You don't know me. My name is Benny (Lifelong fan). I'm glad to see you've earned your spot in the great gig in the sky. I'm sure you've asked the most high can you kick it already if not please do that for a playa. You get to chill with Duke, Miles, Billie, so you really got the jazz now. When I heard about your untimely passing I immediately thought about the first time I ever heard you, Jarobi, Tip, and Ali. I grew up in 2 households. My parents house and my granny's house. I spent a lot of time at my granny house because my parents were always working. I was obsessed with west coast music. E-40, NWA, Dj Quik, D.O.C, AMG, Snoop, the list goes on. My dad played everything but he played 3 rap groups the most. Gang Starr, EPMD, and Tribe Called Quest. I remember he used to play "The Low End Theory" religiously and I was just rock my head back and forth and pretend I understood what you guys rapped about. I was just a child but I liked what I would always hear. The music you guys made always gave off this unforgettable energy that would make you feel so good and relaxed. The vibe was really soothing for our souls. In a era where gangsta rap was the popular sound you stayed true to yourself. Something that made you and your homies honorable.
When I turned 17 I really understood how important Tribe was to the culture. The group was already disbanded for years at this point so going back to listen to the material as an adult wasn't difficult. My dad had all the albums. The debut album really felt like a Q-Tip solo album. The breakout hits were Q-Tip was only on the vocals besides "Can I kick It." The second album is where the world finally seen what you were capable of. We met the 5 Foot Assassin. You were a totally different person than you were on "People's Instinctive Travels." You had more charisma. More to prove. Hungry. Focused. You showed us Tip isn't the only one who can get busy and you're no second fiddle. You can hold your own. You went on to give us 4 more projects. 3 group 1 solo. You held it down for the short nigga community. I'm 5'6 so I am proud of you O.G. You helped put one of the greatest groups in music history on the map. You were immortal before you were immortal.
The infamous documentary gave me insight to what Tribe Called Quest really stood for. The grind. The sacrifices. The vibe. The world got to see how special you were and what you meant to hip-hop. I know a few people who became fans of Tribe because of that documentary. Better late than never. I seen your disagreement with Tip and how the group disbanded. I knew you two loved each other. May have not liked each other all the time but I knew you both loved each other. I don't know if you two got to reconcile before you went on to glory but I know deep in his heart you his brother and he loves you. I seen Jarobi shed tears for you in that documentary about your battle with living with diabetes and your transplant. You had a real rider for a wife. A true queen. She gave you a piece of herself for you to live, that's a REAL relationship goal. I can't lie I was scared for you as you went through that ordeal. You were a soldier about it all. RESPECT.
You influenced me as an M.C especially in the documentary when you said you hated your own voice. I am the exact same way. I hate my voice when it comes to my delivery. I always try to be as charismatic as I can when I rap because of you. I may not rap as much as I used to and I might be done with being an artist but if I ever get back in the game I'll be sure to stay true to myself and to the culture like you did.
I wrote this letter to let you know that you were loved, will continue to be loved, and thank you for all the memories and influence. You will never die. You will live forever in everyone's heart. You can now drink as much Dr.Pepper as you want now! Peace The Five Footer.