Tag: A Tribe Called Quest

As I’ve frequently mentioned on this site, I’m often multitasking while listening to singles on Soundcloud and as a result I’ve often (and serendipitously) discovered new artists that have caught my attention — including this Phife Dawg/A Tribe Called Quest/Earth, Wind and Fire tribute track “Earth Wind and Phifer” by New York-based producer and remixer Jewbei that features Phife rhyming over a chopped up Earth Wind and Fire sample with boom bap beats — and it’s done in a such a warm, organic fashion that it channels J. Dilla‘s legendary and beloved production.

With the release of “If We” and “What You Want,” the first two singles off his forthcoming full-length debut From Out of the Shadows, up-and-coming Brooklyn-based emcee Saga has begun to win the attention of the blogosphere for a thoughtful and sincerely emotional brand of hip-hop rooted in his belief that there’s no real division between commercial and underground hip-hop, only what’s real, and that his music and the ideas that he conveys through his music resonate with the listener, a complex human being; in other words, there’s the implicit recognition that although you might be out there grinding and hustling that you can simultaneously be a conscious, responsible and thoughtful person.

Just a few days before the Brooklyn-based emcee will be embarking on a European tour opening for Asher Roth, Saga released “Up,” the third and latest single off From Out of the Shadows and the single, which was produced by renowned French producer and turntablist 20syl, a four-time DMC World DJ Champion as a member of C2C. 20syl’s production is a warm, jazzy and soulful J. Dilla/Midnight Marauders-era A Tribe Called Quest channeling song that pairs shimming Rhodes keys, wobbling bass, electronic bleeps and bloops and enormous boom bap beats in a collaboration that features the Brooklyn-based emcee teaming up with Los Angeles-based emcee Blu. Lyrically, the song’s narrators are toasting the hard work and dedication that have put them on the path to enjoy the good life. And of course that means leaving lives of desperation and struggle behind, and leaving haters and others to jealously eat your dust.

It’s a breezily upbeat, feel-good anthem that I would expect to hear at someone’s barbecue  or rooftop party — but it has a profound and universal message that will resonate deeply with anyone, who’s out there hustling hard and trying to achieve their dreams.


New Video: Ixra Divide Returns with a Madlib and J. Dilla-Inspired Instrumental Beat Track and Surreal Visuals

Towards the end of last year, I wrote about Virginia-based producer and emcee Ixra Divide, who has collaborated with JOVM mainstay artist, Toronto, ON-born, Brooklyn-based Joanie Wolkoff, who has recorded with Her Habits, Gemology and as […]

If you had been frequenting this site during the end of 2015 and the beginning of this year, you may recall coming across a couple of posts on Chicago-based R&B vocalist and singer/songwriter The Elle and her collaborations with Minnesota-based singer/songwriter and emcee Blaccout GarrisonHungry Soulful EP — in particular, “Strawberry Cheesecake Dessert.” which was produced by Dthr33 and featured Jackson, WY-based emcee Abstract, had Abstract and Garrison trading charmingly old-school-inspired lyrics about the ladies they loved over, while The Elle sang the song’s soulful and sensual hook over the soulful and jazzy sample that comprises A Tribe Called Quest‘s “Bonita Applebum.” Hungry Soulful‘s second single was the  P-Soul-produced “Wishing On A Star,” which paired a subtly chopped up old-timey, twinkling piano sample and boom-bap drum programming with Garrison rhyming about focusing on one’s dreams and overcoming life’s frustrations and obstacles. The Elle contributes the song’s introductory verses and the soulful and thoughtful hook.


Slated for release next month, Soul Art Music is the Chicago-based vocalist’s forthcoming full-length effort and the album’s latest single “Your Love” was produced by South African producer Keith Virgo. The track begins with an introductory sample of Eartha Kitt, setting up the song’s theme as the legendary actress and singer candidly shares her thoughts about love — and in her mind, real love is essentially a process of learning how to share yourself with yourself and others. The song pairs Virgo’s subtly cosmic and trippy production consisting of layers of twinkling and shimmering synths, tumbling percussion, boom bap drums,  electronic bleeps, bloops and beeps with The Elle’s sultry vocals about a love that has made her narrator feel as though she had found her truest self. Within the turn of a phrase The Elle reveals a narrator who is strong yet unafraid to be vulnerable and open, and absolutely appreciative of stumbling about this person at this juncture. Lucky and rare are those who experience such a love.

Blaccout Garrison is a Minnesota based singer/songwriter and emcee, who has started to receive attention on this site and across the blogosphere for his Hungry Soulful EP, which has the Minnesotan artist collaboration with the likes of Jackson, WY-based emcee Abstract and Chicago-based R&B vocalist and singer/songwriter The Elle. Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few months, you may recall that I wrote about “Strawberry Cheesecake Dessert.” Produced by Dthr33, the song featured the use of a familiar and beloved sample to real hip-hop heads — the soulful and jazzy sample that comprises A Tribe Called Quest‘s “Bonita Applebum paired with The Elle’s soulful and seductive hook, as Garrison and Abstract trade old-school inspired verses about the women they love. And fittingly, much like the old school hip-hop sample, the emcees rhyme about their loves in charmingly old school terms as they describe how strong, stunning and smart their loves are, and how they both want to treat their loves as the queens and goddesses that the emcees know their ladies are.

Certainly, in an age in which contemporary mainstream artists have openly referred to women in disparaging and ugly terms, hearing such old-school sentiment is not just much-needed it’s refreshingly sweet.

Produced by P-Soul, Garrison’s latest single “Wishing On A Star” pairs a subtly chopped up old-timey, twinkling piano sample, boom-bap drum programming with The Elle’s effortlessly soulful vocals singing the song’s introductory verses and hook as Garrison rhymes about overcoming life’s frustrations and obstacles while being focused on one’s dreams. It’s positive, thoughtful and deeply soulful music — and in an age of soulless, cynically calculated, prepackaged music such thoughtful and earnest music is needed now more than ever before.




New Video: The Glitchy, VHS Styled Video for The Age of L.U.N.A.’s 90s Influenced “Boom”

The up-and-coming and extremely young London-based hip-hop collective The Age of L.U.N.A. have quickly developed an international profile with the release of an critically acclaimed mixtape earlier this year. And although they clearly possess an […]