A Tribe Called Quest
People's Instinctive Travels & The Paths of Rhythm


4.0
excellent

Review

by IAJP USER (42 Reviews)
September 3rd, 2010 | 41 replies


Release Date: 1990 | Tracklist


In all honesty it's hard to see what possessed A Tribe Called Quest to pack their debut album People's Instinctive Travels & The Paths of Rhythm with positive, well meaning hip-hop and inspirational lyrics. The year was 1990, and war was breaking out in rap music. Ice Cube had released his hate tirade, AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted against N.W.A, the police, the world, and, well, himself. This was serious, so Tribe's entrance into the hip hop world seems hilarious and extremely misguided looking back on it, the group bugged out, stumbling onto the world stage talking about leaving their wallet's in Mexican eateries, getting pubic lice, and just going for a sandwich and a pint of guiness.

Though they may not have realised it at the time, Tribe effectively calmed the entire hip hop situation down, and solely influenced a legion of similarly positive hip hop artists, and spawned a thousand east coast wannabes, some who made it (Wu-Tang Clan certainly were Tribe fans) and some who obviously just didn't.

The subject matter of the album isn't the only remarkable thing though, it's the remarkably assured attitude and confidence with which it's delivered throughout. Over silky smooth funk basslines, pounding bass drums, groovy horns and jazz samples (Another extremely influential sampling technique which blew up conveniently after this album arrived) the groups slew of talented MC's, Q-Tip, Phife Dawg (though marginalized on this release somewhat) and nearly-man, Jarobi, Tribe push their own envelopes lyrically and stylistically. MC's competing for Mic time seemed extremely alien at the time, and with the Tribe (and De La's) guiding hand, Hip hop found a new fixation; the rap group.

Influence aside though, the album really is very enjoyable. Whether it be the aptly named extended opener, Push It Along, or the humourous (and teasing) xenophobic follow up, Luck of Lucien, Tribe maintain a sense of fun, but at all times a grip on their own remarkable skills as MC's, impressionists, DJ's, or simply producers. People's Instinctive may sadly be overlooked for it's rightly critically revered followups (Low End Theory and Midnight Marauders) but that is no reason to rate it lower, it's sound is so similar and polished, but of such a high quality that it's impressive to say the very least. The album may lag a bit in later tracks (The pretty boring and long Ham & Eggs, or Go Ahead in the Rain's needless addition) may bring the album's rating down somewhat, but make no mistake; the first side and a half of this album is a strong contender for Tribe's best.

After Hours really perfectly sums the album up. With a joyous sun-soaked sample, laid back drums and friendly lyrics and vocals, it's pretty obvious to see that Tribe aren't gangstas, they're simply a bunch of friends looking for something to do on a sunny day, be it drink in a beer garden, go find something to eat, or just wind up a crazy homeless man. The band are in many ways perfect role models, their lack of aggression and massively playful nature is so genuine and infectious in itself that spinning People's Instinctive on a sunny day off work is guaranteed to raise the mood of even the world's biggest Scrooge.



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user ratings (347)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Meatplow
September 3rd 2010


5524 Comments


I've been meaning to listen to this group for a while. Is this a good place to start?

Excellent review, as always.

IAJP
September 3rd 2010


378 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

in my opinion man this is a great place to start with tribe. though it's 3rd best out of the second following releases, it pretty much kicked off this whole positive movement. de la do it but this has got it all really, funky beats, great sampling. just great positive vibes. i've been listening to this in the sun all day haha!

SoapySoap
September 3rd 2010


865 Comments


@ Meatplow, any of the first three albums are good places to start. They're all solid, and similar in sound.

illmitch
September 3rd 2010


5429 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ya haz its a fuckin great album

good review too dude

need 2 listen to this again, LUCIEN LUCIEN LUCIEN u s hould knowww

IAJP
September 3rd 2010


378 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lucien or after hours prob my fav tunes off it..i was obsessed with after hours for ages, still one of my fav tribe tracks.

PoodleRapist
September 3rd 2010


254 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

damn man, you're on fire. yet another spot-on review, pos

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
September 3rd 2010


31174 Comments


Nicely done dude

Digging: LV and Joshua Idehen - Islands

rebel86
October 6th 2010


132 Comments


Love the pro-vegetarian/vegan anthem ("HamNEggs")

SwayzeFaced
October 6th 2010


349 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great album great group. though i'd personally suggest starting at the low end theory if your just starting to listen to them. gives you more of an ease into the 90's style hip hop. =]

Maniac!
October 6th 2010


26250 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

IT'S ABOUT TIME THIS WAS REVIEWED!

MUNGOLOID
October 6th 2010


4305 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this album is so varied and random like a fucking cartoon variety show.

WatchItExplode
October 6th 2010


3248 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

play can I kick it? at a party and watch the people get down...

Maniac!
October 26th 2010


26250 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Can you kick it?

HalfManHalfAmazing
November 23rd 2010


565 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

How the fuck are Wu Tang Clan ATCQ wannabes?

HalfManHalfAmazing
November 23rd 2010


565 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I think I like this more than Low End Theory

Maniac!
November 24th 2010


26250 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I think you shouldn't

Maniac!
November 24th 2010


26250 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Left my wallet in El Segundo
Left my wallet in El Segundo
Left my wallet in El Segundo

HalfManHalfAmazing
November 25th 2010


565 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Low End Theory is booooooring and overrated

BigPoppaDiesel
January 26th 2011


150 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Classic Beats Classic Rhymes. Changed the game.

Maniac!
January 26th 2011


26250 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Low End Theory is booooooring and overrated



I WILL FUCKING BURN YOU



/endbeingtrolled



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