Today we are going to talk about the second album from A Tribe Called Quest which many consider being their breakout album and put them on the map without selling out and that album is The Low End Theory.
After the release of their first album “People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm,” ATCQ went back to the studio and worked on The Low End Theory and it was a completely different album from their first album. While the first album was laid back, experimental, and imaginative, Low End Theory went for a minimalist sound that was made of bass, drum breaks, and jazz samples.
While the beats took a different tone and style, Q-Tip and Phife Dawg took their lyrics and rhymes to a different level and tone as well. This time around they focused on a lot of social commentaries at the time in the 90s with tracks such as “Rap Promoter,” “Show Business,” Everything is Fair,” and “The Infamous Date Rape.”
The album’s three singles “Check the Rhime,” “Jazz(We’ve Got),” and “Scenario” became instant classics and showed that ATCQ wasn’t a one-trick pony and that they not only had something to prove but also they had something to say as well.
The Low End Theory is a milestone in hip hop in terms of how they could have done the same thing but instead, they choose to be different, be progressive and be real. The album went on to influence so many artists in the 90s but also helped launch a young rapper by the name of Busta Rhyme’s career.