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Unless otherwise noted, quotes from Michael Rapaport’s Beats, Rhymes and Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest.

Least but not last, the Mystic Man himself/me, Jarobi

Each community can be experienced by the language used within members of community and the broader world it interacts with. Another experience is through those members who characterize the essence of what the community represents; something more ethereal and perhaps nebulous, but no less tangible. For the Tribe Called Quest, that man was Jarobi.

Jarobi is the spirit of Tribe Called Quest. It’s not me, it’s not Phife and it’s not Ali, it’s Jarobi. He’s the real spirit of A Tribe Called Quest. He was the one you where you see him do his groovy shit, the camera and all that. The odd wit…Jarobi encompasses everything that Tribe was, you know what I mean, Tribe is. -Q-Tip

Jarobi, now a chef after pursuing a culinary school, floated in and out of ATCQ recording sessions. During the 2004 Rock the Bells concert, Phife asked Jarobi to join to provide support. Watching the film, he is never involved in the jealousies and arguments that arise in the group. He is representative of the ATCQ + Native Tongue’s Spirit.

I think the reason why Tribe Called Quest is still relevant today after all this time because it was truth, it was honesty man. We made an institution of music that we never sold the spirit of that to anybody. We didn’t compromise that and when you saw us and got to touch us it was just a real experience you know what I mean. It was important to like not overkill this shit and just make this shit right and just touch people’s hearts and just become a thing like that like rather than like over the top it.

A Tribe Called Quest produced five albums in ten years. During that time the struck a chord that resonated with young people, created creative and unique manifestations of their philosophy and continue to influence the music world today.

This week, Truth Bomb Trails is exploring Music + Social Justice: Building Community through Sound. Look forward to posts on the ways that musicians and artists provide public service, the perspective of Paul Willis (hear his music at bandcamp, soundcloud, reflections on music from childhood and a look at the role music helps to shape and define emerging culturesEnjoy the tunes that helped inspire the week!

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