Kickin It

Can I Kick It? – Tribe Called Quest from People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm

“Boy this track really has a lot flavor.”  Amen, Phife Dawg.  This line from the second verse of the third single from Tribe’s first album sums it up.  A sample from a great Lou Reed song, a snappin’ snare/hi-hat beat, a great call and response chorus, some sweet between-verse scratchin.  Q-Tip and Phife’s verses are not their greatest work, but they don’t need to be as the other elements carry this song.  Phife’s verse stands out more to me than Tip’s, it flows better over the beat.   I feel like Tip’s voice and verses got better on their next album.

Speaking of, the Low End Theory, was my intro to Tribe and I wore that album out (there will surely be some songs from that album discussed here).  But for whatever reason, I didn’t go back to their first album until I heard this song.   Having gone through a minor obsession with the Velvet Underground and then Lou Reed earlier in high school, as soon as the hook from Walk on the Wild Side came on, the song grabbed me.  And I’m a sucker for a good beat, and well, this is a simple but great one.  The “Can I Kick It?” “Yes you can” chorus is simple, yet effective.  And then in the last 20 seconds, instead of just fading out with the Reed hook, they give you one more dose of that sweet beat.  Then poof, it’s all gone.

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