A Tribe Called Quest – The Low End Theory

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The Low End Theory is the second studio album by American hip-hop group 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. The album was primarily produced by group member Q-Tip, with a minimalist sound that combines bass, drum breaks, and jazz samples, in a departure from the group’s debut album, People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm (1990). Lyrically, the album features social commentary, word play, humor, and interplay between group members Q-Tip and Phife Dawg.

Supported by the lead single “Check the Rhime”, The Low End Theory debuted at number 45 on the Billboard 200 chart. Upon its release, the album’s commercial potential was doubted by music critics and Jive record executives. However, the release of two additional singles, “Jazz (We’ve Got)” and “Scenario”, brought further attention and popularity to the group. On February 19, 1992, the album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), with shipments of 500,000 copies in the United States, and on February 1, 1995, it was certified platinum by the RIAA, with shipments of one million copies.

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. The album is widely regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time, appearing on many best album lists by music critics and writers. In 2020, it was ranked at number 43 on Rolling Stone‘s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. In 2022, the album was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

Source: Wikipedia

Wikipedia content provided under the terms of the Creative Commons BY-SA license

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Cat No: 01241-41418-1

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