November 09, 2015

A Tribe Called Quest "Midnight Marauders" (HHC, 11/93)

"It's often said that the second album is always the most difficult. But after the walk-over that was "Low End Theory," surely A Tribe Called Quest must have been in something of a quandry as to what to do with number three. Nah, of course they weren't ... "Midnight Marauders" is somehow exactly what you'd expect as the next step in Quest's quest. It's not as stripped down as "Low End..." or as flamboyant as "People's Instinctive Travels," falling somewhere perfectly in between. They've pretty much left the jazz thing alone for this one, preferring beautifully clipped beats coupled with tidy, whimsical basslines.  The first single, "Award Tour," is truly phat, with a wicked chorus-type bit and some of Q-Tip's best shit to date..." Check out the visuals, cont'd below...

"The concept behind the between-track foolishness is typically bizarre. A broken up female voice explains various things, such as the meaning of the title (seven times out of ten we listen to our music at night, and this particular music is meant to be marauding our ears), and other interesting facts, so, yeah they're still crayyyyyze. Generally, though, the lyrics are harder than before, with, for example, Phife sounding positively miserable on "8 Million Stories" and a general dis to frontin' emcees and sell-outs with "Sucka N!gga." "Midnight Marauders" rolls steadily from start to finish and carries real weight all the way. Stylistically, Quest have grown  somewhat tougher, both in terms of their music and their words, and it suits them. They still speak with Native Tongues, but the language has become much more complex." - Hip-Hop Connection, November 1993. A true classic!