All good things must come to an end! After putting in almost a decades worth of classic Hip Hop material, A Tribe Called Quest decided to call it quits and dismantle the legendary group forever. Throughout the 90's, A Tribe Called Quest epitomized the essence of true Hip-Hop. With each of their albums, they broke new ground, while at the same time striving to keep the history of Hip-Hop alive. ATCQ weren't gimmicks, they weren't thugs, they were just themselves. They spoke to the world through their music, and the world listened attentively for almost 10 years.
A Tribe Called Quest decided that they could say no more. They believed they accomplished their mission and wanted to leave on top, like a champion. 1998's "The Love Movement" was the Tribe's final studio recording, and was a fitting end to a legendary career. Right from the look of the album's cover, you could tell the Tribe was leaving the Hip-Hop world forever. Gone was the flashy artwork of previous albums. This time around, "The Love Movement" just featured a plan white cover, symbolic to say the least.
As the Tribes fifth and final LP, "The Love Movement" is unlike all the other Tribe albums. The album is fast paced and each track is short, but sweet. We also witness an album filled with guest appearances, which is unusual for a Tribe album. But the production on "The Love Movement" is the biggest noticeable change. Jay Dee's influence is easily seen on every track throughout the album. While this is not as bad as some make it out to be, the production does falter at times due to its repetitive nature. Lyrically, it's basically the same Q-Tip and Phife Dawg we've witnessed over the years. However, at times, the lyrics become almost too simple. Was it because of a loss of hunger, or has the Tribe truly said everything they wanted to? No matter the reason is, the album still delivers that vintage ATCQ feel throughout its entirety.
The main problem with "The Love Movement" is its inconsistency. Tracks like "Da Booty", "Give Me" featuring Noreaga, and "Rock Rock Ya'll", are plagued by inconsistent production, and less than stellar guest appearances. The funky, jazz filled production the Tribe has been known for, is only present on a couple of tracks throughout the album. Jay Dee's influence takes the production end of the album to a different level. Unfortanley it comes off as awkward at times. Tracks like "Against The World" and "Pad & Pen" are prime examples.
When the production end meets up with the Tribe, is when we get those classic Tribe joints we've grown accustomed to. "Find A Way" is the huge commercial success, love-endured track, that features classic Tribe at their best. Q-Tip and Phife definitely bring there A game on the blazing track and fits right in with the Tribes finest material over the years.
ATCQ have always had a knack for making great love inspired tracks, such as "Bonita Applebum" and "Electric Relaxation". We get more of the same type of tracks on "The Love Movement". "Hot 4 U", "Common Ground", and "Like It Like That" are all great tracks that encompass the same Tribe sound with lush vocals and groovy, head nodding production.
However the albums true highlight comes from Q-tips heartfelt dedication on "The Love". The track is the Tribes dedication to the world of Hip-Hop and the love the Tribe has given and received from it. Q-tip emotionally puts out a heartfelt performance as he thanks everybody for the support they have given to ATCQ over the years and lets all the fans know why they have done this rap shit all of these years, for the love! "We do it all for the love y'all. Whether white, black, Spanish, ain't a thug y'all. We do it, we give it all for the love y'all". (Q-Tip)
Besides the album's initial 15 tracks, we are treated to 6 extra bonus tracks as well. Featured as the bonus tracks are the legendary "Scenario Remix", "Oh My God Remix", "Money Maker", from the boomerang soundtrack "Hot Sex", the radio recording of "Jazz", and "One Two Shit" featuring Busta Rhymes. These 6 rare and unreleased tracks are just another reason for every Hip-Hop fan to pick up "The Love Movement".
What else can be said about A Tribe Called Quest? They accomplished more in 8 years then most groups do in a lifetime. They influenced a generation and captivated the world with their music. As Q-Tip said, I just hope that we left behind timeless music that people can listen to forever. "I hope that when you pick it up and listen to it, it feels the same way", or you can discover new things about it on every listen. A Tribe Called Quest has accomplished this and much more. "The Love Movement" is a testament to the Tribes career and is a perfect ending to a long and historical career. As time goes on and things change, one thing will always remain the same, the Tribes legacy. No matter what, A Tribe Called Quest will forever go down as one of the greatest groups in Hip-Hop history!