June 01, 2014

A Tribe Called Quest "Oh My God" (Review, 1993)

I awoke up this morning with the outro to "Oh My God" playing in my head, "The title MC means Master of Ceremony / Some people who MC don't know what this term means." I didn't tweet it. Instead, I opened my laptop and here we are! Opening up The Source in '93, it says: "The pressure is on for this creative crew to devise another catchy, deep, bumping track to satisfy the high expectations of their fans. "Now the formula is this - me, Tip and Ali" chants Phife after his partner punches in, locked into the groove. The beat on the track is exceptional, with a snare that punches your headphone and begs your head to nod. The musical elements of the tracks are isolated, giving the cut a sparse feel. Q-Tip kicks it all off with some abstract rhymes, flipping chants and noises into the flow. He affirms that "Queens is the country / Jamaica is the place" and passes the mic to Phife, who breaks off some revealing, funny rhymes with his gritty voice." Watch and listen below.

This is the track that introduces Phife as the "funky diabetic;" as the Source says, "touching on his personal struggles with the disease." We've reached a different stage in our lives; at the time my ears were first introduced to Tribe, I was kid - sh!t, they were kids, too, right?! Time hasn't evaded any of us, we've all grown and life's trials and tribulations show in all our eyes. At once these artists were super-heroes to me, and if being an artist myself hasn't ruined the allure, seeing the lives of too many cut short has cast a shadow of doubt on a lot of things. I guess what I'm saying is, prayers up for Phife, and I'm not giving up hope for new Tribe music! Until then, keep on keepin' on.