The End of a Quest
A Tribe Called Quest
The Love Movement
Following the announcement of their disbanding, A Tribe Called Quest released their final album, entitled The Love Movement. People's Instinctive Travels and Paths of Rhythm, which forged jazz and hip-hop in a new and magnetic way, was Tribe's 1990 debut. Their new album seeks to simplify and speak on real life issues of love and relationships.
Working with jazzy back beats and the smooth abstract poetics of rapper Q-Tip, The Love Movement offers a few of the classic Tribe head bobbers, but the majority of the album tends to be devoted to relaxed raps about love. Busta Rhymes joins in on "Steppin' It Up," but the synergy of past ventures doesn't quite reappear, and the song, as do many aspects of the album, sounds halting and deliberate. Q-Tip waxes an eloquent soliloquy in "The Love" about love in all forms, but for every one of these slick arrangements, there is a lame and unmemorable tune waiting to follow it. "4 Moms" is an enjoyable instrumental respite, but the album hits bottom in "Give Me" when Ali Shaheed inexplicably spins in samples from Boyz II Men.
ATCQ have always sought, with remarkable success, to avoid mainstream trends, and they will leave the hip-hop world without one of its greatest creative forces. Yet their breakup may indeed be timely as their latest efforts seem to fall short of their past for which they may best be recognized and remembered.