The Hip Hop ABCs: Letter Q

The alphabetical rap battles continue...

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It is nearly impossible to get a bunch of passionate hip hop fans to agree on anything. But I tried anyhow, starting with a series of polls on Facebook that aimed to figure out which emcee or group was the best in the game as driven by the letters of the alphabet. No specific rubric or criteria was given; just a simple request for answers to the question, "Who is the best emcee or hip hop group beginning with the letter 'A'?; 'B'?; 'C'?; 'D'?..." and so on. The responses were immediate and spurred some pretty spirited discussions. A general consensus was ultimately reached for each and per the request of Music Editor Leilani Polk, I'm bringing the poll results to Ear Buds. Each week, I'll reveal a letter and its "winning" artist, and then I'll re-open the question for further debate. Once we finish the first 26, we'll start it all over again fresh. Peep previous winners (letters A-P) right here.

Letter Q of The Hip Hop ABCs brings us to our second entry from the Native Tongues Posse. This group was a combination of Queens and Brooklyn, jazz and Afro-centricism, as well as creativity and longevity. They made such an impact on hip hop culture that a movie has been made about them. Who are they?

A Tribe Called Quest is Q-Tip and Phife Dawg, both from Queens, plus Ali Shaheed Muhammad, a Brooklyn native (sorry Jarobi). Together they stood out in the '90s during the time most hip hop fans consider to be the culture’s Golden Age. They gave the world five fantastic albums in eight years.

Think of how rare and special that is.

What other artist or group can claim such a run that garnered critical acclaim and financial gain?

The Low End Theory was a follow up to their successful debut and proved there would be no sophomore slump. Midnight Marauders followed, and it more than lived up to the deserved hype, both monetarily and musically. These dudes couldn’t fail until they failed to get along after 13 years. They are your winners of the Hip Hop ABCs Letter Q.

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