We the People – A Tribe Called Quest (2016, Epic Records)
After a break of nearly 20 years, A Tribe Called Quest returned in 2016 with a single called ‘We the People’. It was a ferocious blast that took aim at misogyny, racism, xenophobia, intolerance and fear. It’s main anger was directed at then would be President Donald Trump and gave the orange buffoon both barrels, without actually mentioning him. They didn’t need to, the lyrics alone, said enough.
“All you black folks, you must go/ All you Mexicans, you must go/ And all you poor folks, you must go. Muslims and gays, boy, we hate your ways/ So all you bad folks, you must go.”
The track opens brilliantly with a drum sampled from a Black Sabbath song, an air raid siren and an incredible riff before the lyrics all kick in. As the group charge headlong into one of the most politically charged tracks of recent years, fierce uncompromising brilliance from start to end and another example where swearing in a song, when done with anger, frustration and from a political or social standing is absolutely necessary.
In three and a half breathless minutes, A Tribe Called Quest spoke to an entire nation, mostly through gritted teeth and almost sounded as sad as they did angry, regardless of whichever it was, they weren’t standing for it.
They weren’t the only ones taking aim at Donald Trump either. A year later, as if inspired by the Tribe, Joey Bada$$ went one step further and actually called Trump in magnificently angry style.
Rockabye Baby – Joey Bada$$ (2017, Pro Era Records)