Dem Vinyl Boys

Dem Vinyl Boyz Ep. 03 - Midnight Marauders


This week the Vinyl Boyz drop the needle on the 90s classic hip-hop record from A Tribe Called Quest titled Midnight Marauders. Released on November 9, 1993, by Jive Records. John “Q-Tip” Davis a.k.a. Kamaal Fareed, Malik “Phife Dawg” Taylor, and Ali Shaheed Muhammed had already earned the adoration of dedicated hip-hop heads and fans of other genres with their previous projects. But with Midnight Marauders, they cemented their legend.
Tribe were in a difficult position when working to put together Midnight Marauders: how do you follow up literally one of the best hip-hop albums of all time? Following their debut People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths Of Rhythm (1990), their sophomore LP The Low End Theory (1991) showcased the group’s vastly improved production chops and rhyming abilities. With their second album, they created perfect music to chill and vibe out to. It was a masterful artistic achievement. This album we reviewed this week is ranked in the top 5 of all time when discussing the greatest hip-hop albums of all time.
Commercially, Midnight Marauders is the A Tribe Called Quest’s highest selling album. The album sold over 1,000,000 copies within it’s first year, making it a platinum hit. It also peaked #70 on the UK album charts, #8 on the Billboard 200, and took the top spot Top R&B/Hip Hop chart.
A lot of the album’s success is due to its timeless classic of a single “Award Tour” which peaked at #47 on the Billboard Hot 100. It’s influence has spanned decades with the track being referenced by the likes of Wale, Kanye West, Common, Azealia Banks, and Justin Timberlake.
Recording sessions for the album occurred at Battery Studios, Platinum Island Studios and Scorcerer Sound in New York City. Its production was mainly handled by Q-Tip, with contributions from Skeff Anselm, Large Professor and the group’s DJ, Ali Shaheed Muhammad. A culmination of the group’s two previous albums, it features an eclectic, gritty sound based on jazz, funk, soul and R&B samples, in addition to socially conscious, positively-minded, and humorous lyrics.
Thanks for listening. Next week we will be reviewing Metallica’s Black Album from 1991. Please subscribe and tell your friends about us!

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