A Tribe Called Quest - The Low End Theory [2LP]
A Tribe Called Quest: Q-Tip, Phife (vocals); Ali Shaheed Muhammed (DJ). Additional personnel includes: Ms. Vinia, Diamond D., Busta Rhymes, Charlie Brown, Brand Nubian, Lord Jammar, Sadat X (vocals); Ron Carter (bass). Producers: Skeff Anselm, A Tribe Called Quest. Engineers include: Bob Power, A Tribe Called Quest, Pete Christensen.
Recorded at Greene Street Studios and Soundtrack Studios, New York, New York. With their second album in 1991, they became serious contenders for Public Enemy's (until then) undisputed crown as hip-hop's cultural leaders.
However, where their debut was propelled by a disparate array of samples, The Low-End Theory was built on a stricter musical doctrine - its spine provided by bebop jazz.
Though jazz-rap crossover would become a staple of popular music in the mid-90s (Gang Starr, Jazzmatazz, etc.), this album played a substantial part in breaking down barriers between genres.
Phife Dog and Q-Tip are on great form too, making the most of Quest's energetic production with cool asides and insightful observations ('The Infamous Date Rape', 'Showbusiness').