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A Tribe Called Quest

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A Tribe Called Quest was an influential rap group of the 1990s. The group is composed of Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, and DJ Ali Shaheed Muhammad. A fourth member, Jarobi White, parted ways with the group after their first album.

Q-Tip and Phife had grown up together in Queens, and met Muhammad in high school. The group's name was coined in 1988 by The Jungle Brothers, whose members had attended the same school. Soon after, the group began performing live and recording on a local label. The group became a part of the Native Tongues family, a Hip-Hop artist collective famous for the socially-conscious and positive messages it delivered in its music, and whose membership included Tribe collaborators such as the Jungle Brothers,Queen Latifah, De La Soul, Leaders of the New School, Monie Love, and Black Sheep.

At the time of their inception, A Tribe Called Quest was unusual within the hip hop community for eschewing gangsta rap and macho posturing. Their lyrics focused on abstract and social issues such as the word "nigger", date rape and consumerism. Musically, the group helped pioneer the jazz rap style (along with groups such as Gang Starr and De La Soul). They made their studio debut in 1990 with People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm. Though this album was critically acclaimed and lead to a strong fan following, their next album, The Low End Theory (1991) was a massive artistic success, appearing on several best of the year lists. It is considered one of the most important hip-hop albums to date. The Low End Theory was followed by another commercial success, Midnight Marauders (1993). Beats, Rhymes and Life (1996) and The Love Movement (1998), the group's final two albums, featured production by The Ummah and were less well-received than their predecessors.

Following The Love Movement, the group disbanded. Q-Tip and Phife Dawg went on to pursue solo careers, while Muhammad founded the R&B group Lucy Pearl.

Recently, the group has reunited and appeared at a few concerts around the US. A Tribe Called Quest will be co-headlining this years Bumbershoot festival in Seattle, but have not announced any plans to release a new album. The Group is also appearing in 2K Sports' Bounce Tour promoting the NBA 2K7 game and remix of their song, "Lyrics to Go", which is on the game.

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