Fresh off the release of We Got It From Here…Thank You 4 Your Service, their first album in 18 years, local hip-hop legends A Tribe Called Quest have shared a moving new music video for the record's lead single, "We the People." In the clip, Q-Tip raps into a nest of microphones that blast his message across New York City—a message that laments America's unjust treatment of blacks, Mexicans, muslims, gays, and the lower class everywhere. "We The People" was written and recorded months ago, but its impact as a eulogy for the presidential election is stunning.
When A Tribe Called Quest performed "We The People" live on SNL last weekend, a banner memorializing their lost member Malik "Phife Dawg" Taylor was unfurled during his verse. Tribe's new music video packs a similar moment, as a Phife mural comes to life and spits rhymes. All the while the full Tribe crew of Jarobi White, Busta Rhymes, and Consequence cheer Phife on, and the video climaxes with footage of street protests and a massive outdoor demonstration painted in Afrocentric hues.
We Got It From Here...Thank You 4 Your Service has received near-universal acclaim since it dropped last week, and deservedly so. The album revives the classically playful, reflective, and soul-fueled sound that was Tribe's trademark throughout the 1990s, but remains fully committed to the present. "We The People" most of all. Last year, movements like Black Lives Matter adopted Kendrick Lamar's "Alright" as a hip-hop anthem of resistance. Now, in Trump's America, the old guard has returned to help push it along.