A Tribe Called Quest has been one of the most commercially successful and artistically significant hip hop groups of the 1990s. The bandís sudden break-up in 1998 shocked the industry and saddened the scores of fans.
When Tribe emerged from Queens in the 1980s, there wasn't another hip-hop outfit that sounded exactly like them. Their unique mix of jazz, funk, and creatively conscious lyrics struck a chord, but 10 years later, they called it a day.
In his first feature, Michael Rapaport, a native New Yorker, charts their history, celebrates their success, and tries to figure out what went wrong.
Rapaport starts with their origins "on the boulevard of Linden" before turning to Phife Dawg's move to Atlanta and the Rock the Bells Tour, for which they reunited, only to fall apart again. The group members, including Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Jabroni White, tell the story in their own words, while admirers, like De La Soul and the Roots, testify to their impact.
With editorial assistance from director A.J. Schnack (Gigantic: A Tale of Two Johns), Rapaport focuses on the relationship between Phife and Q-Tip;
Phife enjoys sports as much as music, while Q-Tip can't imagine doing anything else. The two have even differed over the film, which concludes with an engagement in Japan where the two put their egos aside - at least for a few hours.
This insightful film, takes viewers on a behind-the-scenes journey - chronicling the group's rise to fame and revealing the stories behind the tensions that emerged in the final years.
NTSC Region 1
Runtime: 97 minutes