Poignant farewell for rap leg­ends 'A Tribe Called Quest'

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

Rap leg­ends A Tribe Called Quest an­nounced Sun­day they were re­tir­ing-at least from play­ing their na­tive New York-as they bid a poignant farewell to late mem­ber Phife Dawg. The group-who, as hip-hop be­came main­stream in the 1990s, took the mu­sic on a more artis­tic, al­ter­na­tive path-had just re­united when it was shell­shocked last year by the death of Phife Dawg, a long­time di­a­betic, at age 45. The sur­viv­ing mem­bers, in one of a hand­ful of shows since Phife's pass­ing, found an en­thu­si­as­tic home­town crowd at the Panorama Mu­sic Fes­ti­val where Phife was posthu­mously the star of the show.

Phife, whose real name was Ma­lik Tay­lor, gazed down at the thou­sands of fans via an im­pos­ing pic­ture of him on stage-where a sin­gle mi­cro­phone sym­bol­i­cally stayed empty. Rather than try­ing to re­place Phife-whose snide one-lin­ers com­ple­mented front­man Q-Tip to de­fine the group's sound-A Tribe Called Quest brought in Phife's voice by record­ing. Q-Tip-who knew Phife since they were chil­dren in Queens even though their pro­fes­sional re­la­tion­ship had rocky patches-told the crowd that Phife's par­ents were in at­ten­dance and made a sur­prise an­nounce­ment.

"This is our last show in New York as Tribe. We've got to honor our brother Phife," said Q-Tip, who has gone on to a suc­cess­ful solo ca­reer. The group's last sched­uled con­cert is in Septem­ber in Bri­tain. Q-Tip has al­ready said that A Tribe Called Quest's last al­bum, "We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Ser­vice," would be its swan song. Re­leased eight months af­ter Phife's death, the al­bum fea­tures his al­ready-recorded vo­cals as well as ap­pear­ances from artists rang­ing from pop su­per­star El­ton John to ac­claimed younger-gen­er­a­tion rap­per Ken­drick Lamar.

A Tribe Called Quest closed its set with a track from the al­bum, "We The Peo­ple...," a plea for a more in­clu­sive Amer­ica that sharply at­tacks Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump's agenda. Q-Tip led the di­verse, fist-rais­ing New York crowd in a chant, "We the peo­ple-We are equal!" As A Tribe Called Quest left the stage, smoke bil­lowed through an open­ing near Phife's heart on his por­trait.

Dhani Har­ri­son goes solo

Panorama, set on grassy Ran­dall's Is­land which lies in the rivers be­tween Man­hat­tan, Queens and The Bronx, was in­au­gu­rated last year by the or­ga­niz­ers of Cal­i­for­nia's famed Coachella fes­ti­val amid a boom in US live mu­sic. Among the fi­nal day's per­form­ers was Dhani Har­ri­son, the rock gui­tarist in­evitably known as the son of Bea­tles leg­end Ge­orge Har­ri­son, who put on one of the first shows of his new solo pro­ject. Har­ri­son, who will re­lease his first solo al­bum, "IN///PAR­AL­LEL," on Oc­to­ber 6, pre­sented his new sound that takes the psy­che­delic band era as its root but up­dates it with the soar­ing whirls of in­die rock. "All About Wait­ing," his first sin­gle from the al­bum, brings lay­ers of sonic tex­ture to a clas­sic rock cho­rus which erupts with hard-driv­ing gui­tar and elec­tronic back­drop. Har­ri­son, who sings and plays gui­tar and ukulele, ear­lier re­leased al­bums with his band the­newno2 -- which also showed an affin­ity for al­ter­na­tive rock, if of a lower-key va­ri­ety.

Nine Inch Nails chan­nels Bowie

The fes­ti­val closed with Nine Inch Nails, ar­chi­tects of ag­gres­sive in­dus­trial rock pop­u­lar­ized in the 1990s. The group has seen a resur­gence of creative en­ergy, re­cently putting out its sec­ond EP in less than a year, "Add Vi­o­lence." Front­man Trent Reznor, whose pas­sion on stage is so pal­pa­ble he ap­pears to con­vulse in pain, ded­i­cated a song to rock pi­o­neer David Bowie, whom he de­scribed as a friend. "I Can't Give Ev­ery­thing Away" was the fi­nal track on "Black­star," Bowie's last al­bum re­leased two days be­fore his death in Jan­uary 2016 from an undis­closed bat­tle with can­cer. Bowie's song struck many lis­ten­ers for its un­der­tones of both mys­tery and joy even as he knew he was dy­ing. —AFP

Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest per­forms at 2017 Panorama Mu­sic Fes­ti­val on Ran­dall's Is­land in New York. — AFP pho­tos

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