If you are like me and are seriously put off by the foul-mouthed, talentless idiots who dominate the genre these days buy this to remind yourself that hip-hop used to be a creative and above all fun.
This isn´t is the most ground-breaking of Tribe´s records but it´s certainly the most enjoyable. What I like about this group is their adherance to the roots of black music, the heavily jazz-infused beats and rhythms. Lyrically, this album is about expressing an identity, it´s doesn´t promote or glorify a lifetstyle. Basically it´s a lot of fun, music to party to,"Award Tour," with it´s clanging, bustling beat is a good example of this. "Sucka Nigga," is a bit different, a light hearted attack on those with an indentity crisis. "Electric relaxation," remains one of my favourite tracks, I love the slick swinging rhythm, the lyrics are light-hearted and fun.
"Clap your hands," is another example of this group´s excellent control of rhythm. One of the finest tracks has to be the sprawling,"God lives through," which showcases the dexterity of their delivery as MC´s.
A Tribe called Quest are one of those acts who were able to appeal to people who like other musical genres because of the positive all inclusive message of their music. Well over a decade after it´s release it retains it´s freshness and for me is one of the finest rap records of all time
on 28 March 2005
This album is, infact The Bomb.
My guitar teacher introduced me to it several years ago and it is partially due to this album that i stopped listening to only nirvana and woke up and listened to other styles.
Enough of me, the album is a work of art from start to finish - it is basically a collection of anecdotal stories on life, without excessive swearing or talking about ho's and jewellery, set to a background of jazz sampling, organic beats. This is the best work i've heard from ATCQ, and has consistantly entertained me every time i've listened - as i'm sure it has everybody else who loves hip hop in this style.
on 2 October 2006
For me, this is Tribe's masterpiece... an album of such pure quality that is dazzles to this day. In fact, in comparison to the bulk of today's heavily marketed, over-produced, incoherent Hip Hop albums, it deserves a 6th star. It's takes the form of a trip through after-hours New York, with a computerised voice as your tour guide. The basslines on this album are amazing, and perhaps this album should have been called the Low End Theory Part 2, as ATCQ revisit the formula of samples and snares. The music influences as always, veer from Jazz to Soul, but always remain resolutely Hip Hop and resolutely fresh. There aren't a plethora of guest spots by the latest 'Hot' rappers, just a verse from Large Professor and a chorus from Busta Rhymes (from when he was A Leader Of The New School, and not an Aftermath 'gangsta').
In summary, it's genius. But don't take my word for it, buy the album.
on 24 June 2001
This is by far the best Tribe Called Quest album. It encapsulates the band at the height of their creative powers, with some outstanding verbal deliveries and superbly jazzy melodies. The lyrical exchanges between Phife and Q-Tip are the highlight, especially on tracks such as 'Oh My God' and 'We Can Get Down.' But the album highlight has to be 'Award Tour.' The Tribe never just played it for laughs, as they were often judged to do so. 'Sucka Nigga' for example, shows that the Tribe were never scared to be political. The uses of samples on this record are perhaps the finest examples of the medium, with some amazingly catchy hooks and melodies snatched from any number of obscure sources - just showing that you don't need to sample an obvious pop song (hands up Puff Daddy) to make a record infectious.
on 1 February 2005
Hip Hop at its best. These four words are probably the best words to represent the quality this album holds. It is a true gem in Hip Hop and one of those LP's that defines the word "consistency".
A Tribe Called Quest (ATCQ) boasts talent in abundance; from the smooth production skills of Ali Shaheed, the versatility of Q-Tip and the poetical delivery of Phife Dawg. As mentioned before, this LP is very consistent, which makes it very hard to pick 'stand out' tracks, however you can't fault the album for having that consistency. The first track 'Steve Biko [stir it up]' sets a very high standard which all the following tracks live up to.
Here is a comment on each track, however I do stress the ratings are my personal opinion of the track;
1. Midnight marauders tour guide - Nice intro to the LP, the "midnight marauder" that is on the front cover of the CD thanks the listener for the purchase etc.
2. Steve Biko (Stir it up) - Good opening and a well produced beat that sets the standard for the LP. Attentively Produced by Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed. Phife Dawg Opens up with his 'shout outs'. 8/10
3. Award tour - Very catchy 'xylophone' melody, with Q-tip kicking off. This track includes the famous "Do that do that do do that that that!" line. 7/10
4. 8 million stories - This is an influential storytelling track as many hip hop heads would agree. A Solid beat with accompanied with a proficient flow delivered by Phife Dawg. 9/10
5. Sucka nigga - A well oganised beat by Shaheed, with thoughtful rhymes delivered by Q-tip, which nicely finishes with the midnight marauder saying "you're not any less of a man if you don't hold the trigger..." 9/10
6. Midnight - This is a clever inset which conceals itself as a short track (2:41). Q-tip reiterates in the loopy electrical melody that "the night is on my mind". 7/10
7. We can get down - This track is a soulful 'laid-back' track, with an appealing beat and rather interesting wordplay from Phife Dawg, "too many candy rappers seem to be at the top, too much candy is no good, so I'm closing the shop". 7/10
8. Electric relaxation - Here we are presented with one of the best tunes in Hip Hop history, according to many listeners. The beat, flow and production is flawless, thus leading to many more listens to a tune that can never get old. 10/10
9. Clap your hands - At the beginning you don't know what to expect with a very mediocre beat and the hook "clap your hands now" running for 20 seconds. Then the beat changes to a much better one, with Phife Dawg opening up. 7/10
10. Oh my God - This tune is more 'street' than the others, the Baseline line is very memorable, albeit loopy. Busta Rhymes offers some assistance with the hook "Oh My God, Yes! Oh My God!" Also we have a great definition from Midnight Marauder for the initials M C, which she says stands for "Master Of Ceremony". 8/10
11. Keep it rollin' - Another implausible laid back track, with a profound beat and melody, a smooth verse from the featured guest large professor just adds to the luminosity of the track. 8/10
12. Chase Part II - A successful, yet classic example of the fusion of Jazz and hip hop, the beat and melody is well renowned for keeping the listener nodding to the tune. Q-tip tells nearly everyone in the world to 'rock on' at the end!, "every body in London rock, rock on". 9/10
13. Lyrics to go- A very surreal/dreamy beat accompanied by electric guitar samples at the hook, nothing that stands out, but solid nonetheless. 7/10
14. God lives through - A remix of "Oh My God", doesn't do it any justice in my opinion, but still not too bad. An Interesting listen though. 6/10
15. Hot sex - You get tracks sometimes when the beat completely overshadows the lyrics, this is the case in Hot Sex. There isn't a lot more I could say about it that hasn't been said before. 6/10
Midnight Marauders is such a great LP that it makes it extremely difficult to find a weakness for it, however if you are being picky, one could argue that "Hot Sex" is the weakest track. A Must have for any hip hop collection, just look at the other reviews for proof.
on 19 April 2014
What needs to be said about this, if you love you're old school hiphop you're going to know or listened to this...
Tribes vibes are perfect anytime, anywhere and it sounds even better on Vinyl.
If you have the means to play this, and the money to buy it, I highly recommend you do so... so choice...
on 6 December 2008
1993, a year of classic hip hop albums, east and west coast were releasing grounbreaking ones. Native Tongues were in full effect and A Tribe Called Quest, with already two classics under their name brought out their third album - Midnight Marauders.
Beats: Mostly produced by Ali Shaheed Muhammad, the beats focus on jazz samples, from all types of older music like Kool And The Gang, and Weldon Irvine. Large Professor has a producer guest spot on 'Keep It Rollin,' without interrupting the flow between each track. The beats compliment Phife's and Q-Tip's smooth flow perfectly, and the DJ scratches from Shaheed are exceptional, complete genius. Heavy drums, horn samples, pianos, and tight basslines make the instrumentals a 10/10.
Rhymes: Q-Tip and Phife are one the greatest duo's in hip hop ever. Phife has so many classic hip hop quotes on this album, and Q-Tip shows his conscious style on 'Sucka Nigga,' a track about the use of the word nigga:
'Now the little shorties say it all of the time
And a whole bunch of niggas throw the word in they rhyme
Yo I start to flinch, as I try not to say it
But my lips is like the oowop as I start to spray it'
Tip, Phife, and Ali Shaheed create laidback, dark, upbeat, smooth, conscious tracks on this album, which are all brilliant tracks. It is not often when you love every track on an album, but Midnight Marauders is a perfect example.
This is alternative hip hop at its best, simply flawless.
on 20 March 2000
A Tibe Called Quest were the greatest rap group of the 1990s. Wu-Tang may have the RZA, the GZA but they never matched ATCQ's consistency of firing albums. And this is Tribe at their zenith. After delivering the classic 'Low End Theory' they switched from that jazz vibe to a whole new unique keyboard feel. And it was the bomb! 'Award Tour' is the single everyone remembers but only showed a glimmer of the potency of the album. 'Electric Relaxation' is Tribe's all time joint, with that laid back feel, the mellow groove...'Bonita Apllebum' part II...'Clap your hands' is the banger with more bass than Barry White....and 'Midnight'? Man, that tune still sounds fresh! Hard yet still cool (like Tribe)....Illmatic might be the joint of the 90s but the slickest epitomy of cool is always gonna be 'Midnight Marauders'...
on 20 April 2012
This and De La Soul's '3 Feet High And Rising (W/Bonus Cd)' are, without a doubt, the greatest hip-hop records in the history.
I do believe that Midnight Marauders does actually beat 3 Feet by a nose, simply because it features Electric Relaxation, which is, in my opinion, the single hip-hop track of all time.
I really, really cannot recommend this enough. It is simply astounding how far rap has fallen when there were masterpieces like this released just less than a couple of decades ago.
The sampling and instrumentation is exquisite, and Phife and Q-Tip both possess a tone and clarity in their voices that is truly unique; you can catch every lyric, every metaphor, every pun, it really is amazing and, and the timbres of their voices are so distinct and instantly recognisable. The lyrics are spectacular as well; the various tracks effectively tackle issues such as crime, race, lust and love, keeping the listener thoroughly entertained throughout. There is also very little swearing on the album. Although I am not offended by 'foul' language myself, it is notable that the can articulate themselves properly.
It is also interesting that it is a concept album with this nice idea of some automated tour-guide guiding you through the album. It's quirky, but surprisingly not annoying. It is rare to find such a consistently good album, there seem to be no real 'filler' tracks., and every song really stays with you.
There are no huge beats behind the vocals, there are no aggressive, pumped-up shoutings of profanities, there are no over-produced bully instrumentals, just music. Sweet, sweet music.
Welcome to the Golden Age of hip-hop. It ain't called that for nothin'.
on 25 January 2001
This is truly excellent. The tribe are more versatile than in Low End Theory, but I rate the c.d's the same. Award Tour is the Tribes best ever track [on any of their c.ds] , but all the tracks are good. The tribe have matured since Low End Theory, but the content is the same, jazzy, clever and generally cool music.