A Tribe Called Quest Shares Their First Masterpiece: Sept. 24 in Hip-Hop History
September 24 saw the release of A Tribe Called Quest's first masterpiece, as well as another unexpected left turn from De La Soul. Plus, James Brown took some cops for a ride and a Cosby Kid went to college. Read all about those and more below.
1987: A Different World debuts on NBC
The success of The Cosby Show naturally prompted a spin-off, and the arrival of Denise Huxtable (Lisa Bonet) at the fiction HBCU Hillman College served as the plot for A Different World. But after the first season, Bonet's pregnancy prompted her departure from the show. That allowed the creators to focus on the chemistry between Whitley Gilbert (Jasmine Guy) and Dwayne Wayne (Kadeem Hardison), who became the show's breakout stars. A Different World ran through the 1992-93 season.
1988: James Brown is arrested after taking Georgia police on a highway chase
After police were called when he burst into an insurance company brandishing a shotgun, the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, led the cops on a chase that started in Augusta, Ga., and moved into South Carolina before going back to Georgia. He reportedly drove the last six miles on his rims when the police shot out his tires. He was booked on various charges, including drunk driving and assault with intent to kill -- he rammed police cars with his truck -- in both states. In December, he was convicted of two counts of aggravated assault and of eluding the police and sentenced to six years in jail. He was released on parole in February 1991.
1991: A Tribe Called Quest delivers their masterpiece, The Low End Theory
A Tribe Called Quest avoided the sophomore jinx with The Low End Theory. They set a new highpoint for the fusion of jazz and hip-hop, mixing samples found by Ali Shaheed Muhammad with double bass by jazz legend Ron Carter, and their rhymes, especially Phife Dawg's, were a step up from their debut. The success of the "Scenario" single gave Busta Rhymes' career a boost, although the “I heard you rushed, rushed and attacked” part of his rap was written by Q-Tip.
“He had his rhyme written and he told me to say his part," Busta revealed. "He did it in a Busta Rhymes style so when I did it, it sounded like it."
1991: Kid 'N Play put out their last album, Face the Nation
As with the previous year's Funhouse, Kid 'N' Play's Face the Nation was released in conjunction with the film House Party 2. But while it gave them another No. 1 Rap Singles hit in "Ain't Gonna Hurt Nobody," it turned out to sell worse than their two prior albums. After that, they focused on acting and other projects.
1993: De La Soul throw fans a curveball with Buhloone Mindstate
At the very moment that the commercial potential of hip-hop was starting to be fully realized, De La Soul went in the opposite direction on Buhloone Mindstate. They brought in Japanese rappers Scha Dara Parr and Takagi Kan for "Long Island Wildin'," while "Patti Dooke" took exception to the commercialization of rap.
While it didn't match the sales figures of their previous two records, Posdnuos told NPR that their fans eventually warmed up to it: "I've had fans who will come up to us, you know, way after Buhloone Mindstate had came out, and they all say, 'You know what? I remember when that came out and what you guys had already given us previously, I didn't really get it.' You know, but, 'When I had my first kid,' or 'When I got a little older,' 'Yo! When I went back to that album, it really appealed to me more than when it first came out.'"
1996: Bone Thugs-N-Harmony release "Days of Our Livez"
Built off samples by Force MDs ("Tender Love") and Herb Alpert ("Making Love in the Rain"), Bone Thugs-N-Harmony followed up "Tha Crossroads" with "Days of Our Livez." While it wasn't the blockbuster smash of its predecessor, it still reached a respectable No. 20 position on the Hot 100 and No. 2 on the Hot Rap Tracks chart.