Eighteen years ago, rap outfit A Tribe Called Quest released what was supposed to be their final album. Prior to the 1998 release 'The Love Movement', tensions in the group were getting unbearable and to save their friendship, they decided to call it quits. That was until 2013 when they began to play live together again, appearing at numerous music festival as well as support for Kanye West's then 'Yeezus' tour. So the group began to think about making a return to music, that was until founding member Phife Dawg died earlier this year and put their return in doubt. So now rather than a glorious comeback it started out being, 'We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service' is seen as an epitaph to the great MC.
And while Phife still makes a large contribution to this release, including being credited for naming it, the record has been mainly finished thanks to huge contributions from other major names in the rap scene and beyond. Ultimately, this new album is a nostalgia trip rekindling the core sound of the group. Slow and melodic hip-hop caress a rich production of drums, keys and DJ effects, bringing back all those memories of what hip-hop used to sound like and showing that there is nothing dated about their sound.
The subject matter may be the most contemporary thing about this album. With nods to the struggles of today's youth, Black Lives Matter and even a not-so-subtlely named track 'The Donald' pulling the curtain call on their legacy, this is the return that all Tribe fans would have been waiting for. A brilliant release all round and suitable final record for their fallen comrade.