Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Retro Video of the Week: "Scenario" by A Tribe Called Quest

Yesterday, former A Tribe Called Quest member Malik Taylor, aka Phife Dawg, died at the age of 45 (reason not yet confirmed, although he had kidney problems in the past).  A Tribe Called Quest was always a little bit cooler, funkier, and smoother than most other hip hop acts, and Phife Dawg was a big reason why.  I remember seeing them at Lollapalooza in 1994, and they were awesome -- a welcome contrast to Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, who played right before them.  

Phife Dawg (and sometimes Phife Diggity) was also the nickname that was given to a guy who lived on my dorm floor freshman year whose last name was Pfeffer, who was the first person I knew that hooked up with two chicks at once.  Sure, neither of them was overly attractive (and he was the first to admit that), but let's face it, when you're a super skinny Jewish kid with a New Jersey accent, the chances of convincing two chicks from Indiana to hook up with you at the same time is rather slim, so he was still my hero. Needless to say, the name Phife Dawg has some extra sentimental value for me.

But I digress.  I went with the song "Scenario" because it's the first song by the group that I remember hearing.  The third single off of their phenomenal sophomore album Low End Theory, "Scenario" was released in 1992 and got to #57 on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as #6 on the Billboard Rap Charts.  Notably, "Scenario" is probably the first time you ever heard Busta Rhymes, who has a verse in the song.

The video is an early '90s timepiece, in look, feel, fashion, and personnel, with cameos by De La Soul, Spike Lee, Redman, Fab 5 Freddy (who is in no way related to the University of Michigan's Fab Five, who were also big in the early '90s), and Brand Nubian.

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