A Tribe Called Quest had the most politically stirring performance of the Grammys tonight woth a crowd-moving, provocative medley full of beats, rhymes and life.
“We’d like to say to all those people around the world, all those people who are pushing people who are in power to represent them: tonight, we represent you,” Q-Tip, wearing all black, said. “We also dedicate this to our brother who’s not here, Phife Dawg.”
The Tribe--Tip, Jarobi and Ali Shaheed Muhammad--then went into their classic “Award Tour.”
“Get up, get up” Tip and Jarobi yelled. Tip then told Ali to bring the record back. After Ali hit the pull up, Tribe went back at it.
“Can I kick it?” Tip asked. “Yes, you can!,” his group yelled back. “Can I kick it?," Tip asked once again, and was met with the same answer. “Well, I’m gone,” Tip yelled. “Go on then!"
The legendary collective then went back into “Award Tour” briefly and transitioned into “Movin Backwards” with Anderson .Paak who was also on the stage playing the drums.
Tribe and Paak briefly left the stage so Busta Rhymes and Consequence could enter.
“Ayo, Consequence,” Busta said. “I’m not feeling the political climate right now. I just want to thank President ‘Agent Orange’ for perpetuating all of the evil you’ve been perpetuating throughout the United States. I want to thank President Agent for an unsuccessful attempt at the Muslim ban.”
Bus' then told the crowd that when people come together, greatness can be accomplished. This led into “We The People” where Tribe and .Paak came back, but this time with dozens of people varying in sex, race and religious backgrounds.
The performers stood unified holding up the Black Power fist during Phife Dawg’s verse where a portrait of the beloved Queens stayed on the screens behind them.
"Resist! Resist! Resist!," Q-Tip screamed out before they closed out.