XXL celebrates 50 years of hip-hop with this moment:
Sept. 4, 2006: Pioneering rap group A Tribe Called Quest had fans anxiously anticipating a reunion of any sort after their 1998 studio album, The Love Movement. Eight years after its release, ATCQ members Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Jarobi White and DJ/producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad reunited at Seattle’s 36th annual Bumbershoot Festival on this day in 2006.
The Tribe were tapped as Bumbershoot’s headliners alongside Kanye West and opened up with Phife, the five-foot assassin, performing his intro to “Buggin’ Out.” The classic tune from the New York crew’s critically-acclaimed second LP The Low End Theory brought fans to a roar as ATCQ continued on with their memorable bangers like “Award Tour,” “Scenario,” “Can I Kick It?” and “Jazz (We’ve Got).” They also performed “Bonita Applebum,” which was led by an insanely dope beatboxing session between Q-Tip, Phife and Jarobi. Tip also delighted fans by rapping his lyrics to his bouncy hit “Vivrant Thing” during their set.
The group was so in sync with each other it was like they had never broken up in the first place. “We spend so much time with each other it just feels like normal; crackin’ jokes and havin’ a good time. The stage part is just the icing on the cake,” Muhammad told a music publication.
Then on March 22, 2016, Phife Dawg passed away due to complications resulting from diabetes. Several months later, in memory of their beloved five-footer, the surviving members returned with their final album together, We Got It From Here…Thank You 4 Your Service.
In July of 2017, Q-Tip announced their show at Panorama Festival would be their last as a group. You can watch ATCQ‘s final performance below.