"A Tribe Called Quest helped change it all simply by speaking and looking like real people."
DJ A-Trak recently observed the last time hip hop was as creatively free as it is now was at the beginning of the 1990s.
Up to that point hip hop was predominantly dudes in tracksuits bragging over James Brown beats — yet on their 1990 debut, People's Instinctive Travels, A Tribe Called Quest helped change it all simply by speaking and looking like real people. It forced hip hop to re-evaluate, and Instinctive Travels' lush, laidback style of beats became omnipresent for the next decade, while the album's biggest hits, Can I Kick It? and Bonita Applebum, are still regularly referenced today. A vanguard album in the evolution of hip hop.