Heds and Dreds: Annotated Tribe Called Quest for the Unseasoned Patois Interpeter

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 HONOREBEL MENTION
July 12, 2011

1. “Jazz (We’ve Got)”

The Low End Theory, as Rapaport’s movie notes, was the album where Phife Dawg really came into his own as an MC, after playing sideman on Tribe’s debut, People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm. “Jazz” was the album’s second single and perhaps the first where Phife truly outshined his partner. The Five Footer got more than a little assist, though, from Ninja Man, opening his verse (Competition dem try fi come sideway/Competition dey mus come straight way–or is it, dem Phifer come sideway?) with lines paraphrased from the Don Gorgon’s classic sound bwoy killer “Murder Dem” (I tell yuh if yuh come wid yuh competition come straight way/Cause yuh come sideways rudebwoy, phenomenon a won…). Can’t forget these classic lines, either: I grew up as a Christian so to Jah I give thanks/Collect my banks, listen to Shabba Ranks/I sing, and chat, I do all of that…