A Checklist For A Tribe Called Quest’s Reunion Show
A TRIBE CALLED QUEST: THE ANTHOLOGY | As uncool as it is to be seen within 200 yards of any “Best Of” disc (500 yards for Skeletons from the Closet), this is your sweetest bet for catching up on the abridged Tribe repertoire before the Mansfield show. Like Tip said, this is a one-last-time-only event, so how much would it suck to forget the words to “1nce Again” just because you tried bumping through the whole catalogue and only got to Midnight Marauders?
EAR PLUGS | If you want to actually hear Phife and Tip’s masterfully reclined lyrics, then splurge for a 99-cent pair of plugs at your local pharmacy. In their eternal quest to dig obscure jazz samples, Tribe producers Tip, J Dilla (yes – the same Dilla as on your T-shirt), and Ali Shaheed Muhammad plucked the deepest, dustiest bass lines that hip-hop has ever heard. So if you want to actually hear two of hip-hop’s most distinct and gifted monotones bust back-and-forth one final time, be sure to stick a cork in it.
A FRIEND WHO KNOWS THE WORDS TO “CHECK THE RHIME” | Before Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg shot ping-pong rhymes at one another on “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang,” you and your BFF went back, back, forth and forth like Q-Tip and Phife Dawg on “Check the Rhime.” Somehow you would always get lost in the horns and assume the other role mid-verse, but it didn’t matter. Don’t forget: it helps to bring a pal whose name rhymes with either “Tip” or “Phife”; I’m bringing my editor, Michael Brodeur: “You on point, Chris?” “All the time, Mike.”
JIMMY HATS | Not condoms – Jimmy hats. There’s a difference: condoms are literal prophylactics that help prevent disease and pregnancy; Jimmy hats are more of a metaphor for sexual promiscuity. When KRS-One coined the term on “Jimmy,” there was an element of enlightenment involved, but by the time Tip, Phife, and Jarobi got to talking about rubbers, it would only be another year before the girls from TLC started using them as eye patches.
NEON BLUE CROSS COLOURS DUNGAREE OVERALLS WITH ONE STRAP DOWN | Or, if your parents tossed the last of your mall-bought throwback-to-Africa get-ups during their last spring cleaning, something as easy as a Starter hat will help conjure urban America’s shameful fashion history. Other accessories that will do the trick: a T-shirt with the Tasmanian Devil dressed like a hoodlum; Air Jordans (reissues available in all shades and styles); and some stiff, oversized Carhartt pants
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