A Tribe Called Quest was an American hip hop group that was formed in 1985, and was composed of MC/producer Q-Tip, MC Phife Dawg aka Phife Diggy (Malik Taylor), and DJ/producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad. A fourth member, rapper Jarobi White, left the group after their first album in 1991. He continued to contribute to the band sporadically before rejoining for their 2006 reunion. Along with De La Soul, the group was a central part of the Native Tongues Posse, and enjoyed the most commercial success out of all the groups to emerge from that collective. Many of their songs, such as “Bonita Applebum”, “Can I Kick It?”, “I Left My Wallet in El Segundo”, “Scenario”, “Check the Rhime”, “Jazz (We’ve Got)”, “Award Tour” and “Electric Relaxation” are regarded as classics. The group released five albums between 1990 and 1998 and disbanded in 1998. In 2006, the group reunited and toured the US. The group is regarded as pioneers of alternative hip hop music, having helped to pave the way for many innovative artists.
John Bush of AllMusic called them “the most intelligent, artistic rap group during the 1990s,” while the editors of About.com ranked them #4 on their list of the “25 Best Rap Groups of All Time.”
In 2005, A Tribe Called Quest received a Special Achievement Award at the Billboard R&B Hip-Hop Awards in Atlanta. In 2007, the group was formally honored at the 4th VH1 Hip Hop Honors.