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Hi.

Welcome to Rob Hakimian’s website, collecting together the best of his writing from over the years.

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A Tribe Called Quest -

We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service

[Epic]

Eighteen years on from their last, it seemed like a new album from A Tribe Called Quest was a pure dream. This seemed to become a certainty when Phife Dawg tragically passed away in early 2016. Little did we know that Tribe had convened in late 2015 to work on an album, which obviously was complicated by Phife’s health issues, but would eventually see the light of day in late 2016. Not only was it a surprise that it was coming out, but it was a huge surprise just how majestic We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service turned out to be, after all those years apart.

What makes We Got It From Here great is well, everything, but specifically the way that Tribe stay true to their funky, analogue style, but also remain up to date, on the cutting edge, and gracefully take up their role as elder statesmen of modern hip-hop. We Got It From Here is not a lightweight release, despite its fun, fruity and fresh style. In the first 2 tracks Q-Tip and co. go hard on the current political climate regarding race relations; “The Space Program” making a deft allusion to black people’s lower status in society, and “We The People” lamenting the hate-fueled way that some people see people of different descent to themselves. The rest of the album has no fear on touching on poverty, racism, hatred, violence - you name it. But never does it stop being entertaining.

Of course, there’s a lot of fun on the album too. “Dis Generation” finds Tribe surveying their kingdom and acknowledging their influence on the current crop, like a torch-handing to the next generation (“Talk to Joey, Earl, Kendrick and Cole / gatekeepers of flow / they are extensions of instinctual soul”). They get sexy and sultry on the delightfully heady “Enough!!” or just flip around with Busta Rhymes and Consequence to whatever they feel like on the punchy “Mobius.”

Of course, while Phife is featured on the album fairly significantly, his loss is also a massive presence on the album. They pay tribute to him on the heartfelt “Lost Somebody,” and leave the dying moments of the album to his memory.

We Got It From Here is a substantial release, managing to juggle so many different topics – but none of them seem trivial or unwarranted. It’s a monumental and very special return and farewell hip hop’s all-time greatest group.

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Below you can see my top 50 albums of the year list.

[Click on the album art at the top to download the album]

50| Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith - EARS
49| Thee Oh Sees - A Weird Exits
48| Daughter - Not To Disappear
47| The Avalanches - Wildflower
46| Beyonce - Lemonade
45| Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
44| Gold Panda - Good Luck and Do Your Best
43| James Blake - The Colour In Anything
42| Lambchop - FLOTUS
41| Ty Segall - Emotional Mugger
40| Nothing - Tired Of Tomorrow
39| Camp Cope - Camp Cope
38| Cymbals Eat Guitars - Pretty Years
37| Aphex Twin - Cheetah EP
36| Mary Lattimore - At The Dam
35| Woods - City Sun Eater In The River Of Light
34| White Lung - Paradise
33| Solange - A Seat At The Table
32| Wild Beasts - Boy King
31| Danny Brown - Atrocity Exhibition
30| Marissa Nadler - Strangers
29| Weyes Blood - Front Row Seat To Earth
28| Kevin Morby - Singing Saw
27| Kendrick Lamar - untitled unmastered.
26| Whitney - Light Upon The Lake
25| Kedr Livanskiy - January Sun
24| Frankie Cosmos - Next Thing
23| Steve Gunn - Eyes On The Lines
22| Pantha du Prince - The Triad
21| Cass McCombs - Mangy Love
20| Cavern of Anti-Matter - void beats/invocation trex
19| Olga Bell - Tempo
18| Chairlift - Moth
17| Mitski - Puberty 2
16| Anderson .Paak - Malibu
15| Underworld - Barbara, Barbara we face a shining future
14| Xenia Rubinos - Black Terry Cat
13| Savages - Adore Life
12| DIIV - Is The Is Are
11| Frank Ocean - Blonde
10| Jenny Hval - Blood Bitch
09| MONEY - Suicide Songs
08| Car Seat Headrest - Teens of Denial
07| A Tribe Called Quest - We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service
06| Nicolas Jaar - Sirens
05| Angel Olsen - My Woman
04| Parquet Courts - Human Performance
03| Preoccupations - Preoccupations
02| ANOHNI - Hopelessness
01| Blood Orange - Freetown Sound

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