Every so often, I’ll think to post a song by a group and be thoroughly baffled about which track to choose because so many qualify.
This is definitely the case with 90s hip hop phenoms A Tribe Called Quest. I can’t help but feel like there isn’t a single ATCQ song that would be a bad choice for this blog. Then, the problem becomes a common one for me: go with the obvious hit, which is often fantastic (and in this case would be “Can I Kick It,” complete with Velvets sample…or maybe “Bonita Applebaum”), something slightly more obscure (like, for example, “The Hop”) or the one that all the other artists/critics like (ie “Electric Relaxation”)?
In this case, I’m choosing to veer a little more toward the obscure, but mostly because I just can’t resist this guitar sample that serves as the hook in this song in combination with the plotline of the rhyme, which is a very well-crafted narrative.
Here’s what’s going down: it’s summer in the city and there’s a party. Oh, did I mention, you’re a teenager…and you just smoked weed for the first time? The party is awesome, but of course, the cops (ie “Jake”) show up. Shit. But it’s ok. You end up goofing off with your friends in a car at the end of the night.
Even though this song came out 15 years ago, it’s timeless. The season is right. Enjoy this at your next party, in your Jetta or while sipping a Heinken in your backyard/on your roof.
It was Friday afternoon in the middle of June,
Heineken bottle caps and the aroma of boom.
Around the time everybody had just got home from class,
Shootin dice, talkin shit, hopin the cash would last.
Yo, this was around the time when I didn't know no better.
Juney moved around in a tinted out Jetta.
Then he introduced me to that hydro smoke,
And I took one toke, yo, I almost choked.
See, I never smoked before and my nerves got shot.
Then he told me about the party at the spot jam rock.