Album Review: Tribe Called Quest’s We got it from Here…Thank You 4 Your service
by Ron Worthy
I went into the record with fairly low expectations for a number of reasons. In particular, I wasn’t sure how they would work in Phife and how much they were able to actually record prior to his untimely passing. Honestly, I was concerned that they would have to overweight Jarobi to make up the deficit. Luckily, this wasn’t necessarily the case. Sure, there was more Jarobi than I felt on other projects but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. He carried his weight alongside some heavyweights like Busta Rhymes (Super Job Throughout), Talib Kweli, Anderson .Paak, Andre 3000, Kendrick Lamar and even Consequence who did his thing. Phife was a reliable presence and lyrically delivered with his usual mix of humor, sports, and Trini references. It felt like Macaroni and Cheese. Q-Tip flows, sings and emotes as usual but with an undertone of reverence for this last effort. He was really enjoyable.
Of the 16 tracks, I liked 12 a lot and didn’t necessarily dislike the other 4. Sonically, I immediately felt the boom bap in my soul and heart and felt like I was back in my dorm room with my neck hurting for the first 5 or 6 tracks. From there, the record pivoted in a few directions, all of which were cool to me. Although some of the samples and arrangements seemed a bit predictable, I felt this project needed it in order to maintain some thematic consistency with their other albums. There were clearly a number of throwback sounds that will take you back (e.g. Bonita, Lyrics to Go samples for example) to a very familiar place. The record is musical diverse, lyrical dense, entertaining and, in spots, breaking new ground which made me smile. It is just a shame that this is the end of an era that was marked by some of the most innovative and amazing music of our time.
Favorite Tracks: Space Program, Whateva Will Be, Black Spasmodic, The Killing Season, Moving Backwards and Conrad Tokyo and Ego.
Peep it for yourself here: