A Tribe Called Quest makes music that ages slowly. The group experimented with jazz tunes back when most hip-hop acts hadn’t yet learned to genre-cross, which often prevented their music from becoming popular with mainstream audiences. (It took several years for their debut album, People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm to go gold.) Tribe members Q-Tip and Phife Dawg spouted lyrics as much for their rhyming qualities as for the thoughts they expressed. And though Tribe did tackle weighty topics (date rape, materialism), they also put out a lot music that was just plain fun. “Scenario” falls into that second category. It seamlessly weaves together jazz, hip-hop and funk, and it’s so catchy that if you play it at a party, it’ll make even the most rhythmically challenged guest get up and dance. The highlight of the track is a breakout verse from the then unknown rapper named Busta Rhymes, who growls, “Rwar, rawr, rawr, like a dungeon dragon” as Miles Davis’ “So What” floats along in the background.
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