I grew up on the First Wave of rap music, the likes of Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash and UTFO, to name a few. By the time People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm debuted, I was chest-deep into what would soon be labeled alternative music (much of which was simply British postpunk) if still a rabid Prince fan (whose own halfhearted attempts at rapping were at best awkwardly endearing and at worst downright embarrassing). A black-light party at an ex-girlfriend's house on Poplar Street re-introduced me to positive-tip hip hop in a big way, and specifically to the above man's band, A Tribe Called Quest (along with De La Soul, Jungle Brothers, et al). That music will always be the soundtrack to a very specific and formative time in my life, and to this day it's hard for me to hear any of it without being instantly transported to the early nineties (I mean this as a high compliment) and the Philly hip hop culture of the time. But what's truly special about Tribe's music is that it's classic hip hop in the sense that even today it sounds lively and fresh (in every sense of the term) despite my unique personal associations and what Michael Chabon once called the "ruinous work of nostalgia." I'm forever thankful for this. Forever stay on point, Phife Dawg, and rest in peace.