If The Low End Theory served as Phife’s coming out party as an MC, Q-Tip’s innovative production on it was the invitation to the after-hours festivities. Fusing welcoming, relaxed, and lighthearted lyrical content with the pulverant, fat bass lines that define the album was crucial for Q-Tip, and having sampled Miles Davis on Low End, he made it a point to bring up how the passing of the jazz great just four days after the album’s release impacted the group. The idea of juxtaposing hard and soft, both sonically and theoretically, is another thematic takeaway from The Low End Theory, and stirred up an opinionated “balance of life” conversation among the guys during our interview – one of many moments where the Tribe would catch a wave of nostalgia while reminiscing about the sessions.
“I don’t think we were soft!” -Tip
“When I say soft, I mean we were touching on the topic of love, nah mean, and there’s a delicateness to that which is beautiful.” -Ali
“I think there’s more strength to that. You know what I mean? I mean, that’s just me.” -Tip
“I understand where both of y’all are coming from actually.” -Phife