Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to a Tribe Called Quest (Paperback)

Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to a Tribe Called Quest (Paperback)

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How does one pay homage to A Tribe Called Quest? The seminal rap group brought jazz into the genre, resurrecting timeless rhythms to create masterpieces such as The Low End Theory and Midnight Marauders. Seventeen years after their last album, they resurrected themselves with an intense, socially conscious record, We Got It from Here . . . Thank You 4 Your Service, which arrived when fans needed it most, in the aftermath of the 2016 election. Poet and essayist Hanif Abdurraqib digs into the group’s history and draws from his own experience to reflect on how its distinctive sound resonated among fans like himself. The result is as ambitious and genre-bending as the rap group itself.

Abdurraqib traces the Tribe's creative career, from their early days as part of the Afrocentric rap collective known as the Native Tongues, through their first three classic albums, to their eventual breakup and long hiatus. Their work is placed in the context of the broader rap landscape of the 1990s, one upended by sampling laws that forced a reinvention in production methods, the East Coast–West Coast rivalry that threatened to destroy the genre, and some record labels’ shift from focusing on groups to individual MCs. Throughout the narrative Abdurraqib connects the music and cultural history to their street-level impact. Whether he’s remembering The Source magazine cover announcing the Tribe’s 1998 breakup or writing personal letters to the group after bandmate Phife Dawg’s death, Abdurraqib seeks the deeper truths of A Tribe Called Quest; truths that―like the low end, the bass―are not simply heard in the head, but felt in the chest.

Review

"Riveting and poetic…Abdurraqib's gift is his ability to flip from a wide angle to a zoom with ease. He is a five-tool writer, slipping out of the timeline to deliver vivid, memoiristic splashes as well as letters he's crafted to directly address the central players, dead and living." ― Washington Post Published On: 2019-01-26

"Warm, immediate, and intensely personal...This lush and generous book is a call to pay proper respects not just to a sound but to a feeling." ― New York Times Published On: 2019-01-30

"Abdurraqib is a poet, and he writes with a precise, gorgeous rhythm that makes a reader want to linger on each line. (My copy of the book is dog-eared and highlighted into oblivion.) But what kills me the most is Abdurraqib's empathy―for the people who make the music that sustains us, and also for us, for being sustained." ― The New Yorker, "Our Favorite Nonfiction Books of 2019" Published On: 2019-12-18

"Go Ahead in the Rain isn’t just a love letter to one of the greatest hip-hop groups ever―it’s also a brilliant poet unpacking his formative connections to the beats, the wordplay, and the jazz that set Tribe apart...Go Ahead in the Rain examines how young fandom evolves into something more like true adoration." ― Pitchfork, "Best Music Books of 2019" Published On: 2019-12-19

"The poet and critic’s love letter to his favorite hip-hop crew is a deeply moving journal of fandom, death, grief, and growing up." ― Rolling Stone, "Best Music Books of 2019" Published On: 2020-01-01

"Abdurraqib's book doesn't attempt an arm's length, scholarly approach to analyzing the group and its music; instead, Abdurraqib speaks from his own experiences, often in the form of questioning or appreciative open letters to members of the band. It's a bold conceit, but if the book loses a bit of reserved objectivity in the process, it gains much more: an emotional grounding for why the group was so important to the author, and, by extension, why their music should matter to readers, too." ― Foreword Reviews Published On: 2018-11-08
  • Publisher : University of Texas Press (February 1, 2019)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 216 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1477316485
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1477316481
  • Item Weight : 10.4 ounces
  • Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.8 x 7.4 inches

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