Wednesday, October 11, 2006


My days of payin dues are over, acknowledge me as in there (YEAH)

Now that I’m done shitting on Busta Rhymes, let me get to the actual top verse of “Scenario”. Its gotta be from my man Phife Diggy cause he got somethin’ to say! From his opening lines “Aiyyo Bo knows this (what?) and Bo knows that (what?)” he set the tone for the entire song. This is the verse that people should talk about when they talk about this song and not Bustas drunken wisdom style-e. Phife’s verse is a perfect example of why A Tribe Called Quest was so great during this time frame. “The Low End Theory” is one of the best rap albums of all time. It earned 5 mics from The Source back when that magazine and its rating system actually was worth something. “Scenario” became the magnet that attracted fans of all different backgrounds to the Tribe. They’re popularity exploded and ATCQ kept up the good work with another 5 mic album to follow “The Low End Theory”. Eventually the Tribe started to slip, but they were victims of their own success. Remember, there’s “no holds barred, no time for move fakin” so go on and check this song out!

Aiyyo Bo knows this (what?) and Bo knows that (what?)
But Bo don't know jack, cause Bo can't rap
Well whaddya know, the Di-Dawg, is first up to bat
No batteries included, and no strings attached
No holds barred, no time for move fakin
Gots to get the loot so I can bring home the bacon
Brothers front, they say the Tribe can't flow
But we've been known to do the impossible like Broadway Joe so
Sleep if you want NyQuil will help you get your Z's troop
But here's the real scoop
I'm all that and then some, short dark and handsome
Bust a nut inside your eye, to show you where I come from
I'm vexed, fumin, I've had it up to here
My days of payin dues are over, acknowledge me as in there (YEAH)
Head for the border, go get a taco
I'll be wreckin from the jump street, meaning from the get-go
Sit back relax and let yourself go
Don't sweat what you heard, but act like you know

I can't think of another MC who had more of a bell-curve career than Phife Dawg. He was certainly nothing special on Peoples Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm, basically the weed-carrier for Q-Tip. But he was so much improved on The Low End Theory, and also pretty good on Midnight Marauders. Then, when Beats, Rhymes and Life came out, he was back to mediocrity. And by the time The Love Movement came out, the group was so irrelevant that everyone sounded like crap.

THIS, however, is a great verse.
Bill, I couldn't agree more. The Phifer is the first of his kind -- the patron saint of self conscious second fiddle rappers. Erick Sermon is inferior to Parrish on the mic (as the Don subtely suggests a few posts back), but he gets as much rec time. Flavor Flav can't compete with Chuck as a lyricist, so he casts himself as "the juice" of the group, thus declaring himself a personality guy and not a lyrics guy. Phife on the other hand is fully aware that it is his job to provide just enough variety to keep the album from becoming monotonous. Thanks to the funky diabetic, the hypemen of the 80s became the respectable sidekicks of the 90s. 5ft Excellerator, Sen Dawg, Tomahawk Funk, Danny Boy, the list is long and storied. Plus, Phife turned out to be a ood investment for the Tribe. After an album in the minors, he rips it on Scenario, kills it on Bugging Out, and solos lovely on Butter.
I've gotta admit it, I have never seen the 5 foot assassin as a second fiddle rapper. Especially along side Q-Tip. I like Tip and all, but to me, Phife(who used to have a crush on Dawn from En Vogue) always seems to stand out more when I think of the Tribe. I have always seen them as pretty much equals.

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