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on December 6, 2003
There is a whole generation out there full of people who just barely missed out on the evolution of rap music into what it is today. These are guys who weren't alive when hip-hop was born. These poor souls were still trying to master the alphabet when Run-D.M.C. started raising hell in '86. The only reason these kids even recognize artists like Grandmaster Flash or Kurtis Blow is from playing Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Just think of the thousands of rap listeners around the world who know nothing of the very foundation of what they now hear on the radio.
It is a tragedy, but one that can be rectified, starting with an introduction to the rhythm that has been eagerly waiting for you at the end of that dark tunnel. However, since you are a little behind, your Quest should begin... well... at the end. Not unlike the Cliff�s Notes version of Crime and Punishment, Anthology is an abbreviated guide through masterful art. As a sort of microcosm of this notion, I will now do my best to tell you everything that you need to know before buying this album.
Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, and Ali Shaheed Muhammad (MC, MC, DJ respectively) are the primary members of A Tribe Called Quest. They are responsible for an extremely successful discography of jazz-rap that, along with the work of De La Soul, brought Afrika Bambaataa's Zulu Nation back into the spotlight.
A Tribe Called Quest stands as one of the most innovative hip-hop groups in history. To the naked ear, the Tribe's music just sounds like a couple guys freestylin' over a simple bass line. After subsequent listens, however, their music reveals incredibly smart rhymes that actually flow with the beats magnificently. In turn, they take the songs to a whole new level.
Although this album merely scratches the surface of the Tribe's legendary career, Anthology is absolutely, without question, the best place to start for newcomers. Unfortunately, for the group's more seasoned travelers, it provides no new material worth checking out. The special edition features a few remixes, but these should be reserved for fanatics only (none of them really sparked my interest).
Track by track:
Check The Rhyme - This track made it all the way to #1 on the Hot Rap Singles chart back in 1991. Originally from the Tribe's critically lauded second LP, Low End Theory.
Bonita Applebum - Q-Tip has a crush. Hmmm... maybe a song would help seduce her...
Award Tour - Another chart-topper, Award Tour is driven by fantastic rhymes from Tip and Phife Dawg along with an irresistible keyboard loop. Essential lyric:
"I learned how to build mics in my workshop class
So give me this award, and let's not make it the last"
Can I Kick It? - Yes they can. More specifically, the Tribe kicks it to a Lou Reed guitar loop on this classic track from their free-flowing debut, People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm.
Scenario - The second hit single spawned from Low End Theory, this song is also famous for formally introducing Busta Rhymes to the music world.
Buggin' Out - They just repeat the title over and over for the chorus... so why do I like this song so much?
If The Papes Come - First appearing on the soundtrack to the motion picture Mi Vida Loca, this track is an amazing gem of the bizarre variety.
Electric Relaxation - 1993's Midnight Marauders proved that lightning really can strike thrice. Electric Relaxation is just plain cool. No... ice cold.
Jazz (We've Got) - Seriously, if you enjoy what you hear on Anthology go out and buy Low End Theory. This one is yet another smooth classic off that album.
I Left My Wallet In El Segundo - A journey to the middle of nowhere (anywhere would�ve been better). This is my personal favorite Tribe track. It got in my head in '91 and hasn�t left since.
Hot Sex - First appearing on a rare club compilation, Hot Sex was later appropriately placed on the Tribe's 5th LP, The Love Movement.
Oh My God - Undeniably catchy single from Midnight Marauders.
Stressed Out - A Tribe Called Quest hit a bump in the road with Beats, Rhymes, and Life (4th album). Although the disc is more highly regarded these days, the listener is forced to wait until track 13 for its first contribution to Anthology. Stressed Out is more R&B flavored and features Faith Evans.
Luck of Lucien - Not sure if I've ever used the term "groovy" to describe a song before, but Luck of Lucien is as close as they come. Also, make sure and listen to Phife's conversation in the background during the break. Good stuff.
Description of a Fool - The closing track on People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm... and the beginning of a legacy.
Keeping It Moving - Underrated 2nd track from Beats, Rhymes, and Life. Really has a nice beat and Tip does his usual best.
Find a Way - Wonderful single off of The Love Movement. Probably the Tribe's best slower paced song.
Sucka N***a - Listen before judging. Remember, these are not a hardcore rappers.
Vivrant Thing - A really good bonus track. I call it bonus because it's from Q-Tip's first solo album, Amplified (excellent).

Bottom line: While not offering any quality new or rare material, Anthology (being a greatest hits disc) doesn't disappoint, featuring the simple beats and intelligent rhymes that fueled the Tribe�s success for over a decade. If you're not that familiar with the Tribe, you gotta get, you got-got ta get it!
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on October 29, 1999
....by the way they left "Butter" off this piece....
Anyone who is a Quest fan will already be familiar will all of the tracks on here. The only song on here that is previously unreleased on CD is "If the Papes Come" which was a B-side single from the first joint ("People's Instinctive..."). Some will complain about which songs are here and which are missing. But you can't front on the 19 selections were chosen for this collection.
Anthology does what greatest hits album do -- give you the greatest hits. It would be nice if there was an extra disc with a few of the hot remixes or b-sides that you can't get on CD. If that's what you want, you might want to go back and pick up "The Love Movement" which includes remixes for "Scenario", "Jazz" and "Oh My God" as well as "Hot Sex" and "One Two S**t" which were never on full-length CD.
Oh yeah, "Vivrant Thing" is on here too. Tip probably had to let them touch this as a term of getting out of the Jive label contract and getting signed on Arista. But all in all this is a great compilation of great moments from a great group. Just put in it and sit back. No track skipping necessary.
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on November 24, 1999
I am not a hip hop fanatic who has bought every cd from a certain artist or group since theyve been in the business. But I sample this and that from various groups, looking for the perfect album that has everything going right, all the pieces in place. I found it. I picked up the anthology, without having ever bought any other album of ATCQ. But this cd is amazing. Check the Rhime, Scenario, Find A Way, Description of a fool, across the board, all phat beats. Jazz meets Hip Hop. I meet ATCQ. Buy the album, thats all I gotta say. Im out like Vanilla Ice's rap career
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on December 9, 1999
If you only buy one Tribe CD (and that would be a huge mistake to buy only one) this should be the disc. This CD has nothing but the most amazing Tribe tracks and many of the greatest songs ever recorded period. I guarantee that you won't even have to touch the next track button on your player because this is one of those incredibly rare CD's where every song is the best song on the disc. If you own a Puff Daddy CD, you might be able to get out of hell and make up for your sin if you buy this CD instead.
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on January 17, 2005
Well I'm 17 years old and probably got into hip-hop around age 13, so you can say I never grew up with greats like 2pac, biggie, etc. Not until I heard this CD I could really appreciate hip-hop. Sure the radio was ok but when I heard this I realized how much hip-hop is lacking today, what happened?? Using the skip track button on my CD player isn't necessary, the whole CD really is a classic to me. It's not just the genius beats I was impressed with, but the lyrics. The lyrics...WOW, genius...no other way to describe it. I plan on exploring many other areas of hip-hop I never knew exisited. I wish hip-hop was how it was back in the early 90's, it lacks something today. You can no longer "nod" ur head to the rap music on the radio.
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on September 12, 2004
This album is perfectly acceptable distillation of the Tribe's 5 lps, with two songs not included on any of those lps: If the Papes Come, a nice b side; and Vivrant Thing, which I assume everybody has already had enough of. This has less of a reason to exist than Hits, Rarities & Remixes or the second half of the Love Movement, and it would make a lot more sense if they put all the extra tracks on one volume instead of giving a little at a time.

I suppose this recording gives a little too much preference to the earlier albums, but a lot of tribe fans are partial to the first one or two of them, so I guess that is justified. I see no point in buying this if you are much of a fan at all; it makes a lot of sense to have at least two of their albums instead because all of them have a lot of worthy content that cannot be compressed in a volume like this. But if you just want to grab a couple of mid-90s hits from one of rap's greatest groups, then go ahead...
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on November 17, 1999
This CD completes the collection of Tribe CD's, so if you are a TCQ fan, you GOTTA GET THIS CD! Sure, you may have all of the CD's already with the "anthology" songs on them, but this CD puts them all together for a continuous groove with Tribe Called Quest. This CD is the bomb, and I get kinda reminicient with songs like "Bonita Applebum", "Check The Rhyme", "Buggin'On" & "Award Tour"...I mean, this CD is the greatest! It'll take ya back, that's for sure, but you cannot pass this CD up...this is a millennium must have. BUY THIS CD, YOU CAN'T GO WRONG.
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on February 10, 2003
Really, if you want a crash course in ATCQ, then pick this up. But if you already have all of their albums, then there's really no point, unless you wanna check out "If the Papes Come" (which is kinda hard to find anywhere). There are some really good songs on here from all of the albums with the exception of the weak "Find a Way" from The Love Movement. Although many fans will complain about their favorite songs not being on here (like "Ham n' Eggs" or "Show Business" featuring Sadat X, Lord Jamar, and Diamond D), this collection is pretty good. But why did they tack on the too-too-recent Q-Tip solo, "Vivrant Thing"? (Both that song and this compilation were made in 1999.) If anything, that song shows how commercial the Tribe members have gotten up until that point.
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on January 2, 2006
Tribe called quest are a big piece of Hip hop and me being young blinded by the commercialized stuff today I didn't get to really know them until 2 years ago. Now I have all of their albums and I give credit to this greatest hits album that was put together so well. First the production is crazy and it hooks you right away. Phife and Q-tip provide the sick lyrics that complete this great trio. This is the perfect greatest hits no skips. So bottom line if you want to really get a grip on hip hop and the greats then you need this album if you don't have any of Tribe called quest then your collection isn't complete.
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on December 6, 1999
It's sad to really see ATCQ putting out an "Anthology" album. However, this US release is really good. Tracks like "Steve Biko (Midnight Muraders)" should've made the collection, but they finally re-issued "If the Papes Come (it's a really rare find!)" which is pretty satisfying. On the japanese import CD that I bought has all of these tracks comes with one additional track which is the phattest ATCQ composition EVER MADE..."Mr. Incognito". If you are an old school ATCQ head, you should know the track.
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