A Tribe Called Quest: 20 Essential Songs

R.I.P. Phife Dawg: Revisit pioneering New York rap crew's best tracks

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"Can I Kick It (Spirit Mix)" (1990)

A Tribe Called Quest rode the smooth Herbie Flowers bass line on Lou Reed's 1972 hit "Walk on the Wild Side" to their biggest U.K. hit ever. While the song boosted their profile, it didn't help their bank accounts nearly as much. Said Phife at a London concert in 2011, "Lou Reed, instead of saying no altogether, he was like, 'Yeah, nice! Give me the motherfucking money.' Like Smokey in Friday." Phife later told Rolling Stone, "to this day, we haven't seen a dime from that song. Still, it helped put the group on the map, and the call-and-response chorus was so instantly indelible that it would end up being chanted everywhere from Jay Z's groundbreaking 1996 debut, Reasonable Doubt, to Robbie Williams' smash single "Rock DJ." The sample-crazed "Spirit Mix" used for the music video raised the funk level to delirious heights.

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