i own (yes own) all but one of a tribe called quest’s albums, but i’m not the hugest tribe fan of all-time. i love their first two albums, but was a bit surprised to see this documentary about them hold midnight marauders on such a pedestal.
it’s like many other music documentaries. it tells of the internal divisions, the creative genius of the artists at their height, their maturation (and lack thereof in some instances), etc. i don’t watch a lot of music documentaries because all the stories are pretty similar and this one fits that mold, but tribe was an important group in hip-hop and two of their albums are classics so i figured i’d give it a shot.
it’s directed by michael rappaport and he did a fine job of telling the story and an even better job of picking who did the score. the music of madlib and peanut butter wolf dovetails nicely with that of tribe so that was a good touch. it was also good to hear q-tip talk about his dad’s influence on his musical tastes. while dr. dre and nwa were sampling funk and r&b, q-tip and tribe were sampling jazz. it was an exciting time in hip-hop (late 80s, early 90s), i just wish it was the same today.Watched in theater