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Beats, Rhymes And Life Import

4.3 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 31 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Sony Music Canada Inc.
  • ASIN: B00000053T
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews
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1. Phony Rappers
2. Get A Hold
3. Motivators
4. Jam
5. Crew
6. The Pressure
7. 1nce Again
8. Mind Power
9. The Hop
10. Keeping It Moving
11. Baby Phife's Return
12. Separate/ Together
13. What Really Goes On
14. Word Play
15. Stressed Out

Product Description

Product Description

Japanese only SHM paper sleeve pressing. Includes one bonus track. Sony. 2009.


Tribe's fourth album, Beats, Rhymes, and Life, should be the awkward one, the album on which the group, growing up, falters a little as it figures out what it's going to do next. It isn't. Marked by a number of changes, both internally (this is the album on which the Ummah production crew takes over, and it also marks Q-Tip's new religious faith) and externally (by 1996 Quest's jazzy approach to hip-hop had fallen out of popular favor), Beats finds Tribe taking it as it comes and handling all of the challenges with flair. It's a slower, steadier album than either People's Instinctive Travels or The Low End Theory, but that's a description, not a complaint; rather, it gives you plenty of time to enjoy jams like "1nce Again." It doesn't hurt that Q-Tip and Phife Dog are feeling the flow here; an inspired pairing with distinctive voices and different strengths, they trade verses with fluid grace. --Randy Silver

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I would have given this album 2 1/2 stars in 1996, and been happy about it. I remember it vividly. It was July, and I was jonesing for the Quest to follow up to their masterpiece "Midnight Marauders" released a little less than three years earlier. I stepped into the store on cloud 9, and returned home as quickly as I could to pop this in......and what I got was about an hour of disappointment. I just wasn't prepared for this kind of shift. This album was nowhere near as beautiful as any of their previous work. I held them to such a high standard, that anything less than astonishment was unacceptable. This was a dense, nuanced album, that showed that the mid 90's Quest was not the early 90's Quest. It's bass heavy, linear production resembles some of the things to come a few years later from second wave alterna-rap juggernauts, The Roots, and Common.
This may not be their best, but it's still an excellent album. The wordplay between Phife, and Q-Tip was still almost telepathic, and while the feel of easiness was gone, song to song was not a difficult listen. There was also extremely pure reminders of why Quest was so loved in the first place (ie "The Jam", and "1nce Again") Those songs rank among the best of anything in their catalog. Songs like: "Phony Rappers"(an excellent battle rap) "Get A Hold", "Motivators", "What Really Goes On, and "Word Play" represent some of the best work in their post zenith period. This album also showcases some of the best work of The Ummah production unit, which consisted of Q-Tip, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, and Jay-Dee.
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Format: Audio CD
Q-Tip was best in the middle of the Tribe's career. Before Midnight Marauders and after this album, his lyrical muscles were just too weak for his image as the Abstract Poetic. This album attempts to supersede the impossibly high level of balanced perfection that Midnight Marauders presented to the world. They add mini tracks (Crew, Separate/Together) and try to attack the mainstream directly (many conscious rappers don't know that conscious rap only works when it doesn't keep talking about how conscious it is). They try to embrace the party world (Jam, the Hop) and the cerebral world (Mind Power) and flirt with less conventional song forms (Word Play). This is all well and good, except for Consequence (where the hell did he come from?) and Stressed Out, which can be omitted from the album with no trouble at all.
The production on this album strikes an excellent balance, and the overall pace of the album is even more deliberately measured than that of Midnight, which was almost a fluke of a perfect album. There are discordant keyboards on joints like Phony Rappers and Separate/Together, then the tight jams of the horribly underrated Get a Hold and the hint of what is yet to come, Keeping it Moving. Most of the songs retain a crucial jazz element of the earlier work combined with a hint of the futuristic sterility of the Love Movement, but this middle ground, combined with the unhurried brilliance of the lyrical work, makes it my favorite tribe album.
Instead of being a great rap album like the one before it, Beats Rhymes and Life is a great Tribe album. It takes time to understand it but it fits perfectly in its place in the Tribe canon and in the mid 90s, when hip hop was just about to start killing itself.
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Format: Audio CD
A Tribe Called Quest - The most innovative hip-hop group of the 90s, hands down. Beats, Rhymes & Life isn't the most highly regarded of Tribe albums, but it's still definitely worth hearing, as is the whole ATCQ catalogue. Here are my thoughts on the tracks of this album.
1. Phony Rappers (3:35) - A sweet track about Q-Tip and Phife throwing it down on the streets for a few nonbelievers. The clever rhymes and a thick, fuzzy bassline provide for an excellent opener.
2. Get A Hold (3:56) - This is a dark, bassed out track that's not as good as Phony Rappers. I could take or leave this one.
3. Motivators (3:20) - A great song. Phife describes it much better than I ever could- "This hear groove was made for vintage freestylin'/feelin like I'm chillin' on the Caribbean Islands."
4. Jam (4:38) - This is one of my favorite tracks of the album. It's the perfect song to put on when you're done with school or work for the week and you just want to bust out for the weekend. Good stuff.
5. Crew (1:58) - Greatly divergent from Jam, Crew is a frustrated song laced with a dark, cloudy organ and a diatribe from Tip.
6. The Pressure (3:02) - Yet another gloomy song, but it's much better than Crew. There is some kickin' scratching/sampling in the beginning that pumps me up.
7. 1nce Again (3:49) - A smooth number with some nice female vocals and a wicked bassline.
8. Mind Power (3:55) - Tip sums this one up perfectly in the opening seconds of the song..."Mmmmm, so funky."
9. The Hop (3:27) - The Hop is a flowing, jazzy song with a catchy refrain that will make you do the hop.
10. Keeping It Moving (3:38) - This is my other favorite of the album. This track is ridiculously tight.
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