A Tribe Called Quest Albums, Ranked Worst to Best
A Tribe Called Quest is one of the most revered groups of all-time, and with good cause. We've ranked their fantastic discography from worst to best.
Tribe helped usher in an entirely new era in rap music, a sound that would continue to influence and resonate with hip-hop artists for years after their early '90s debut. Following the success of Jungle Brothers in 1988 and De La Soul in 1989, ATCQ was the next Native Tongues act to receive critical acclaim with their 1990 debut, People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm.
But it was their following two albums, 1991's Low End Theory and 1993's Midnight Marauders that established Tribe as one of the most lauded acts in the history of hip-hop, helping define the sub-genre of alternative hip-hop and acquainting jazz with hip-hop music in a way that hadn't really been done before.
"Tribe was my gateway to hip-hop," jazz pianist/producer Robert Glasper said in a 2016 interview. "Literally I got into rap music because of A Tribe Called Quest. The funny thing is that it was the jazz connection, because the first thing I heard when I was like, “Wait, what’s that!” was the joint they did with Freddie Hubbard’s “Suite Sioux” off Red Clay…“Jazz (We’ve Got)”!"
Midnight Marauders and Low End Theory often fight for the best in their discography, and both make the list for best hip-hop album of all-time. Known for their deep jazz samples, socially-conscious rhymes and witty take on life and relationships, ATCQ helped set the tempo for countless acts who dubbed themselves alternative to the mainstream. Little Brother literally dubbed themselves the young brothers of the collective, and without Tribe, there'd probably be no Slum Village, Mos Def, or even Drake, Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole.
One of the most respected, influential groups in hip-hop history, ATCQ's legacy continues to thrive. Check out our ranking of their six albums below.