Tribe Called Quest's People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm by Taylor Shawn

Tribe Called Quest's People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm by Taylor Shawn

Author:Taylor, Shawn
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Continuum International Publishing
Published: 2007-04-14T16:00:00+00:00


April 17, 2006, 3:45 PM: Trial 2

Even after all these years, the galactic soup/space baby sound still, kind of, unnerves me. Not in a bad way, but I am just so confused as to what the intro to People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm is trying to convey. What the hell does it mean? Is it some cryptic Afro-Futurist message or is it just a sound that Tribe thought was ill so they added it to their album?

Listening to the intro is akin to heading down a road at a particular speed, but when “Push It Along” hits, it’s like changing directions a whole lot faster than one would want. Musical G-forces all in your face, pushing your consciousness back, priming your body for the big takeover. The intro was the artillery, used to soften us up, and “Push It Along” is the first wave of the infantry, storming the beach.

And the number one song that you can put on at some loft party, get everyone’s heads bobbing, but is still mellow enough so that no conversations have to be interrupted is? “Push It Along.” Gentle, jazzy drums, chill bass and assertive but not intrusive horns make this the song to start your iPod-deejayed party. Aside from it being a fairly decent party starter, the message of it is still worth listening and ascribing to. The whole notion of options is something that is sorely missing in hip-hop. Most hip-hop message music concretizes the world, I mean, if people are multimillionaires and are still extolling the virtues of hood life, there is something wrong. Any antihood lifestyle choice is cut off due to it not even being presented for the listener’s consideration.

If you can’t pull it

All you have to do is

Push it along.

Even though the advice is rather juvenile, it’s still good advice. Being able to recognize that you have options and then being able to act on them is a skill that many more people need to develop. I feel that this song is exemplified by how sonically different People’s and Tribe’s second album, The Low End Theory sound. Tribe was going one way, trying to pull up the rear guard of the Native Tongues family, and then on their second album, they decided to push past boundaries, boundaries imposed on them by themselves, record companies and their audience.

While People’s starts off with the “what the hell?” sound of the cosmic baby floating in the galactic, soupy waterfall, The Low End Theory kicks off with the tribal war drums and grinning bass lines of “Excursions.” The song begins at a simmer; foot and finger taps and slight head nodding. Then at, 00:29, the beat takes over and you are possessed. The drums, which were on the low, decide to make themselves known to our ears. It is such a glorious transition, so much more skillfully done than the change from the space baby stew to “Push It Along.”

It seems that the time spent between their first and


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