Ring the alarm. A new A Tribe Called Quest LP may be arriving in the very near future. Dedicated Okayplayer readers may recall that we almost lost our damn minds when word reached us that ATCQ had been in the studio and working on new material before Phife Dawg passed away so tragically and unexpectedly. It was a tantalizing suggestion that dared us to dream the impossible dream and ask…after all the history this group has made or gone through…are we getting a new Tribe LP?? Upon closer inspection the dream, like all dreams, seemed to dissolve into red, black & green pixie dust before our very eyes. The statement turned out to be a comment from former ATCQ security Muhammad Islam, not Ali Shaheed Muhammad. The group and their label Sony both disavowed the statement. In fairness to the group, having just lost their brother-in-arms, the very idea of recording and release dates must have been the last thing on their collective mind.
But now there is reason to believe that the dream may not be so impossible, after all. According to a recent interview with Epic Records CEO, L.A. Reid, on Elliot Wilson‘s Rap Radar podcast, the full roster, including Jarobi White, had indeed hit the studio together before the tragic passing of Phife in late March.
When asked of upcoming releases from the label, Reid excitingly proclaimed that there was a new Tribe record coming and that it was “really something special” and that it would be arriving “very soon.” Just how soon remains to be determined, but literally anything from the legendary team would be a gamechanger at this point. The project would be the first A Tribe Called Quest album since 1998’s The Love Movement, and the first reunion of the full four-man line-up since their debut album, People’s Instinctive Travels And The Paths Of Rhythm.
Suppose nothing’s set in stone until an official announcement is made, but this is certainly enough to get raise our blood pressure by a few ticks. You can hear L.A. Reid speak on the new Tribe project by hitting the link below. We’ll be sure to keep our ears to the ground for any updates.