Ahead of its time to say the least, A Tribe Called Quest’s experimental, alternative, jazz rap was originally unappreciated by mainstream audiences. It took six years for the Tribe’s first album to hit gold. The album might not have been a huge commercial success at first, but their innovative and comedic sound beautifully balanced the light-hearted social consciousness of their tracks. Although “People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm” was critically acclaimed, some critics felt that the inspired lyricism and unique humor was at times overshadowed by the group’s immaturity and lack of focus. Their debut album did, however, generate buzz within the Alternative Hip Hop community that has gained them a devout cult following. Today “People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm” is certified gold, and in The Source Magazines’s 100 Best Rap Albums. Other accolades include a 5 mic rating from The Source, 4 stars out of 5 by The Rolling Stone Album Guide, and a 3.5 out of 4 stars by the Chicago Tribune.
Regardless of which generation you belong to, every true Hip Hop fan can remember the first time they heard “Can I kick It?” by saying “yes I can!”…and how it changed their perception of the genre. In honor of this special day in Hip Hop history we did some digging and found old school Source articles reviewing “People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm”, so feel free to take a look at the history.