Last week we learned that A Tribe Called Quest are preparing to hang up their 26-year recording career with a final album on Nov. 11, their first in more than 18 years. Today, Touré has a New York Times profile letting us know what to expect.
First, the title for Tribe's sixth joint is We Got It from Here, Thank You for Your Service, named by Phife Dawg, who died of complications from diabetes in March at age 45; the rest of the group doesn't know the meaning. Second, it's got André 3000, Kendrick Lamar, Elton John, Jack White and Busta Rhymes, in addition to all four ATCQ members (Phife, Q-Tip, Jarobi White, Ali Shaheed Muhammad).
“I seen them laughing and joking and high-fiving, and you can just see that young, invigorated ‘we’re-just-getting-our-first-opportunity-to-do-this’ energy again!” Busta said of his time in the studio. Of the Jack White collab on We Got It from Here, Thank You for Your Service, Q-Tip said he saw White cover "Excursions" and went from there. “It’s one of those scenarios where we’re so excited to finally get to work together that it was exploding in a whole different direction." White came to the studio sans equipment and, Tip says, "just took a guitar off the wall and plugged it in and just got his wizard on.”
White praises Tribe's "musicologist’s attitude toward what they were doing with their samples," highlighting "Can I Kick It?" André 3000 also had nice things to say: “Tip’s kind of like the father of all of us, like me, Kanye, Pharrell. When you’re a kid, it’s kind of like, OK, who am I going to be? Can I be Eazy-E? Nah. But Q-Tip? Yeah. He seems more like a common kind of person.”
Q-Tip says that, during the recording, he "hadn’t seen Phife that happy since we were kids." There's a sense in the group that the strain of traveling to complete the album could have contributed to Phife's decline in health. Jarobi puts it, as Touré writes, "simply": “Doing this album killed him. And he was very happy to go out like that.”