We Got It From Here … Thank You 4 Your Service – A Review
We talked about this album on our podcast a few weeks back, but I still think it's worth writing…
I have a problem with the current state of hip-hop right now.
I feel that today's rap is not as good as it used to be in the 90s and early 2000s. Maybe I'm being like every old man in history who thought that the shit created in his time was better because he grew up in it.
In my defense, I got into hip-hop when Biggie and Tupac were in their respective primes.
Don't get me wrong, the good rap out there now is great, however, there aren't has many good options as there was back then.
In 2016, the best rap has to offer in terms of good shit is artists like:
- J. Cole
- Big Sean
- Logic (don't sleep on Logic)
- Joey Bada$$
- Chance the Rapper
- A$AP Rocky and the mob
- Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q and the rest of the TDE crew
- Childish Gambino
- Lil Dicky
- Mac Miller
Travis $cott (not a rapper, but his music's fire)
This is who you have to look to when you're looking for legit bars and actual talent.
Other than that, you got the new breed of hip-hop who focuses less on lyrics and the actual art of MCing. Instead, they do whatever on a beat and boldly call it music.
I'm not mad at the Lil Yachtys, – if Yachty's "Minnesota" is in your current song rotation, we can't be friends – the Young Thugs, the Fetty Waps and I kind of like Lil Uzi Vert. I have no real problem with these new dudes per se.
However, they're all right, but they're not ill.
So my only resort is to consistently play the latest album of the top rappers listed above or play the classics from dudes like Kanye, Nas, Jay-Z, Mobb Deep, Wu-tang, Outkast, A Tribe Called Quest, Tupac, Biggie and more.
With the current state of hip-hop and all, A Tribe Called Quest dropping an album is a big deal. I still bump "Bonita Applebum", "Can I Kick It", "Check the Rhime", "Hot Sex" and "1nce Again" is probably my favorite Tribe track ever.
Anyway, when A Tribe Called Quest released their double album We Got It From Here … Thank You 4 Your Service two days after Donald Trump was elected president, I think a lot of people needed that. As funny as it sounds, substantial music in trying times helps people persevere.
For instance, the hook of Kendrick Lamar's "Alright" became a common chant during Black Lives Matter protests across the U.S.
People probably won't be chanting any tracks from We Got It From Here … Thank You 4 Your Service during protests, but the album does attempt to reflect the current situation in the U.S. with songs like "We The People…" or "Kids…" where the group, aided by Andre 3000, attempts to explain that what people see and hear is fake or a fantasy. Songs like "Melatonin" try to delve into the black experience at a time when black people are still viewed as the other in 2016!
Phife Dawg's absence is noticeable on this album, but the group manages to make up for his lack of lyrics by collaborating with Busta Rhymes, Kendrick Lamar, Anderson .Paak, Talib Kweli and, as mentioned before, Andre 3000.
This album is a little different from past Tribe albums, but that doesn't make it any less of an enjoyable listen. Here are some of the highlights.
We The People
"All you Mexicans, you must go."
I like this song not only because it's catchy, but because it's a reflection of the latest year and half of the Trump campaign and his unbearable supporters who took his xenophobic rhetoric to heart. It's a good track.
It has an odd beat, but the lyrics are poignant and Three Stacks makes an appearance. Can't hate on that.
This track makes me miss Phife a lot. His lyrical skill was highly underrated because he was that good.
I love the hook on this track. It starts off a bit weird and you don't know what to expect and then the beat switches a little, the hook comes in and you're in until the end.
Anderson .Paak may be one of my favorite artists doing it big right now. His voice and style are not something we're accustomed to, but damn he's good. He steals the show on this track and makes it amazing.
Kendrick Lamar and Tribe Called Quest on the same track. Conscious rap at its best.
I wanted a little more.
I'm greedy about this one. I wanted a bit more of that boom bap rap A Tribe Called Quest is known for.
However, I realize that without Phife (R.I.P.) and with the current state of society, more optimistic and feel-good rap may not have been received so well.
This album is definitely worth your time … especially if you're A Tribe Called Quest fan. That's pretty much all you need to know.
Written by Joe Renegade