A Tribe Called Quest finally got its moment in the Grammy spotlight and the group made the most of it.
The four-time Grammy nominees A Tribe Called Quest and Anderson .Paak, who was up for two awards of his own, came together to electrify the Grammys with their collaborative performance for “Movin’ Backwards.” Joined by fellow We Got It from Here collaborators Busta Rhymes and Consequence, Tribe and .Paak performed a medley of “Movin’ Backwards” and “We the People” from ATCQ’s new album plus a nice throwback selection in “Award Tour.”
Not only did they nail their songs, the group maximized the moment by sending a message to the nation’s leaders. As they shifted into “We the People,” Rhymes gave a special shoutout to “president Agent Orange” that was lost on absolutely no one. His words were matched by group leader Q-Tip repeatedly chanted “Resist! Resist!” throughout the performance of the album track that illustrates the ills of American society.
It’s only fitting Tribe and .Paak would share the stage on this night considering how both released albums that represented the best in hip-hop in 2016. The union of the two represents a merger of rap’s past and present when looking at how ATCQ helped bend and shape the sound of the music in the ‘90s and .Paak’s doing the same in the present day. With his breakthrough project Malibu, .Paak was in the running for Best New Artist and Best Urban Contemporary Album. Paak also appeared on ATCQ’s much celebrated reunion LP, We Got It from Here…Thank You 4 Your Service, which was released after the September cutoff for submissions.
No matter what awards are or aren’t won on this night, It’s hard to not feel like the genre is in safe hands with Q-Tip, Ali and Jarobi passing the mic to .Paak with Sunday night’s performance.