Go Ahead in the Rain
How does one pay homage to A Tribe Called Quest? The seminal rap group brought jazz into the genre, resurrecting timeless rhythms to create masterpieces such as The Low End Theory and Midnight Marauders. Seventeen years after their last album, they resurrected themselves with an intense, socially conscious record, We Got It from Here . . . Thank You 4 Your Service, which arrived when fans needed it most, in the aftermath of the 2016 election. Poet and essayist Hanif Abdurraqib digs into the group's history and 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.Abdurraqib traces the Tribe's creative career, 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 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 felt in the chest.

Go Ahead in the Rain Details

TitleGo Ahead in the Rain
Author
ReleaseFeb 1st, 2019
PublisherUniversity of Texas Press
ISBN-139781477316481
Rating
GenreMusic, Nonfiction, Writing, Essays, Poetry, Autobiography, Memoir

Go Ahead in the Rain Review

  • Jak Krumholtz
    January 1, 1970
    When this book arrived Monday I sent a pic of my daughter holding it to my sister that introduced me to Hanif’s writing. I said sometimes fans can’t wait until drop dates. Tuesday I was home sick and played Tribe’s whole discography for comfort. It’s Wednesday now and I just finished it. Shift your plans Friday and go get this.Abdurraqib released my favorite book of 2018. He may have just done it in 2019.
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  • Jessica Hopper
    January 1, 1970
    This book does so many things, and expands the frame of critical biography so crucially. Diving deep in to Tribe's history is only a part of what Hanif Abdurraqib does here -- where the book sings is all the context he adds to the story, about what it meant to love them, the spaces where their work illuminates and anchors his understanding of love, success, innovation, the inevitable, black enterprise. This work, much like his other books of critical essay and poetry invites the reader in. It's This book does so many things, and expands the frame of critical biography so crucially. Diving deep in to Tribe's history is only a part of what Hanif Abdurraqib does here -- where the book sings is all the context he adds to the story, about what it meant to love them, the spaces where their work illuminates and anchors his understanding of love, success, innovation, the inevitable, black enterprise. This work, much like his other books of critical essay and poetry invites the reader in. It's a rich, nuanced book that gloriously and irreverently disregards the form of how artist biography is supposed to arc and regards, and instead it lives and breathes as something more organic and familiar that is recognizable to anyone whose life has been shaped by fandom.
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  • Jacob Hoefer
    January 1, 1970
    3 books by Hanif and all 3 have made me cry
  • Cassandra Mansuetti
    January 1, 1970
    wowowow this was good. like really, really damn good. i'll hold off on putting my thoughts into words for now though ~ review per the Daily sometime soon this week
  • Royal
    January 1, 1970
    The tiny yet mighty "to" gives the book a great deal of its magic. The "to" is the difference between reading a wonderfully written biography of A Tribe Called Quest and reading this book. This book is an intimate conversation overheard, a love letter found, a confession, a confrontation, a monument, and an ode in addition to being a wonderfully written biography of A Tribe Called Quest. Hanif talks to ATCQ across time and through impassable thresholds in a manner as earnest as it is trenchant.H The tiny yet mighty "to" gives the book a great deal of its magic. The "to" is the difference between reading a wonderfully written biography of A Tribe Called Quest and reading this book. This book is an intimate conversation overheard, a love letter found, a confession, a confrontation, a monument, and an ode in addition to being a wonderfully written biography of A Tribe Called Quest. Hanif talks to ATCQ across time and through impassable thresholds in a manner as earnest as it is trenchant.Hanif's deft layering of contexts situates the reader in the room where the crew reunites to reminisce, recapping and revealing new glimpses into what happened all those years ago. After learning about earlier approaches to sampling from this book, I can situate Hanif's world-building in that lineage. Hanif gives us a trajectory and analysis of A Tribe Called Quest and its impact while contextualizing the music trends, social climate, political events, and his own experience. The book has a noticeable rhythm to it, which felt both right and necessary.
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  • Annie
    January 1, 1970
    not trying to be all "hanif is the premier music critic of our time" or anything but "hanif is the premier music critic of our time"
  • Jared Levine
    January 1, 1970
    The hype is real! Hanif is bright light in an otherwise placid sky. By now, he has mastered his own brand of writing about culture that, while being spot on, brings you into the emotional center of his being. This is his triumphant preservation of one of the greatest groups hip hop has ever seen. Hanif spins their story while telling the mythic history of hip hop, anchoring it with rock solid cultural references, and his own coming of age. Whether you grew up listening to Tribe as they dropped t The hype is real! Hanif is bright light in an otherwise placid sky. By now, he has mastered his own brand of writing about culture that, while being spot on, brings you into the emotional center of his being. This is his triumphant preservation of one of the greatest groups hip hop has ever seen. Hanif spins their story while telling the mythic history of hip hop, anchoring it with rock solid cultural references, and his own coming of age. Whether you grew up listening to Tribe as they dropped their early classics like Low End Theory, or are a recent fan after they rose from the ashes as a phoenix with their Thank 4 Your Service record—this book is for you. —Jared, City Lights Bookstore
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  • Will
    January 1, 1970
    “Anger is a type of geography. The ways out of it expand the more you love a person. The more forgiveness you might be willing to afford each other opens up new and unexpected roads. And so, for some, staying angry at someone you love is a reasonable option. To stay angry at someone you know will forgive your anger is a type of love, or at least it is a type of familiarity that can feel like love.”
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  • Scott Tappa
    January 1, 1970
    I need to read more of what this guy writes, and more books about the music of my childhood.
  • Robert Felton
    January 1, 1970
    Simply sensational! Drawing inspiration from, among other things, Otis Redding, Minnie Riperton, Leonard Cohen, Jet magazine, the 2016 election and Hip Hop's adversarial relationship with the Grammy's, he produces a beautifully kaleidoscopic novel that serves as a perfect encapsulation of the history of Rap and the ultimate legacy of the group A Tribe Called Quest, one of the most important bands in the history of contemporary music. This book is more than just a tribute to a great band though. Simply sensational! Drawing inspiration from, among other things, Otis Redding, Minnie Riperton, Leonard Cohen, Jet magazine, the 2016 election and Hip Hop's adversarial relationship with the Grammy's, he produces a beautifully kaleidoscopic novel that serves as a perfect encapsulation of the history of Rap and the ultimate legacy of the group A Tribe Called Quest, one of the most important bands in the history of contemporary music. This book is more than just a tribute to a great band though. It's also a celebration of the transformative power of music, and the way that great art can be a tool that can help overcome some of the most adverse of personal adversities. With this novel, Hanif Abdurraquib announces himself as one of the great voices in modern literature.
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  • Rachel Watkins
    January 1, 1970
    Hanif Abdurraqib's homage to A Tribe Called Quest is a personal memoir, a history of an often undervalued genre of American music, and a commentary on society's views of a culture. GO AHEAD IN THE RAIN reminds us how much the music of the late 80s and early 90s continues to influence sound today (Tyler the Creator, anyone?).
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  • Joe
    January 1, 1970
    I finished the A Tribe Called Quest book on the bus going to work this morning. I cried a little bit.I walked past a bar on the way home from work today. A Tribe Called Quest was playing.I cried a little bit.
  • Jay Gabler
    January 1, 1970
    An engaging and informative concise look at the career of one of the greatest groups in hip-hop history. I reviewed Go Ahead in the Rain for The Current.
  • Liz Matheny
    January 1, 1970
    Really, really beautiful and moving book. Each chapter can function in isolation, but the collection as a whole functions as the most lovely love letter. We all have that group, that band that shaped us or pulled us through, and Abdurraqib pays his debts to Tribe in this collection.
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  • Kevin Krein
    January 1, 1970
    i never wanted this book to end. i hope that when i write about music, or anything, for that matter, i write about it with half as much intelligence and beauty as hanif does.
  • jeremy
    January 1, 1970
    hanif + atcq = jazz (they've got) even the way one exhales after a good laugh rumbles the walls of a room can sound like bass flooding out of the speakers.
  • Jonathan Carnegie
    January 1, 1970
    Hanif Abdurraqib writes a book. I read said book, and enjoy it immensely. Been a pretty reliable formula so far.
  • Miles
    January 1, 1970
    Review TK in a more formal setting, but, I mean, yeah: Hanif is really, really talented.
  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    Holy holy. This is heartbreaking and gorgeous- and completely worthy of its subject.
  • Nathan Dawson
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you so much for writing this. Much like their last album, this book puts a wonderful, beautiful cap on the career of ATCQ. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
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