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HiP-HoP A Tribe Called Quest band picture Biography
Following the lead of De La Soul, their friends and comrades in the "Native Tongues" rap collective, A Tribe Called Quest blazed alternative rap trails with a laid-back, witty, progressive style that paved the way for the "jazz rap" of Digable Planets, Jungle Brothers, and Us3.
Q-Tip, Phife, Ali, and Jarobi met at New York City's Murray Bergtraum High School for Business Careers. Q-Tip's association with De La Soul [see entry] and the Jungle Brothers and a four-song demo led to a 1989 deal with Jive Records. The singles Description of a Fool (1989) and I Left My Wallet in El Segundo (1990) were followed by their debut album, Peoples Instinctive Travels (#91, 1990), the first rap work to fuse jazz samples with hip-hop structures. A followup, The Low End Theory (#45, 1991), had a harder edge and extended the groups jazz leanings, featuring jazz great Ron Carter on upright bass. Low Ends Scenario was a minor hit (#57, 1991).
In between their albums, Tribe appeared on MTVs Unplugged; Q-Tip guest-rapped on Deee-Lites Groove Is in the Heart and on Lenny Kravitz and Sean Lennons Give Peace a Chance; all three Tribe members contributed to the Jungle Brothers Straight Out the Jungle and to De La Souls Buddy. In 1993, while Tribe was recording its third album, Ali contributed extensive production work to jazz saxophonist Greg Osbys 3-D Lifestyles. Released at the end of that year, Midnight Marauders (#8 pop, #1 R&B, 1993) yielded Award Tour (#47 pop, #27 R&B, 1993), with backing vocals by De La Souls Trugoy the Dove.
During summer 1994, the group took the hip-hop slot in the Lollapalooza festival, and in 1996 released Beats, Rhymes and Life (#1 pop and R&B). Two years later, The Love Movement (#3 pop and R&B) proved to be Tribes finale. Q-Tip pursued a solo career, releasing Amplified (#4 R&B) in 1999 and scoring hits with Vivrant Thing (#26 pop, #7 R&B) and Breathe and Stop (#21 R&B). He also was one of the guest vocalists on Missy Misdemeanor Elliotts R&B chart-topper Hot Boyz.
-Kamaal Fareed (Q-Tip).
-Malik Taylor (Phife Dawg).
-Ali Shaheed Muhammad.