Wednesday, January 20, 2021

A Tribe Called Quest - People's Instinctive Travels & The Paths Of Rhythm 2xLP


Jive (1990)

Every Wednesday, in honor of Ed Lover Dance Day from Yo MTV Raps, I take a break from rock and roll to write a little bit about hip hop. In the late 80s and early 90s hip hop ruled my musical life. During this often called 'Golden Era' I discovered so much incredible music. As I am slowly replacing the CDs I've had for twenty-five plus years with vinyl copies, I'm going to talk about some albums that had a really important impact on me during some very formative years.

I discovered A Tribe Called Quest in 1993 after seeing their video for "Check The Rhyme" on Yo MTV Raps.  I loved that song so much and was even more enamored with them once I had dug into the full Low End Theory album.  Shortly after that I picked up their debut, People's Instinctive Travels & The Paths of Rhythm.  I am fairly positive I grabbed it as part of one of my Columbia House/BMG Music Club scams.  While I have never liked it the album quite as much as Low End Theory, which to be fair is a tough comparison for album, this debut has its share of great moments.  

I've often felt People's Instinctive Travels was something of an overlooked part of the Tribe discography and listening to my newly acquired copy on vinyl, I'm more sure of that than ever.  The beats are just a step below what you'd hear on Low End Theory or Midnight Marauders, but again, that's a pretty high bar I'm comparing it to.  The same sort of jazzy samples and steady percussion is constant throughout the album and there's no doubt about it, you are listening to a Tribe Called Quest album.

Lyrically, Q-Tip is every bit a great as he is on any other Tribe release and Phife is right there with him.  The interplay between these two as they trade verses is something that has always been special.  They have very different styles, but they are incredible compliments to eat other and every song where they both make an appearance is something special.  I'm thrilled to have this in the vinyl collection and I really need to pick up Midnight Marauders at some point.

A Tribe Called Quest - People's Instinctive Travels & The Paths Of Rhythm (YouTube Music full album stream):

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