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The Low End Theory

Rap & Hip-Hop album by A Tribe Called Quest

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This album provides some of Hip Hops intelligent rhythms and fun lyrics.

  • Sep 22, 2006
Got to love Q and Phife! I grew up hearing and watching them as well as our other forefathers of hip hop. One thing that makes an album good is the ability to be so complex that one can listen to it over and over and never get bored with the songs such as theirs. If you dig the Roots, Digital Planets, Black Eyed Peas, or any other hip-hop group that has the slightest tinge of jazz to it, you have "The Low End Theory" to thank. Ali Shaheed Muhammed fuses up-beat hip-hop with funky jazz, and must of felt real good when he was finished. But it's not like this album was simply influential and not essential, or that it's solely revolutionary in one sense and not able to stand on its own in others.

All through the album the beats are deep and the bass is funky without being overbearing. There are a few tracks that are less than superb, but the album is still great. "Buggin' Out," "Butter," "Rap Promoter," "Rhymes and Stuff," "Jazz," and "Scenario" are all perfect. All these tracks either have your heads nodding, hips shaking, and minds working. The way the music matches Q-tips rhymes flawlessly always astounds me and Phife's lyrics keep the beat going.

Q-Tip and Phife are two of the most skilled lyricists and MCs of all time, and their vocal contributions to Ali's beats do nothing but enhance them. This album stands out as their finest. For those who do not listen to hip hop, this would be an excellent choice for a "symbol" rap album. I know few who have failed to be satisfied, and most are mesmerized. As for rap fans, none should be allowed to call themselves a hip hop head if they do not already have this laying around your rack/desk/or shelf.

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Jen-Jay AKA:JJI ()
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Married into the military for over a decade and it does has itpros andcons. The lifestyle is great and Ido enjoy it. I'm able to do things and see things that I thought I wouldn't dream of. My kids loves … more
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De La Soul are remembered as the premier Native Tongues posse, those rappers who got low-key, self-consciously thoughtful, and jazzy in the face of gangsta's hardcore threats. But A Tribe Called Quest may have been even stronger, especially on their excellent second album, the bass-thumping, heavily jazz-sampledThe Low End Theory. According to the opening "Excursions," rapper Q-Tip's old man says the disc's jazz-rap "reminded him of bebop," and Q calls himself "prominent like Shakespeare." But if Charlie Parker had ever written poetic couplets and backed them with funky-drummer and Ron Carter-on-bass grooves this irresistible, he might have been as big as the Bard and Brother James combined.--David Cantwell
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Label: Jive
Release Date: September 24, 1991

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