Eighteen years since the release of their last album, the jazz rap kings take us on a “Space Program” discussing the current moral panic in the US. Recorded before the 2016 election, this album creates a platform to address the fears it raised of “mass un-blackening”, “all you Mexicans, you must go” and the manipulation of the media to “take the edge off reality”. We Got It From Here eloquently illustrates the anomie within the US.
With the loss of fellow MC, Phife Dawg to health complications earlier this year, the album carries melancholy to display grief amongst other members. Phife’s playful style and around the way humour was deeply missed on the album. Although, homage was beautifully paid to the late “trini gladiator” through various songs on the album, most especially on ‘Black Spasmodic’ where Q Tip takes on the persona of Phife.
The album reflects great nostalgia with clear influences of the late producer J Dilla and, features from long time collaborators Busta Rhymes and Consequence. The group still maintain their new age socially conscious rapper image through their execution and content. Phife and Busta throwing in their Caribbean patois and Tip keeping his smooth flow. This brings that 90s feel the people are craving for whether we were there or missed the greatness. In light of that, the tribe do not show bitterness to the new school. This can be evidently seen with features from Kendrick Lamar on ‘Conrad Tokyo’, Kanye West on ‘The Killing Season’, and Anderson Paak on ‘Movin Backwards’.
The tribe did not attempt to recreate 1998. However, this album is nothing like we have heard this year. The group have always broken the ‘Solid [Walls] of Sound’ by experimenting. We Got It From Here mixes the psychedelic with Elton John on heavy funky beats unapologetically. The tribe have always been ahead of their time through their futuristic style that has broken boundaries for conformism in the rap sound, paving the way for the Pharrells , Katraynadas etc;
This was not just a quick fix to give long-awaited fans but an exceptional addition to the tribe’s discography. So we say thank you for gracing one last time.By Alesha Nawabalinwa