The hip-hop world lost a founding father in March when Phife Dawg from A Tribe Called Quest died at the age of 45.
Groups from ATCQ's era are sometimes written about in hushed tones, with the kind of reverence normally saved for artists who once made incalculable contributions but aren't exactly making new waves in their field anymore.
This is not the case with A Tribe Called Quest.
If there was any question about that fact, they answered it this week with We Got It From Here … Thank You 4 Your Service, the group's first album in 18 years. (Phife named the record; the other members have since said they don't quite understand it, but kept the title after his death.) The album is equal parts personal and political; it's a tall order for an album that comments on nearly two decades of American history -- including the entirety of the George W. Bush administration, and the near-collapse of the physical record industry itself -- but if anyone's up to the task, it's going to be Tribe.