Last week A Tribe Called Quest proved that Melbourne was indeed there to ‘represent, represent’… with Q-Tip, Phife Dawg and Ali Shaheed Muhammad all in the place to be! That place was the oft-ridiculed Festival Hall (aka Festy Hall) but for once the crowd came together with a massive sense of U.N.I.T.Y. – something of an anomaly for our local hip hop scene. There was no doubt we were all there for the same reason – to watch hip hop history in the making! After an incredible twenty-five year wait, it was our turn to witness just why ATCQ are often quoted as your ‘favourite hip hop group’s favourite hip hop group!’
While media (aka Sneaker Freaker yo!) were only allowed the first three songs to snap as many images as possible, it was worth the six and a half minutes to be only millimeters away from the legendary Q-Tip and Phife Dawg. DJ Ali Shaheed was thrown to the back of the stage atop a wonky set stage. At one point, due to his manic fist pumping Muhammad’s laptop took a sixer, tumbling to the ground, caught only milliseconds from disaster – hilarious to the slightly inebriated crowd, not so much to the DJ!.
With a non-stop hour and ten minute set list of all their infamous hits, it was ‘Can I Kick It’ that set the crowd ablaze – as OG member Jarobi entered the stage to spit his verse. Not seen since his departure from the band after their debut album ‘People’s Instinctive Travels’, Jarobi certainly made up for lost time to a frenetic crowd of die-hard fans.
With hardly a moment to greet the crowd, the fellas rhymed with crisp annunciation on every track, making everyone feel like they were indeed jamming off their tits, house party styles! With a packed out arena buzzing such incredible energy, the whole show seemed to be over before it began. With an extended encore of ‘Buggin Out’, ‘Scenario’, and ‘Check The Rhyme’, most anxiously awaited the opening riff of Award Tour, looking to their G-Shock’s for the impending curfew cut-off. And boom! As the cords ripped through the entire arena, A Tribe Called Quest indeed rewarded us all with the lead single from perhaps their greatest album to date ‘Midnight Marauders’.
True to hip hop form, the ‘we gun party til the break of dawn’ line was put into full effect as the jam continued into the early hours at local spot Roxanne Parlour. With De La Soul’s Maseo (also opening act for ATCQ) and Q-Tip hitting the ones and twos for three hours of solid funk, soul and party jams, there was no rest for the wicked and plenty-a-sick day pulled for the weak!
Big ups to Niche Productions for hooking us up!