A Tribe Called Quest: 20 Essential Songs

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

De La Soul, "Buddy (Native Tongue Decision)" feat. Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Jungle Brothers, Queen Latifah, Monie Love (1989)

While Q-Tip had been smoothly making the rounds on Jungle Brothers and De La Soul albums, this all-star posse cut marked the debut appearance of Phife Dawg, combining the talents of both A Tribe Called Quest MCs on one track for the first time. "We was in the studio and just wanted to invite some people on there," De La Soul's Dave told Brian Coleman in Check the Technique. "The closest people to what we was doing at the time was the Jungle Brothers and Tribe. And Latifah was a labelmate on Tommy Boy. It just became a family affair." The casual session end up giving shape to the Native Tongues crew, a loose group of hip-hop bohemians that would soon define the aesthetic of Nineties rap's experimental, Afrocentric wing.