With Jive Records focusing and hunkering down on the idea of creating a more mainstream vein for A Tribe Called Quest to follow, they were successful in the game of creating a hit on every track. Midnight Marauders is that story that creates a wild chemistry and influential flow to Tribe’s discography. With an opening the record up like a story tale, “Hello, this is your Midnight Marauder program. I am on the front of your cover, I will be enhancing your cassettes and CD’s with certain facts that you may find beneficial.” With this dedicated and synthetic-esque voice, it takes the listener by the hand and turns them over into the wild sea of Midnight Marauders. “Rude boy composer, step to me you’re over. Brothers wanna flex, you’re not Mad Cobra” describes Phife Dawg through a charismatic level of an unoppressed, flying instrumental.
The magic then continues to construct with “Award Tour” that contains a sudden feature from De La Soul’s Trugoy the Dove. “You can be a black man and lose all your soul, you can be white and groove but don’t crap the roll; see my shit is universal if you got knowledge of dolo” features Q-Tip holding the microphone with an iron will as the cheerful, roller skate instrumental clambers along. There is some beauty behind the instrumental of “Award Tour” as it shot A Tribe Called Quest to the lead single spot off of Midnight Marauders. It contains these feelings of childlike wonder that combine with the “DC-20 aircraft” flying through the sky.
Midnight Marauders also take the jazz routine and start to convert the fusion into one seamless transition. The iconic line behind the gentle chords comes from Phife Dawg, “I like ‘em brown, yellow, Puerto Rican or Haitian, name is Phife Dawg from the Zulu Nation.” The childish, but still memorable lines flood into the second set of verses where Q-Tip then describes “Keep it on the down, yo we keep it discreet. See, I’m not the type of kid to have my biz in the streets.” It is a rhyme scheme pattern that moves between both Phife Dawg and Q-Tip in a tag-team effort that transfers one of the greatest love-making tracks in 90’s history.
Through Midnight Marauders, A Tribe Called Quest is a fully realized vision that was able to create a sound that become replicated for years to come. In what seems like an effort to push creativity to a personal level, A Tribe Called Quest was able to also break into the mainstream and create some truly powerful tracks in the process.
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