A Tribe Called Quest‘s groundbreaking debut People’s Instinctive Travels & the Paths of Rhythm was released 25 years ago today via Jive Records. In celebration of the Queens crew and their seminal release, Wax Poetics and WhoSampled joined forces to drop a tough tribute tape mixed by DJ Chris Read. The mix comes with a primer from writer Alice Price-Styles, who does a superb job of summing up the importance of the entire project and the profound cultural impact it had upon its release:
It was on April 17, back in 1990, that A Tribe Called Quest released their truly unique debut People’s Instinctive Travels & the Paths of Rhythm on Jive Records. Full of playful humor, abstract musings, teenage tales, social commentary, and distinctive production, the album channels and touches in on a spectrum of sentiments and feeling. From such odes to adolescence as “Bonita Applebum” and “I Left My Wallet in El Segundo” (possibly the best hip-hop music video?) to the philosophical leanings of tracks like “Push It Along” and “Footprints,” and the conscious themes of “Description of a Fool” and “Luck of Lucien,” Tribe were undeniably youthful old souls.
The remarkably experimental album (just dig the dawn-of-the-universe-esque intro) kicked off what was to become one of the most inspiring and influential careers in hip-hop. So many musicians and fans cite A Tribe Called Quest as their very favorite group that it is hard to imagine what the musical landscape might look like without their contribution.
Check the track below to stream the 1-hour mix in full. Purchase the People’s Instinctive Travels & the Paths of Rhythm LP via iTunes. Get more on Tribe’s debut and the story behind the mix via Wax Poetics.