A Tribe Called Quest
The Low End Theory


5.0
classic

Review

by LiveWire420 USER (3 Reviews)
October 8th, 2006 | 466 replies | 33,547 views


Release Date: 1991 | Tracklist


12 of 12 thought this review was well written

These days it's almost embarrassing to admit you like hip hop, one needs only to listen to this album to realize the amazing potential for hip-hop as high artistic expression in music.

Breakdown of the album: Start with the beat. Something jazzy, not too complicated, throw in a synth if you must. Don't put too many layers on top. You don't need high pitched samples. Then get an intelligent MC who can rhyme about something other than their wealth, women, and criminal background. The more skillful they are at feeling and flowing to the beat, the less production you need. Appropriate social commentary and lessons in life will push it into classic territory. Sure Illmatic and Ready to Die are classics, but you don't need an album full of violence and tales from the hood to make good hip hop.

All through the album the beats are deep and the bass is funky without being overbearing. There are a few tracks that are less than superb, but the album is still a classic. "Buggin' Out," "Butter," "Rap Promoter," "Rhymes and Stuff," "Jazz," and "Scenario" are all perfect. All the tracks on this album either have your head nodding, hips shaking, or mind working. The way the music matches Q-tips rhymes flawlessly always astounds me and Phife's lyrics keep the beat going. Busta Rhymes' verse on "Scenario" is a welcome addition to the laid back feel of this album (anyone else think Busta sounded like ODB back in the day?).

All in all, this is a classic album. What De La Soul started, A Tribe Called Quest perfected. The Low End Theory ranked #154 in Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, ranked #32 in Spin Magazine's "90 Greatest Albums of the '90s", and was the album of the year for Spex magazine (also #10 on the 100 Albums of the Century). It also made it onto the 100 Essential Albums of the 20th Century (Vibe magazine) and Essential Recordings of the 90s (Rolling Stone). I can't say enough about this album or about this group. This is a must have not for rap lovers but for music lovers.


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Comments:Add a Comment 
LiveWire420
October 8th 2006



90 Comments


I don't know, I always thought Tupac was the most overrated rapper of all time. To each his own I guess.

smokersdieyounger
October 8th 2006



672 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Q-Tip is really good I think, good voice, good rhymes. He's not what he was, but not much from the early nineties kept its pace.

This is my favourite Hip Hop record to relax too.

Zmev
October 8th 2006



983 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Q-Tip has a great voice, and excellent flow.

Eh, it seems like you go into more of what this album accomplished rather then why it accomplished what it did.

Zebra
Moderator
October 8th 2006



2647 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

There are so many classics on this disc yet I think the music can get to relaxed and monotonous. I'm not to big on Q-Tips rapping, but the beats really make The Low End Theory something special.

La Revolucion
October 8th 2006



1060 Comments


This album is so boring and repetitive. Fine review.

Broken Arrow
October 8th 2006



220 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love Q-Tips smoothness.

LiveWire420
October 8th 2006



90 Comments


Thanks for the commentary. I must be getting better at this since I'm getting more love here than on my Swollen Members review.

The Jungler
October 8th 2006



4827 Comments


I love Q-Tip :/
Good review, this CD is pretty cool from what I hear.

smokersdieyounger
October 9th 2006



672 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

''..It takes a nation'' is a bad choice for recomendations

LiveWire420
October 9th 2006



90 Comments


He probably thinks that because PE are more angry than Tribe. But the lyrical content is similar so I recommend the album.

Zebra
Moderator
October 9th 2006



2647 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Public Enemy is very overrated, never thought much of It Takes A Nation... but A Tribe Called Quest lives up to the hype. Both groups are fairly similar, but like Livewire already said Public Enemy are much more aggressive.

LiveWire420
October 9th 2006



90 Comments


The reason people think so highly of Public Enemy and A Tribe Called Quest isn't because they were revolutionary but because they stood out during a time when gangsta rap was taking over and rap had lost its substance. So yes, they are very overrated as a whole but I still love Tribe.

LiveWire420
October 9th 2006



90 Comments


How can you like 50 Cent and Jedi Mind Tricks, and at the same time talk smack about ATCQ? 50 is the epitame of everything wrong with hip-hop today, and even though Jedi have great beats their voices are impossible to listen to for more than three tracks. Not to mention they have some of the most violent, homophobic, and misogynistic lyrics I have ever heard in my life. (This is not meant to attack you so please do not take this the wrong way. I just love heated discussions.)

pixiesfanyo
October 9th 2006



1222 Comments


Plath is just an anti-hipster.

People think this is really good, because it is. But Plath needs to prove that some mainstream bullshit is better, because you know. He's lame like that.

hummer
October 19th 2007



228 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Q-tip is amazing

gimmieindie
December 11th 2007



5 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I like this album.

MediocreAtBest
February 9th 2008



1473 Comments


This sounds good

NigelH
July 16th 2008



1571 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The reviewer has a song referenced as "Rhymes and Stuff", when the actual name of the track is "Vibes and Stuff". Well, at least he got the rating right.

bastard
September 22nd 2009



3435 Comments


"Vibes and Stuff" is a pretty sweet song, and "Buggin Out" has some of my favorite Phife and Tip verses. I have to say, though, the 5 Foot Assassin aka Phife Dawg is completely and totally underrated. Although his rapping isn't as unique as Q-Tip, in some of places Phife is actually better than Tip.

scyther
September 24th 2009



1606 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Phife is always better than Q-Tip, Tip just has a cooler voice.



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