We all had security blankets growing up whether you realized it or not. Though it’s technically considered a blanket you sought for comfort as child, in many cases we had a specific place or thing we’d cling to for those very reasons too. The feeling of being reassured time and time again, never to be let down and to know once you had that blanket or went to that place you were in your own little utopia.
While I have many personal favorites such as Amerikkka’s Most Wanted, Supreme Clientele, One For All, Death Certificate, Illmatic, Low End Theory and Breaking Atoms, there is one album I constantly find myself going to and that is Midnight Marauders. This is my security blanket, musically speaking of course.
A Tribe Called Quest had tremendous success in music, more so than most hip-hop groups when you consider they started in ’88 and are still making music today, sporadically that is. Their first three albums are arguably all classics in the true blue sense. When Tribe stepped on the scene many folks dismissed them for being soft or doing what many thought were artsy (alternative) hip-hop music. And even though you had groups like Jungle Brothers and De La Soul doing the same thing, neither of those groups have spawned more clones than ATCQ.
Tribe was definitely more than just pioneers of this rap shit, their blueprint is what most rappers study today. Whether you turn on the radio and hear Kanye or check out the blogosphere for your latest Blu, The Cool Kids, Little Brother or Shawn Jackson track, it is essentially A Tribe Called Quest revisited. With the abundance of blogs, blog rappers (which just means rappers that only exist on blogs) or the sparse underground scene these days, the music you hear is just a borrowed chapter in the A Tribe Called Quest biography.
Which takes me back to topic at hand, Midnight Marauders is the most cohesive album I have ever heard in my lifetime. It’s so rare to honestly say you enjoy every track on an album. I know today I’m lucky if I can pick out a handful of tracks on new releases I enjoy. Midnight Marauders is different, it’s one of those albums you can let ride from start to finish and when you’re done, you let it ride again. It embodies everything that made me love hip-hop. It takes me back to a place that I miss dearly, a time in music unfortunately I do not believe we’ll ever see again.
So when I’m stressed out, loungin’ in my house on a Sunday afternoon or when I just listened to a string of underwhelming albums that I’ve invested too much time, money or hard drive space into, I know one thing that can change all that. An album that is timeless and that never disappoints no matter the situation. And while some of you may prefer Low End Theory (which is perfectly acceptable), it’s Midnight Marauders that is my security blanket.
Whether its ’93, ’03 or 2013, this album will always be there for me. It’ll never let me down and with each listen, which is now probably somewhere in the tens of thousands, I will never grow tired of what I like to think is Tribe’s Magnum opus.
Peace to KetZor for the video hook up.