Queens Celebrates 25-Year Anniversary of A Tribe Called Quest’s “Low End Theory” Album
Twenty-five years ago today, A Tribe Called Quest released their monumental album Low End Theory. In celebration of the group’s impact on rap music and popular culture, a mural has been rendered on the side wall at Nu-Clear dry cleaners on Linden Boulevard and 192nd St. in Queens, the site of Tribe’s 1991 video “Check The Rhime.”
While the mural stands as a testaments to the many musical accomplishments of the group, it is a bittersweet reminder of Phife’s untimely death only six months ago, which also prompted the initiation of a street-renaming project at Linden & 192nd St. If successful, the Jamaica, Queens street will be renamed Malik “Phife Dawg” Taylor Way.
A Tribe Called Quest was formed Queens, NY in 1985 and was composed of rapper/producer Q-Tip, rapper Phife Dawg and DJ/producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad and rapper Jarobi White, who left the group after their first album in 1991, who contributed sporadically before rejoining for their 2006 reunion.
Their 1990 debut album People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm was released on Jive Records and touted them as an alternative to hip hop. But the group’s followup album, The Low End Theory, was released on September 24, 1991, with “Check the Rhime” as the lead single and considered an instant classic. According to Emmett George Price in his 2006 boook Hip Hop Culture, tt established the musical, cultural, and historical link between hip hop and jazz.