Ask any hip-hop fan and they’ll be able to name a favorite A Tribe Called Quest album that’s different than yours. While the group’s legacy is forever etched in five projects from the 1990s, a new generation of fans will have the opportunity to learn what Tribe is about with their upcoming sixth studio album, which is their first in 18 years.
In an interview with the Rap Radar Podcast, L.A. Reid, who is Epic Records’ chairman and CEO, told Elliott Wilson and Brian “B. Dot” Miller that he’s excited about new Tribe music coming soon.
“We have A Tribe Called Quest album coming,” he says. “I’m really excited about that. It’s an album that they recorded before Phife passed away. And I’m really happy about it. It’s really something special.”
When asked how the project came together, L.A. Reid says his relationship with Q-Tip made it all happen.
“We have a long relationship,” he says. “Q-Tip is a real friend, man. We didn’t hang out and take pictures and act Hollywood. He’s a real friend, you know? And he’s made some incredible music and I love it. And Phife is there. Jarobi—the whole group. The entire group. It’s great, too.”
Since 1998’s The Love Movement, there have been moments where fans thought the group would reunite for one more song or album. There was the time Tribe opened selected dates on Kanye West’s Yeezus Tour in New York in 2013. There was the 2015 performance of “Can I Kick It?” on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon to celebrate the 25th anniversary of People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm. Of course, fans got excited when Q-Tip talked about getting everyone together again for an appearance on his long-awaited The Last Zulu solo album, but nothing came to fruition.
L.A. didn’t give an exact date for the project, but he says fans can expect it “very soon.” So that means get ready for more of the Five Foot Assassin and company.
To hear the rest of the most recent episode of the Rap Radar podcast which, in addition to Reid, features short interviews with Remy Ma, Big Boi, Mac Miller, Yo Gotti, Uncle Murda, Charlamagne Tha God, Just Blaze, and Rick Ross, head over here.