A Tribe Called Quest have a big following and big history, one that fan Michael Rapaport documented in his 2011 film Bests, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest, but there hasn’t been any new music since 1998.
The group released a total of five studio albums between 1990 and 1998 when they called it quits with members Q-Tip, Phife Dog and Ali Shaheed Muhammad going off to solo careers. They reunited in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2013 and 2015 for specific events but Phife Dog died on March 22 from complications of diabetes.
Then, in August, L.A. Reid announced that a new A Tribe Called Quest album was ready, calling it “a brand new album that they recorded before Phife Dawg passed away. I’m really happy about it man, it’s really something special. It’s one of the things I’m most excited about over everything we’re working on.”
Yesterday, Q-Tip said that the album would be out in two weeks, on November 11, via Epic Records. Two things precipitated the making of the album, a performance on The Tonight Show and the Paris bombings which occurred earlier that day. Q-Tip told Rolling Stone “As we left 30 Rock, I felt the need, we all did, to get back to the studio and start that cook up. So we got to it.”
While the album wasn’t completed at the time that Phife Dawg died, there was enough written and in the can and he said that Phife “left us with the blueprint of what we had to do.”
The two surviving members also said that the yet untitled album was “the final A Tribe Called Quest album” (but, then, they said that about The Love Movement in 1998).
The title and track list have not yet been announced.