The Hip Hop Mortuary

"I wax lyrics so poetic even the most narcoleptic skeptic feels awake and perceptive"

1:49 PM

A Tribe Called Quest/ The Low End Theory

Posted by Guy Fawkes

I just saw "Prison Song" last night and as I thought about it, I remembered an album that needs to be on a site called "Hip hop album reviews". What is hip-hop without "The Low End Theory"? What is conscious rap without "The Low End Theory"? And what is rap music without A Tribe Called Quest? All harrowing questions when you realize the breadth of people influenced by "The Low End Theory"... it is literally an album every rapper should be able to recite word for word. It is an album that defines conscious hip-hop, it evokes all the feelings of real hip-hop, and it is the album all others are compared to. What hip-hop head can honestly say they don't have this album? After all this album's fanfare, I, like most of the hip-hop community was amazed with "Fiascogate"... I love Lupe, Lupe is my generation's conscious rap, but how do you cover a Tribe song and not know the words? Damn... that's more than not showing respect for your elders, that's called tourism... making your money and being out, not caring at all about the culture your profiting from. Only this album could evoke so many feelings from hip hop purists...

The Good: (I know it's pointless)

1. Excursions- One of my good friends quotes Tip's opening line every time we talk hip-hop. This track is on the top of Q-Tip's resume for "Best MC ever".

2. Buggin' Out- Proof that Phife Dawg is more than just complementary to Tip. Together they unleash some crazy vibes that bring you back to New York in 1991.

3. Rap Promoter- I've never loved this song... I'll admit that it's alright, but not much more.

4. Butter- Smooth as butter, and Phife shines on his solo verse. Maybe the basis for Dane Cook's jokes... drawing inspiration from everywhere now (or maybe copying from everywhere).

5. Verses From The Abstract- Always been one of my favorite cuts, 4 minutes of perfection. Q-Tip at his absolute best.

6. Show Business- It's hard to appreciate this track to the fullest because of it's placement... but it's ill as hell. More upbeat than the rest, and the posse cut sounds awesome.

7. Vibes And Stuff- And we drop off again to a more chill instrumental, and it's another great back-to-back effort by Q and Phife. The jazz meshes with the lyrics and creates an super relaxed vibe.

8. The Infamous Date Rape- Same jazzy instrumental, same flowtastic rhymes, and the same song with different lyrics.

9. Check The Rhime- Probably the song you can always listen to. The instrumental bangs, and the hook which consists of jazz samples is amazing... and the lines are crazy fresh.

11. Jazz (We've Got)- Probably my favorite song off this impeccable album... this instrumental makes there superb lyrics sound heavenly.

12. Skypager- These are the abstract sounds and hooks that A Tribe Called Quest would later transform into... personally, I'm lovin it.

14. Scenario- This song is a lot more obnoxious and arrogant than the ones that preced it... yet it's not bad, a good introduction to Busta Rhymes who would prove to be an average rhymer. Not a bad outro...

I've heard this album countless times, I assume most people interested in hip-hop have heard this album before so this review should be pointless... but if you haven't this is an album you have to acquire through any means. I'm no advocate of anarchy, but if you have to steal, it might be worth it...joking of course. A very chill album the whole way through and a true gem to listen to.

0-20: Terrible listening experience
21-40: Maybe one good song
41-60: A few good songs
61-80: Half are good songs, half are weak
81-100: Great listening experience, almost all are great songs

I give this album a 94... it's truly something everyone must here at least once.

Download Here right now


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Michael said...

I am a 70's baby (yes, a 70's baby), and worked and lived in the industry through the golden age of hip hop. I worked as a photog and did some art for a story on Beats, Rhymes & Life and got to sit in on the interview with Phife, Tip & Ali. I brought my Low End Theory CD to the interview and had them sign the disc. Only time I ever asked for an autograph, and I hot some serious heavyweights, including Biggie, De La, etc. I have it framed with teh cover. Its my prized possession. I can look and see Phifes signature (Phife '96!) and thing about another lifetime...

Anonymous said...

Hey what is the pass for this?

Thanks a bunch btw!