Where does A Tribe Called Quest fall in the list? Glad you asked. Check the Rhime, a song previously discussed (with a couple remixes) here, drops in at No. 30. Considering the high regard I have for Tribe, I find that placement totally unacceptable. I’m not even sure it’s my favorite Tribe song (though it ranks right up there). Can I Kick It?, Oh My God, Bonita Applebum and even Award Tour probably deserve mention. Hell, let’s say Scenario while we’re at it (though that was probably more a coming-out party for Busta Rhymes than anything).
That said, Tribe’s legacy doesn’t really seem tied to one song, like, say, Naughty By Nature and O.P.P. (No. 22). That’s obviously a good thing in terms of staying power and respect.
In the end, I’m not really sure what was taken into consideration for inclusion on this list — commercial success?, name recognition?, crossover appeal? — but you can’t put out a best-of anything hip-hop list and not include Tribe.
So I’m curious for anyone wanting to comment: What Tribe song belongs on this list? Is there one defining track for the group?