May 09, 2014

A Tribe Called Quest "Midnight Marauders" (Press Kit, 1/94)

"With "Midnight Marauders," the abstract rapper Q-Tip, the five foot assassin Phife Dog and the sound provider Ali Shaheed Muhammad are extending the boundaries of now-school hip-hop. "We decided to call the album "Midnight Marauders" because A Tribe Called Quest are like sound thieves looting for your ears," says Ali ... Like a chic after-hours club floating through the dreams of the hip-hop nation, "Midnight Marauders" is a celebration of night hawk aesthetics: going to the local bodega to get a hero, zooming to Carvel's to gulp a milkshake, chilling with your woman in the crib, hangin' with your crew as they "push through the park although it's dark," strutting down the avenue like a deadly combination of Superfly and Shaft, and bragging to your peoples on the boulevard ... "On Midnight Marauders we consciously decided to experiment with different styles," explains Ali on their self-produced project. "We wanted to be more street, more freestyle. Neither Tip, Phife nor myself had the desire to repeat ourselves by making The Low End Theory part two." 

"Hip-Hop music is our lives. We live it every day and we always want to speak to and for hip-hop kids like ourselves. We can all do outside stuff, but when it comes to the music, we give it our all," explains Q-Tip, who like the other group members is 23 years-old. Perhaps it is this clarity of purpose that propelled "Midnight Marauders" to debut at #1 and #8 respectively on Billboard's R&B and Pop Album charts. This album showcases these proclaimed "neo-n!ggas of the nineties" attacking the grooves with savage wit, metaphorical cultural criticism and irresistibly funky textures. Although some fans have tried to slot Phife as an accessory to Q-Tip's vision and Ali's radiohead symphonies, he has come into own, howling with the big dogs. With the new-jack blues of "8 Million Stories" Phife transports the listener to the aural minefield of the ghetto and the five foot assassin delivers a hip-hop tour da force over melancholy beats and mournful lyrics."

"Sounding like the theme music to a Black science fiction film, the track "Electric Relaxation" is an intoxicating love song that combines futuristic beats with street corner poetics. With "Midnight Marauders," A Tribe Called Quest has swung open the doors to their private Black Metropolis filled with quirky wordplay, vivid images and brilliant musicianship. It's laid back, yet insistent grooves will leave listeners looting for this album for years to come." - Press Kit, January 1994

A Tribe Called Quest - OG Press Bio/Kit - January 1994.