The return of the kings: passing the torch
Eighteen years after their last album release, A Tribe Called Quest has returned to the rap game for a victory lap. Released earlier today as the group’s last album, We Got it From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service, features all four original members, included the late, great Phife Dawg (recording started before his March passing), as well as features from Busta Rhymes, Kendrick Lamar, Andre 3000, Anderson.Paak, Kanye West, and Talib Kweli. “Dis Generation” is one of the more old school tracks on the album, bringing back the tit for tat style that Tribe helped make so popular in the early ‘90s, with Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Jarobi, and old friend of the group Busta Rhymes trading lines in a call and response fashion within each verse.
Layered over classic calm Tribe instrumentals, featuring lackadaisical electric guitar, funky drum kit percussion, swaying piano and bass lines, the track begins with Tribe doing what they do best, telling you exactly why and how they rap better than their mainstream rivals, but takes a mature twist as they call out modern rap heavyweights like Joey Bada$$, Earl Sweatshirt, Kendrick Lamar, and J. Cole for being the best in the game right now. While Tribe still clearly has some gas left in the tank, they understand that they are on their way out, and they let rap fans know that they are in good hands with the new crop of creative leaders that rule the genre. “Dis Generation” is perhaps the most nostalgic of the sixteen track trip back to the ‘90s, a look back in time at what made rap music what it is today from some of the most talented MCs to ever walk the Earth. A Tribe Called Quest, thank you 4 your service.