A Tribe Called Quest

Formation of the Group

  • The group was for in St. Albans, Queens in 1985  
  • The group was comprised of rapper Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Ali Shadeed Muhammed, and Jarobi White
  • The group original started with just Q-Tip and Ali Shadeed Muhammed, and then later Q-Tip added his friends Phife Dawg and Jarobi White and were given the name A Tribe Called Quest from the group Jungle Brothers 
  • The group didn’t receive the name A Tribe Called Quest until 1988. 
  • The groups debut song “Description of a Fool” came out in 1989.  
  • This song would the be first of many and would help the tribe to be known as a group to create new paths in hip-hop. 

Influence in Hip-Hop

The group is known for its fusion of ’60s and ’70s jazz and rock in its sampling. 

  •  in 1990 ATCQ came out with their first album “Peoples Instinctive Travels and Paths of Rythmn” which included the song “Description of a Fool”. 
  • The album consisted of hits like “Can I Kick it?”, “I Left My Wallet in El Segundo”, and “Ham ‘N’ Eggs”  
  • The song “Can I Kick it?” it uses jazz and ’70s rock in its sample bass. When listening to the verse you can hear the use of the BIG 4 in drums. 
  • This album also contained several songs like “I Left My Wallet in El Segundo” and “Bonita Applebum” that made it to the Top Ten of Billboard’s rap chart.  
  • This momentum in their music kept going into the second album “The Low End Theory” which was released in 1991.   
  • It has been know as one of the best hip-hop LP of all times 
  • This album included artist like jazz play Ron Carter who played the double bass on “Verses from an Abstract”   

Then There Were Three

  • Before the release of the second album, Jarobi White departed from the group to go to culinary school.  
  • After that, the trio went on the release three more albums during the 90s.  
  • The third album showed their respect to the wider rap community.    
  • In 1998 the group stated that the album “The Love Movement” would be the last one before the group parted.  
  • ATCQ got back together in 2016 to create one last album to help member Phife with his medical bills for kidney failure. He later passed in 2016 right before the release. 


  • 1990- People’s Insticitive Travels and the Path Rhythm  
  • 1991- The Low End Theory  
  • 1993-Midnight Marauders  
  • 1996- Beats, Rhymes, and Life 
  • 1998- The Love Movement 
  • 2016-We Got It From Here…Thank You 4 Your Service 


  • 1994- Group of the Year at the Sources Award  
  • 2005 – Founders Award at the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Award 
  • 2017 – International Group Award at the Brit Awards  


“.”Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com 24 Jan. 2022 .” Encyclopedia.com,Encyclopedia.com, 19 Feb. 2022, https://www. encyclopedia.com/people/literature-and-arts/music-popular-and-jazz-biographies/tribe-called-quest 

“A Tribe Called Quest.” Hip Hop Golden Age, 22 Nov, 2016, https://hiphopgoldenage.com/artists/a-tribe-called-quest/.

“A Tribe Called Quest Hometown, Lineup, Biography.” Last.fm, https://www.last.fm/music/A+Tribe+Called+Quest/+wiki.

Kelley, Frannie. “A Tribe Called Quest: The Rise and Fall of a Legend.” NPR, NPR, 21 July 2011, https://www.npr.org/sections/therecord/2011/07/26/138584427/a-tribe-called-quest-the-rise-and-fall-of-hip-hop-beatles.

Reeves, Mosi. “A Tribe Called Quest;s ‘The Low End Theory’: 10 Things You Didn;t Know.” Rolling Stone, Rolling Stone, 4 Apr. 2021, https://www.rollingstone.com/feature/a-tribe-called-quest-the-low-end-theory-10-things-you-didnt-know-106475/.

“Tribe called Quest Biography.” Hip Hop Scriptures, https://www.hiphopscriptures.com/tribe-called-quest.


What's your password?

Login to your account

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.