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on 16 January 2001
The common misconception that tribe's omnipotence ends with the last beat of the last song of their third album is nullified by this disc of supreme quality, encapsulating all that is hip-hop. In fact, unlike other tribe albums, this disc contains no flawing tracks, and is a fine example of consistently smooth intelligent yet humourous songwriting. 'Phony Rappers', 'Jam' and particularly 'Hop' shine, and the welcome return to a smoother style apparent in their first album, 'People's Instinctive travels...' brings out the best in this immortal group. Q-Tip's honeyed lyricism is well complemented by a more prominent inclusion of Phife and Ali Shaheed Muhammad, culminating in an all round devastating compilation. A more than worthy successor to Midnight Marauders, it is an essential for anyone who would call themselves a tribe fan. As salaam-u-alaikum.
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on 27 August 2003
Upon first hearing one of the tribe's tracks on the internet, i had to buy one of their albums, just to see if this brilliant track was just a one-off or a regular trademark of the musically-inclined trio. When I bought this album, the latter happened, and to my suprise, hear was a hip-hop group worth listenin to.
So Where would you like to start? shall we start on the beats? Everyone of the tracks tastes of super-cool, Jazz-meets-now, a living fingerprint of the time spent trawling through 50's jazz, and unlike most of today's near-miss artists, The Tribe hits the bullseye. Tracks Like "Keeping It Moving" show us that whatever musical genre they dip their sticky sampling fingers into, they still pull out a genuine Quest sound, and it sounds like Hip-Hop, wherever it originated.
And The Rhymes?? What else would you expect? Q-tip's lyrically canny as usual, using the unusual rhyme patterns and content associated with himself. He sounds lazy, yet cool, stupid, yet intellectual, a living perplexion which is a joy to hear. Phife's pure agression and clean-cut sound also add another ingredient to the recipe, providing that blend of agression, cool and just all-round funk that makes you, by just listening to this album, a cut above your usual stereotypical rap thug.
The album's title says it all, this album becomes a part of your life. It reflects moods, party atmosphere, and that perspective of 1990's black america. If rap groups take steps to improve the genre, then the quest takes giant strides, smashing it's heritage with a kind of arrogance only found with A Tribe Called Quest.
So the answer you're looking for? Yes, click the "buy" button!
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on 5 August 2005
This is my first review, motivated by the fact that this quality album was not even rated yet. 'Beats Rhymes and Life' is the Tribe's best album and probably my favourite of all time. More mature and lest dated than their earlier work and not as experimental as 'The Love Movement', there isn't a weak track on it, just flowing funky beats that have me hopping around the room everytime I hear it. And no matter how many listens it gets, I don't get sick of it. The sign of a truly great album? Works especially well with the volume set to the max.
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on 24 March 2006
this instantly defines itself as a much different record than tribes two previous(both hip hop classics). for a start, its not as good as those 2 records, secondly the sound, while still jazzy and funky, is much crisper and harder. some would say this is because of the hardcore renaissance of the mid 90s, others that its Jay-Dees production that makes it different. either way its a great album in its own right. Phife and Q-Tip are just as quotable/scratchable on this album, with Phife providing unique battle raps and observations, and Tip proving his alias of 'The Abstract' by dropping some of the most cryptic lines of his career.
if you own tribes first 3 joints then youll enjoy this, its as good if not better than their debut, and melodically reminiscent of their 2nd and 3rd.
i want a 6th album from tribe now.
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on 3 June 2015
Following the release of their genre-smashing third album Midnight Marauders in 1993, A Tribe Called Quest seemed to disappear completely from view of the adoring artistic community that spawned them, long enough that by the time they returned with this disc in 1996, both the group and hip hop itself had changed. Fans were left feeling unsatisfied by the changes; kaleidoscopic samples replaced by minimalist beats, freewheeling lyrical abandon now gives way to stressed and tested storytelling. Shaheed, Tip and Phife's telepathic chemistry thrown off balance by new arrivals in Dilla and Consequence. What happened? Let's get some context.

In the final hidden track on Q Tip's lacklustre solo debut Amplified, we hear a retelling of his musical journey. Clips from the festival version of the Beats Rhymes & Fights documentary and it's original trailer (mostly edited out of the public release version) also tell us some more of the story. It seems the group was riding a positive streak during the Low End Theory period - no doubt the accolades were fully deserved. Following the impact of their one of a kind (and certainly patchy) debut, Phife had agreed to step up his involvement with the group, while the group had decided to step it up on all levels. "Sophomore jinx? I'm coming back with the Low End Theory" as Tip himself puts it. Sadly this stepping up meant Jairobi would be stepping out entirely, not wishing to be at the beck and call of a merciless industry. Nonetheless, for me, this is when Phife comes in and steals the lyrical crown away from Tip on almost every cut fir the next few years - sure Tip is crazy creative, but his rhymes are lazy and lack self-editing. Phife is way more basic but his punchlines are unbeatable, and when he really catches an energetic flow, he gives Tribe their best moments).

So the Tribe is in effect mode. Midnight Marauders. By now, Phife is coming to terms with having a very serious illness that would seemingly affect his ability to be a part of the group, if not his willingness. They hit new sales records and tour like crazy, chased by an adoring hip hop/alternative media and likely a lot of women. As Tip reveals on his hidden track, this lifestyle and its pressures leads to some difficult situations between himself and Phife, culminating in "a fight in the snow". Phife looks likely to escape to Atlanta, believing Tribe were "done" by this point. Time passes, Tip converts to Islam, and then decides to keep Tribe rolling with or without Phife. Do you remember when they used to rock those fly routines on his cousin's block? Enter Consequence and the beginning of Beats Rhymes and Life.

Seemingly, quite a bit of work under this configuration had been completed when... Tip set his house on fire, losing his extensive library of samples and the album work up to that point. Ouch. I don't know how or when the Dilla connection happened, but now the album would have to start again using more minimal means. Phife must have caught wind that his friends were trying to side - step him, before eventually moving back in to reclaim his rightful place in the group. Indeed, some of his additions on the final album display both a sense of bad vibes in the studio, lack of cohesion with the rest of the project, and are way less inspired than we know Phife can be. The fact that his verse on Stressed Out only appears on the single version seems to indicate that his involvement in the project was very much an afterthought on Tip's part. Phife has been quoted as saying that he'd catch a flight from Atlanta to the group's New York recording sessions, only to arrive and find the sessions cancelled without him being informed; he calls out the dead chemistry (probably the friendship also) of this period, in the documentary. Perhaps the new lineup intended to move forward as The Ummah, until Jive put the foot down and insisted on a Tribe album. Who knows...?

So what did we end up with? Well, I would listen to the Five Foot Assassin ripping up those Abstract samples and beats all day. Sadly though, in this album, Phife just isn't in the groove and the grooves don't always connect. It's a disjointed, patchy, uncompromising album full of confused tension and a sense that the sun doesn't always shine. We hear about the challenges of success, the changing face of hip hop, the grind of surviving in an increasingly unforgiving society. A party ending in gunshots. Getting tested by strangers on the A train. Broken hearts, dreams, and friendships. Using every source of pain their range to make it happen. Stressed Out; we've got to Get A Hold, 1nce Again.

Beats, Rhymes, & Life. It's all in there.
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on 16 January 2001
The common misconception that tribe's omnipotence ends with the last beat of the last song of their third album is nullified by this disc of supreme quality, encapsulating all that is hip-hop. In fact, unlike other tribe albums, this disc contains no flawing tracks, and is a fine example of consistently smooth intelligent yet humourous songwriting. 'Phony Rappers', 'Jam' and particularly 'Hop' shine, and the welcome return to a smoother style apparent in their first album, 'People's Instinctive travels...' brings out the best in this immortal group. Q-Tip's honeyed lyricism is well complemented by a more prominent inclusion of Phife and Ali Shaheed Muhammad, culminating in an all round devastating compilation. A more than worthy successor to Midnight Marauders, it is an essential for anyone who would call themselves a tribe fan. As salaam-u-alaikum.
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on 19 January 2016
Good album. Nothing else to add really.
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on 1 August 2014
Perfect price and delivery. Thank you.
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on 14 January 2016
Thanks for dope album.
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on 17 March 2015
Fantastic!
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