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Peoples' Instinctive Travels & the Paths of Rhythm
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People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm is, quite simply, one of the finest albums in hip-hop. It's easy to argue that A Tribe Called Quest reached their zenith on this, their debut album: though they went on to produce another world-class disc (The Low End Theory) and broadened their palates and their consciousness, never again were they quite this naturally free and easy. Q-Tip and Phife's delivery is deceptively simple, flowing like wine and tasting like candy, and Jairobi adds some contrast. The music, so self-assured that it never raises its voice to make a spectacle, follows suit. Four albums later, on their last tour, songs from Paths of Rhythm still were at the top of the set list. --Randy Silver
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Top Customer Reviews
The opening track "Push It Along" really sets the mood for the rest of the album. Q-Tip's flow is understated to say the least and he's able to drop in some of the most incredible lines of poetry at any time. The track may be a bit down-tempo (this is jazz-rap we're talking about though) but by the end of it, most listeners will be calling out the chorus.
"Luck Of Lucien" is another classic. The lyrics are moulded to the beat in a way that only the top MCs can do and the entire storyline - yes, it is a story - is superbly done.
The other standouts here are "Bonita Applebum" (which of course provided the Fugees with the guitar thing for "Killing Me Softly"), "I Left My Wallet In El Segundo" (possibly one of the funniest stories ever committed to album) and "Can I Kick It".
"Can I Kick It" allays any doubts that the listener might have that they're listening to two of the best MCs going around. Both Phife and Tip deliver stellar verses with some of the best rhymes around.
There seems to be no way to fault this album - possibly it might pale into comparison with "Low End Theory", but I haven't bought that one yet. So far, well worth whatever you have to pay for it.
The intro to the first track, "Push It Along", immediately lets the listener know that this is not your average rap album. It's also not your average Tribe album. This is the only record that has Tribe as a whole. Jarobi's interludes are the only evidence that A Tribe Called Quest actually has (had) four members. The interludes also add an extra and unique quality to the album. They make it seem to be somewhat of a "concept album".
Overall, the reason this album is so good is Q-Tip. He shines on every song. His flow is fantastic and his voice is at its most innocent. This album is also the best example of his and Tribe's good-naturedness and playfulness. From "Luck of Lucien" to "Ham and Eggs", the flat-out bizarre style of story-telling is a welcome addition to the hip-hop community.
Phife's contribution to this album is a lot smaller than it is on future releases, but, in a way, makes his parts better. "Can I Kick It" in particular shows how well he compliments the crew. The back-and-forth flow between him and Q-Tip on "Ham and Eggs" is also a good example of this.
Also a key feature to this album is Ali's scratching technique. Although some of his later productions are better, these are pretty damn good, and the inclusion of his scratching makes them better.
Included on this disc are two bonus tracks that are every bit as worthy of bein on this album as any of the other ones on it.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This is the best Tribe album and possibly the most underrated hip-hop album of all times.This is one of the top 3 hip-hop albums,it's simply very great. Read morePublished on May 8 2004
A Tribe Called Quest is one of the greatest groups ever in hip hop, and if you own any of their albums, you know why. This debut album is so great to listen to. Read morePublished on April 14 2004 by Wayne Maye
While this has some great tracks and tunes, I don't think it stands nearly in the same realm as The Low End Theory or Midnight Marauders. Read morePublished on April 1 2004 by Ed Facile
So smooth and funky,
this bridges the gap between
classic jazz and rap.
Yeah so if anyone wants to start listening to some real beats and rhymes, check out the Tribe. This stuff is the real deal. Read morePublished on Dec 23 2002 by Blackberries
Out of the Tribe's 5 albums, this one is the greatest. The Tribe basically invented rap as we know it now. Read morePublished on Oct. 28 2002 by Nate
This was a good album. Not a great one, but a good one. The potential is there. Tracks like "Can I kick it? Read morePublished on May 11 2002 by Eliza
Chemistry is the key factor in making magic happen on wax and the Tribe unit did it well with such style and grace. Read morePublished on Feb. 7 2002 by muzyksohlchile