A Tribe Called Quest is a group that will forever go down as one of the greatest hip-hop groups of all time. And its album, The Low End Theory, is among the game's best and most influential albums. As we approach the twenty-year anniversary of its release, DJ Mu$a is planning to pay tribute to the trio and the album with a special Tribe Called Quest edition of his I Used to Love H.E.R. party series this Friday at Eurphoria Lounge.
So why a party dedicated specifically to this album and group? Besides the beats and rhymes, which were dope, the outfit -- Ali, Q-Tip, and the mighty Phife Dawg (also Jarobi White who left the crew after the first album) -- embodied the quintessential elements of hip-hop, all rolled into one tribe. And Low End Theory was arguably their masterpiece.
For Mu$a, The Low End Theory, which was released in September 1991, his junior year in high school, was the perfect soundtrack for what one of the most influential times to be involved with music, he says.
"The kids I was hanging out with at the time had that album and it just stayed in rotation," Mu$a recalls. "We played The Low End Theory until, like, the summertime. It was the perfect playful background music to the shenanigans and mischief we were involved in, and it went really well."
The album was released right around the time Mu$a was starting to get serious about deejaying, and A Tribe Called Quest directly ended up influencing Mu$a's musical tastes.
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"There are many people, not just me, who will tell you, enthusiastically, that Low End Theory is one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time," Mu$a declares. "I was really studying deejaying and buying vinyl really heavy. The entire structure of the album, from the beats, samples and, of course, the rhymes, was just off the charts."
Indeed, The Low End Theory has appeared on many greatest-album lists, and the crew has influenced almost every major producer in the game today, from Kanye West to the Neptunes to Dr. Dre -- and a slew of others.
With that in mind, Mu$a thought, what better way to celebrate a classic album's anniversary than by throwing a party? "I"m definitely going to play the entire album," Mu$a reveals. "I plan to build mixes and samples around each song, so it's like an entire journey through The Low End Theory.
"Sonically," he concludes, "you can't make a better hip-hop album than this one. It's almost overwhelming how interesting it is. Each song has its own feeling, and with the live instrumentation, you can't get better than that."