A Tribe Called Quest

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A Tribe Called Quest is a hip-hop group formed in 1988. It consists of four rappers named Q-Tip (Jonathan Davis), Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Phife (Malik Taylor), and Jarobi White, who has both left and rejoined the group throughout Tribe's musical career. A Tribe Called Quest is a largely influential group that have been coined iconic pioneers of alternative hip hop music (Allmusic 2012). Q-Tip and Phife grew up together in Queens, New York. Q-Tip met Ali and Jarobi through high school, and eventually formed an official hip-hop group. A Tribe Called Quest's recording debut came in August 1989, when their single, "Description of a Fool," appeared on a small area label. After this happened, A Tribe Called Quest was signed to Jive Records in 1989 and jump started their road to success (Allmusic 2012). In 1980s New York, hip hop music arose from the strife of the black community. This was a release of frustration and an evolution of fighting for one's rights in music. A Tribe Called Quest became known for their highly intelligent, artistic, and socially-conscious rap (T.R.O.Y 2012). Throughout their musical career, A Tribe Called Quest addressed many controversial subjects such as race, class, black exploitation, consumerism, trials and tribulations of the rap industry, and connecting the dots between hip-hop and jazz as revolutionary forms of black music. In 1993, A Tribe Called Quest released a song called "Sucka Nigga". This song was a response to the rappers and public figures that by having a different spelling and pronunciation, use the term "nigga" as a "term of endearment". They discuss how the word’s brutal past is nullified by the subversive genius of black youth who employ this term and use it freely (T.R.O.Y 2012). The term "Nigger" is a racially discriminatory term used to describe Africans during the time of segregation and oppression. Since then many

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