Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to a Tribe Called Quest

Univ. of Texas. Feb. 2019. 215p. ISBN 9781477316481. pap. $16.95. MUSIC
Poet and critic Abdurraqib (They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us) has written "a love letter to a group, a sound and an era." This is an examination of the cultural, social, and personal influences that resulted in rap group a Tribe Called Quest's best work as well as a study of the lasting legacy of their music. But it's more than a musical analysis; Abdurraqib frames himself as a participant in the story. His journey is integral as the music weaves into his existence, and he conveys the passion felt when art gives voice to our lives. This is his homage, written at times directly to readers and at others to the members of the group. Anyone who has ever loved a band knows what he's feeling.
VERDICT Abdurraqib evokes the sensation listeners get at the end of the last track of a wonderful recording, that recognition of having just heard something remarkable. His perceptive work will drive fans back to the original music.
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