One Of The Best Hip-Hop Albums Of All Time On Double LP!
Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums of All Time - Rated 153/500!
The Low End Theory is the second studio album by A Tribe Called Quest, released on September 24, 1991, by Jive Records. Recording sessions for the album were held mostly at Battery Studios in New York City, from 1990 to 1991. Largely produced by group member Q-Tip, it is a departure from the group's debut album, People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm (1990), enveloping a minimalist sound that combines bass, drum breaks and jazz samples. Lyrically, the album features social commentary, word play, humor and interplay between group members Q-Tip and Phife Dawg. Singles included "Check the Rhime", "Jazz (We've Got)" and "Scenario".
In the years since its release, The Low End Theory has garnered recognition from music critics and writers as a milestone in alternative hip hop. The album is regarded as Phife Dawg's breakout and is credited for helping launch rapper Busta Rhymes's successful solo career. The album's influence on artists in hip hop, R&B and other genres has been attributed to the group's lyricism and Q-Tip's production, which bridged the gap between jazz and hip hop. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time, appearing on many best album lists by music critics and writers.
"While most of the players in the jazz-rap movement never quite escaped the pasted-on qualities of their vintage samples, with The Low End Theory, A Tribe Called Quest created one of the closest and most brilliant fusions of jazz atmosphere and hip-hop attitude ever recorded. The rapping by Q-Tip and Phife Dawg could be the smoothest of any rap record ever heard; the pair are so in tune with each other, they sound like flip sides of the same personality, fluidly trading off on rhymes, with the former earning his nickname (the Abstract) and Phife concerning himself with the more concrete issues of being young, gifted, and black. The trio also takes on the rap game with a pair of hard-hitting tracks: 'Rap Promoter' and 'Show Business,' the latter a lyrical soundclash with Q-Tip and Phife plus Brand Nubian's Diamond D, Lord Jamar, and Sadat X. The woman problem gets investigated as well, on two realistic yet sensitive tracks, 'Butter' and 'The Infamous Date Rape.' The productions behind these tracks aren't quite skeletal, but they're certainly not complex. Instead, Tribe weaves little more than a stand-up bass (sampled or, on one track, jazz luminary Ron Carter) and crisp, live-sounding drum programs with a few deftly placed samples or electric keyboards. It's a tribute to their unerring production sense that, with just those few tools, Tribe produced one of the best hip-hop albums in history, a record that sounds better with each listen. The Low End Theory is an unqualified success, the perfect marriage of intelligent, flowing raps to nuanced, groove-centered productions." - AllMusic
"Many connected the dots between hip-hop and jazz, but this LP drew the whole picture. As legendary stand-up bassist Ron Carter gets dope, Tribe discourse on everything from music biz to sexual politics and the groove keeps getting deeper." - Rolling Stone, 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time
2. Buggin' Out
3. Rap Promoter
1. Verses From The Abstract
2. Show Business
3. Vibes And Stuff
1. The Infamous Date Rape
2. Check The Rhime
3. Everything Is Fair
1. Jazz (We've Got)