This is the ninth and final in a series of headers about my 10 all-time favorite albums. I skipped over my second favorite, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, because I had already done a header about it earlier this year.
All it is, is the code of the streets
So listen to the knowledge being dropped over beats
Beats that are hard, beats that are funky
They could get you hooked like a crackhead junkie
What you gotta do is know the Tribe is in the sphere
The Abstract Poet, prominent like Shakespeare
My favorite album of all time is A Tribe Called Quest’s sophomore release, The Low End Theory, from 1991. It’s a perfect storm—Q-Tip’s Afrocentric vision, Phife Dawg’s lyrical agility and sense of humor, and Ali Shaheed Muhammad’s minimalist jazz beats all come together for an experience unlike any other in rap. It makes you dance, it makes you think, it helps you relax, and it’s possibly the purest distillation of the hip-hop spirit that there ever has been.