Hip-hop is at a momentous milestone as 2016 comes to a close. Looking forward to award season in early 2017, it’s more than likely that a number of hip-hop and rap records will all be in contention for ‘Album of the Year.’ Drake‘s nearly inescapable Views, Beyoncé‘s ubiquitous Lemonade, and undoubtedly Kanye West‘s The Life of Pablo all have strong cases for being the top album of 2016, but a number of other remarkable happenings have also made for uplifting narratives within the state of hip-hop this year. Among them are Chance The Rapper‘s completely independent campaign behind Coloring Book, Kendrick Lamar’s surprise effort, Untitled, Unmastered, and most recently, A Tribe Called Quest’s emotional comeback and subsequently explosive success.
A Tribe Called Quest returned with their sixth and final album, Thank You 4 Your Service… We Got It From Here on November 11, and since then, have scored their first number one record since 1996’s Beats, Rhymes, and Life. The group’s comeback effort arrives after Phife Dawg’s untimely passing in March, though his memory lives on through the group’s new record, a clear blueprint of Phife’s final contributions to hip-hop.
The lead single from the record, “We The People” was unveiled live on television in early November, and now the track has accompanying visuals with the release of a new music video. Featuring Q-Tip, Ali Shaheed, Jarobi, Busta Rhymes, Consequence, and living murals of Phife, the video for “We The People,” brings hip-hop’s massive year full circle with a nostalgia-evoking piece of quintessential Tribe.