Over 20 years into their career laden with classics and having shaped the genre, this was Tribes' last record and first in 18 years.
Every single minute of the double LP oozes the expertise and finesse that the group crafted over their careers. From the get-go, the rhythms and flows are distinctly Tribe, but roll faster and elevate the final product to something more spiritual than just the group's last record.
As far as a goodbye goes, this is a masterclass. With the passing of Phife Dawg in the months before the album's release, it marks a bittersweet feeling knowing that this is the definite last project. But it comes packing serious heat with production and features to boot from Anderson Paak, Kendrick Lamar, Andre 3000, Elton John, Kanye, and Jack White.
Aside from name-dropping, the weighty content of each track shows a honed political edge to Tribes lyrics. ‘Kids….’ dispels the collective illusions of fame and materialism whilst ‘The Space Program’ propels a positive mental attitude and duty to defy odds and excel. The lead single ‘We The People….’ blasts air horns and megaphone style vocals from Q-Tip proving signature 2016 alongside having a killer earworm hook.
And this is all just on the first disc. Without spoiling the rest of the record, the album maintains its lethal momentum and blasts through another eight tracks with ease that are loaded with more cosmic mastery that's to be expected of game changers like Tribe.
And that's it. It's a late-career highlight and we’d argue on par with ‘Midnight Marauders’ and ‘The Low-End Theory’. It's one of the most underrated rap releases of the 2010s and it still went gold.
Essential rap listening.
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