• Go Ahead in the Rain

  • Notes to A Tribe Called Quest
  • By: Hanif Abdurraqib
  • Narrated by: Ron Butler
  • Length: 6 hrs and 18 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (372 ratings)

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Go Ahead in the Rain  By  cover art

Go Ahead in the Rain

By: Hanif Abdurraqib
Narrated by: Ron Butler
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Publisher's summary

The seminal rap group A Tribe Called Quest brought jazz into the genre, resurrecting timeless rhythms to create masterpieces. This narrative follows Tribe from their early days as part of the Afrocentric rap collective known as the Native Tongues, through their first three classic albums, to their eventual breakup and long hiatus. Their work is placed in the context of the broader rap landscape of the 1990s, one upended by sampling laws that forced a reinvention in production methods, the East Coast-West Coast rivalry that threatened to destroy the genre, and some record labels’ shift from focusing on groups to individual MCs.

Throughout the narrative, poet and essayist Hanif Abdurraqib connects the music and cultural history to their street-level impact. Whether he’s remembering The Source magazine cover announcing the Tribe’s 1998 breakup or writing personal letters to the group after bandmate Phife Dawg’s death, Abdurraqib seeks the deeper truths of A Tribe Called Quest, truths that - like the low end, the bass - are not simply heard in the head but are felt in the chest. Digging into the group’s history, Abdurraqib draws from his own experience to reflect on how its distinctive sound resonated among fans like himself. The result is as ambitious and genre-bending as the rap group itself.

©2019 Dreamscape Media, LLC (P)2019 Dreamscape Media, LLC

Critic reviews

"[R]iveting and poetic…Abdurraqib's gift is his ability to flip from a wide angle to a zoom with ease. He is a five-tool writer, slipping out of the timeline to deliver vivid, memoiristic splashes as well as letters he's crafted to directly address the central players, dead and living." (Washington Post)

"[W]arm, immediate, and intensely personal...This lush and generous book is a call to pay proper respects not just to a sound but to a feeling." (New York Times)

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Editor's Pick

I’m not crying, you’re crying
"It’s no small feat to document one of the most beloved hip-hop acts of all time, but poet Hanif Abdurraqib is up to the task. His lyrical tribute to A Tribe Called Quest delves deep into the heart and soul of the band with the perfect blend of history, biography, and intricate self-reflection. He also brilliantly captures how Q-Tip, Ali, Jarobi, and the late great Phife Dawg weren’t just musical innovators but obsessive nerds geeking out on doing what they loved. Not just a love letter to Tribe, it’s a love letter to fans and fandom itself."
Kat J., Audible Editor