Flashback Friday Flop

Flashback Friday Flop: “Beats, Rhymes and Life”


Welcome back to the latest edition of Flashback Friday Flop, a weekly feature in which I examine a hip-hop album from years ago that was considered a flop, either critically or commercially or both, when it was released and see if it has gotten better – or worse – over time. 

This week: A Tribe Called Quest’s Beats, Rhymes and Life (1996)

Last week, one of hip-hop’s greatest groups, A Tribe Called Quest, reunited on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and, with help from The Roots, performed their classic “Can I Kick It?” All four original members – Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, and Jarobi – performed together.

That song comes from their debut, People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm, which came out 25 years ago (the reason for the reunion). They followed that up with two undeniable classics, 1991’s The Low End Theory and Midnight Marauders in 1993.