On Saturday, A Tribe Called Quest took the Saturday Night Live stage for the first time in their 26-year history to deliver one of their most devastating and necessary messages they ever have. “Stand up, touch somebody next to you. Everybody in here one fist up in the air,” Q-Tip said, waiting for the crowd to comply, before confirming the significance of this gesture: “We are all one. We are the people.”
The group launched into “We the People….” their first single off their final album We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service, released Friday, which includes a biting satire of white America’s fears that Donald Trump tapped into to lock in his presidential bid. It captured in a moment just how far we are from being truly united states, and how painfully important it is that everyone’s words and work will be going forward.
All you Black folks, you must go All you Mexicans, you must go And all you poor folks, you must go Muslims and gays, boy, we hate your ways
Tribe saw Trump’s election coming a mile away — especially the late Phife Dawg, as Q-Tip explained at a listening party for the album: “He had a crystal ball or some shit,” Q-Tip said. Their verses don’t stay tip-toeing on the surface, though.