I reviewed A Tribe Called Quest’s surprise last album this past week. I also had a few bonus thoughts about it:

First: “The Space Program” is ATCQ’s best lead song since “Steve Biko.”
Best ATCQ lead songs

  1. Excursions
  2. Steve Biko
  3. Push It Along
  4. Space Program
  5. Phony Rappers 1
  6. Start It Up (ironic, I know)

Second: “The Donald” is ATCQ’s best closing song since “God Lives Through.”

Best ATCQ closing songs

  1. God Lives Through
  2. The Donald
  3. Scenario 2
  4. Rock Rock Ya’ll
  5. Description of a Fool
  6. Stressed Out 3

Third: “Black Spasmodic” is the best “Phife rhymes first” song since “Baby Phife’s Return.”

Best “Phife rhymes first” songs

  1. Buggin Out
  2. Check the Rhime
  3. Scenario
  4. Baby Phife’s Return
  5. Black Spasmodic
  6. Busta’s Lament
  1. ATCQ should have opened Beats, Rhymes and Life with “The Pressure” and closed it with either “Mind Power” or “The Hop.”
  2. “Scenario” is obviously a classic but I always thought it was a weird song to stick at the end. “Vibes and Stuff” or “Jazz” might have been worked better.
  3. See footnote #1