Music reviews are carefully thought out pieces constructed after multiple listens and every element is turned over on the record or track. FIRST POUR is a feature that aims to bottle up the knee jerk reactions our writers have while listening to an album for the very first time. All writers participating in the feature will both be listening to the same album and relaying their thoughts and feels over instant messaging.
Although its release was planned before the start of the horrible week,in what was an already not that great year, the arrival of We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service was something a lot of us needed. The final album from the influential A Tribe Called Quest featuring the group’s original line-up, its record that we all will gladly receive in an odd time for humanity. More than 20 years since their “final” record The Love Movement, the idea for a new record was propelled by the inspiring TV reunion the group had done on Late Night to celebrate the 25th anniversary of People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm.
Gone are the playful and jazzy qualities that made them one of the preeminent hip-hop groups of the 90’s but the unlikely record still maintains a vintage ACTQ presence. Along with frequent collaborators (Consequence and Busta Rhymes) and with those that looked to them for inspiration (Kendrick Lamar and Anderson .Paak), the group forged one of the more politically charged records for the year. Out of the gate, tracks like “The Space Program” and “We The People” take aim at society’s current tumultuous state while at the same time being tracks that serve galvanizing torches of hope. Throughout the record, ATCQ celebrated the life of Phife Dawg, with tracks like “The Donald” and “Lost Somebody“. The members have stressed that this would be the final ATCQ record, but what a gift they left us.
On the eve of We Got It From Here‘s release, I experienced the album with two of the biggest ATCQ fans I know, my friends KC and Ashton.