MIMS Lists


Lexis “My Favorite A Tribe Called Quest tracks”

When I heard that a documentary on ATCQ was coming out I completely lost my shit. They were without a doubt my most influencial group growing up… obviously i’m not alone, the Tribe have attainted the emblematic figure for the golden era of hip-hop in the 90′s. The rumours of the group reuniting have been resurfacing every now and then but from the looks of the trailer (check it here), I think the documentary will put that to rest and confirm that the group is done… It was a really tough choice but here are my 7 favorite ATCQ tracks.

What are yours?

#1 “Vibes & Stuff” (from Low End Theory – 1991)

ATCQ – Vibes & Stuff

Picking 7 ATCQ tracks from about 75 good ones is hard but picking just two from the Low End Theory is damn near impossible. I think about 10 of the tracks on that record are classics for me… but there is no hesitation on picking “Vibes & Stuff”. It’s been my favorite ever since I heard for the first time in my yellow Sony Walkman.

#2 “Buggin’ Out” (from Low End Theory – 1991)

ATCQ – Buggin’ Out

God knows Tribe have lots and lots of crowd pleasers for DJ sets but this is my favorite amongst all those (Scenario, Award Tour, 1nce again, Find a way, etc…). This takes me back to hanging out on the basketball court in the summer

#3 “If the Papes Come” (from Peoples’ Instinctive Travels & the Paths of Rhythm – 1990)

ATCQ – If The Papes Come

This was the only record that I had to go back to because it was before my time. When you go back to it, it’s just absolutely insane that this came out in 1990! I mean, did you ever take a time and listen to hip-hop stuff that came out 20 years ago? Most of it is pretty comical… This record is truly forward thinking stuff!!

#4 “Lyrics to go” (from Midnight Marauders – 1993)

ATCQ – Lyrics to Go

Like Vibes & Stuff this is another track that I didn’t have to hesitate in picking. That Minnie Riperton (“Inside My Love”) sample has been used so many times but never quite like this. This shit is just effortless. Like butter baby…

#5 “Midnight” (from Midnight Marauders)

ATCQ – Midnight

To me one of the true measures of a classic record is that the tracks that didn’t really catch your attention at first but with time start becoming your favorite cuts. At first when you listen to that record you listen to “Steve Biko” and “Award Tour” on and on but then you start going deeper with “Sucka Nigga”, “We Can Get Down”… I still remember the day I bought this record.

#6 “Jam” (from Beats, Rhymes & Life – 1996)

ATCQ – Jam

Had to put a few tracks from the J Dilla era in there. “Jam” is one of my favourite summer joints. In works in clubs, jeeps, coupes and benzies!

#7 “Busta’s Lament” (from The Love Movement – 1998)

ATCQ – Busta’s Lament

The last two records don’t quite have that mythical status the first three get from hip-hop heads. But seriously, go back and listen to those two and tell me those aren’t 8.0 or 9.0 out of 10. Keeping in mind that “Love Movement” came out right in the middle of the Jiggy-Blingy era it’s no surprise that it was their last one… they probably felt like people had moved on. To much much weaker things…


About the Author

Lexis (MIMS Founder)
(Montreal) Lexis is the dude who founded MusicIsMySanctuary.com in 2007. He has been djing since 2000 and a music lover / nerd since day 1! For more info check out: www.musicismysanctuary.com/djlexis

  • MusoNi

    7.Mardi Gras At Midnight
    6.Luck of Lucien
    5.Steve Biko (Stir it Up)
    4.Jazz (We’ve Got)
    3.Find A Way
    1.If The Papes Come

    • http://www.musicismysanctuary.com Lexis

      I gotta agree on Butter. I could have picked my top 7 from just Low End Theory… shit was sooooooooo before its time. Crazy to think that record came out 1991! Years ahead of everything.

      • MusoNi

        i was HOOKED to this joint, keep in mind i’ve first peeped it in 2005, i was a young cat. I’ll never forget those days of musical expansion when i discovered tribe hiero pharcyde freestyle fellowship etc…gotta thank the internet for that

        • http://www.musicismysanctuary.com Lexis

          Yeah I wasn’t listening to it either right when it came out but it’s insane to me that this is 20 years ago… I respect that you are curious to back track and listen to what came before you. Props for that!

        • MusoNi

          the weather report flip on Butter!! this song alone brought me into beatmaking, the whole science, digging, all of that

  • dela

    ok let’s give it a try

    7 Luck Of Lucien (has to be on the list, that’s where I got my name from)
    6 Find A Way
    5 Sucka N****
    4 Lyrics To Go
    3 Mardi Gras At Midnight
    2 Award Tour
    1 Electric Relaxation

    nah, F this holmes! I can’t leave out Steve Biko, Phony Rappers, Midnight, Verses From The Abstract, Butter, Get A Hold, Bonita… can’t do it !!

    • http://www.musicismysanctuary.com Lexis

      I know it’s impossible… but I still did it! Tough choices my friends.
      Luck of Lucien is getting mad love so far!

  • AB

    What about Lucien?


    • http://www.musicismysanctuary.com Lexis

      ohhhh ohhhh. voulez-vous? le poooo pooooo

      • AB

        It is hard. As tweeted @theanthonybrown, I listened to 25 tracks in an attempt to narrow it down. . . loved all of them and I am sure there are 25 more.

        But here goes
        1. Scenario (bo don’t know Jack ’cause bo can’t rap)
        2. Oh My God (when’s the last time you heard a funky diabetic?)
        3. Bonita Applebum. . .you’ve seen my girlfriends
        4. Left my Wallet in El Segundo (has props number had my Jimmy hats. . .gotta get it mang)
        5. We got the Jazz
        6. Award tour
        7. Luck of Lucien (don’t you love my accent?)

  • Headnod Factor

    Damn… As a consumate ATCQ fan I could not miss this one out…

    The task is daunting but let’s give it a try;

    7. The Chase, Part II (That Biz Markie loop to start it up is insane)
    6. Keep it moving (Q-Tip really sets the record straight here)
    5. 8 Million Stories (one of the few tracks where Phife shines by himself – Plus, his story is heartfelt)
    4. Jazz (We’ve Got) (Do I really need to say something?)
    3. Electric Relaxation (It’s a must to watch the video with this one)
    2. Excursions (It powerfully kick things off for the Low End Theory)
    1. Find a Way (I’ve had many girl ask me to play it – It strikes deep down every time)

    I could go on about every single Tribe songs… I know I left out the People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm but what can I say… Tough tough choices to make.

    Pce out Tribe Fam.

    • http://www.musicismysanctuary.com Lexis

      I guess what i’m finding out is that there is no wrong answer!

  • lec dog

    1- we can get down
    2- steve biko
    3- lyrics to go
    4- 8 million stories
    5- rock, rock y’all
    6- god lives through
    7- electric relaxation

    midnight marauders was the definitive atcq album and all you faggity ass rap neophytes trying to come up with early atcq tracks like you were actually digging it back then need to shut up. listen to the true rap connaisseurs like this boy and LEXIS…

    • http://www.musicismysanctuary.com Lexis

      Hahaaaaa… ok now hold on… first off… there are some hardcore connnaissssseurs on here. No posers are allowed on MIMS anyway! Annnd shit man I gotta say I can’t decide between “Low End” and “Midnight Marauders” as their best album… i think I gotta go with low end.

  • Jayjohnson658

    Peoples instintive travels – Bonita Applebum, Mr muhammad
    Low End Theroy- Butter, Vibes and Stuff
    Midnight Marauders (my fav all time hiphop album) – (All of em basicly) Lyrics to go, Electric Relaxation, God lives through and 8 Million really shine
    Beats Rhymes and Life-(2nd fav all time hiphop album) (all of em basicly) Mindpower, the hop, the jam, get a hold, crew, motivators shine
    The Love Movement- Busta’s Lamant, Common Grounds