Tribe is back. The tragic death of Malik “Phife Dawg” Taylor earlier in 2016 brought the group back into the spotlight and seemed to confirm that Tribe was finally done.
In the early 2000’s, Phife and Q-Tip experienced some intense turbulence in their personal and artistic relationships and it seemed that the legendary status and reputation of Tribe was too much of a strain on the group. While both MC’s went on to produce personal projects, Tribe appeared to be disbanded.
Though just months after Phife’s death comes Tribe’s final studio album, We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service. Graced with collaborations from some of Hip-Hop’s biggest names dating back to Tribe’s heyday, as well as rising stars revolutionizing the genre today, Tribe’s 6th album fully retains the sound the group championed in their glory days while bringing a new modern feel.
Peppered with posthumous Phife verses and production from Ali Shaheed Muhammad, songs like “Space Program,” “Whateva Will Be,” and “Enough!!” bump and sway like works from The Low End Theory. Yet, the album is far from a flashback to the 90’s. Features from Kendrick Lamar and Anderson Paak add strong, socially reflective lyricism and melodic hooks. Jack White adds a well-integrated yet non-characteristic electric guitar element that we’ve previously seen flop on albums the like of the Banks & Steelz LP, Anything But Words.
Overall, Tribe’s final studio album demonstrates the group’s versatility and influence, reinforcing their place as some of the most talented pioneers of the Hip Hop genre.
Best Tracks: 1, 4, 13, 16