with tip) and it seems like the very things that actuated the group to become the hiphop paragons that they are are long gone.

Not that its a foregone conclusion that new material would necessarily be wiggidy-wack. But given their ambivalence about even the thought of coming back together, I'm less than optimistic about what kind of product that (re)union would make. It'd be nice for the fans... but if their heart isn't in it...© atlantic starr

And I happened to be one of the ones who enjoyed the love movement.

But like tia said, id love for them to do a tour. Id definitely go check them out, front and center with plenty of lyrics to go. *drum kick*

And there I go, blogging in your comments. Again. I need to go write in my own blog lol.