- Released: September 24, 1991
- Label: Jive
Rolling Stone - 5/13/99, p.70
Included in Rolling Stone's "Essential Recordings of the 90's."
Rolling Stone - 12/11/03, p.131Ranked #154
in Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Albums Of All Time" - "Each time Q-Tip rhymes over Carter's bass lines, the groove just gets deeper."
Spin - 9/99, p.136Ranked #32
in Spin Magazine's "90 Greatest Albums of the '90s."
Vibe - 12/99, p.160
Included in Vibe's 100 Essential Albums of the 20th Century
- 2.Buggin' Out
- 3.Rap Promoter
- 5.Verses From the Abstract
- 6.Show Business
- 7.Vibes and Stuff
- 8.The Infamous Date Rape
- 9.Check the Rhime
- 10.Everything Is Fair
- 11.Jazz (We've Got)
A Tribe Called Quest: Q-Tip, Phife (vocals); Ali Shaheed Muhammed (DJ).
Additional personnel includes: Ms. Vinia, Diamond D., Busta Rhymes, Charlie Brown, Brand Nubian, Lord Jammar, Sadat X (vocals); Ron Carter (bass).
Producers: Skeff Anselm, A Tribe Called Quest.
Engineers include: Bob Power, A Tribe Called Quest, Pete Christensen.
Recorded at Greene Street Studios and Soundtrack Studios, New York, New York.
Personnel: Phife Dawg, Q-Tip (vocals).
DJ: Ali Shaheed Muhammad.
Audio Mixers: A Tribe Called Quest; Bob Power.
Recording information: Battery Studios; Greene Street Studios; Soundtrack Studios.
Photographer: Joe Grant .
Unknown Contributor Roles: Diamond D; Dinco D.; Lord Jamar; Sadat X; Busta Rhymes; Charlie Brown .
Arranger: A Tribe Called Quest.
With their second album in 1991, they became serious contenders for Public Enemy's (until then) undisputed crown as hip-hop's cultural leaders. However, where their debut was propelled by a disparate array of samples, The Low-End Theory was built on a stricter musical doctrine - its spine provided by bebop jazz. Though jazz-rap crossover would become a staple of popular music in the mid-90s (Gang Starr, Jazzmatazz, etc.), this album played a substantial part in breaking down barriers between genres. Phife Dog and Q-Tip are on great form too, making the most of Quest's energetic production with cool asides and insightful observations ('The Infamous Date Rape', 'Showbusiness').