A Tribe Called Quest returned in November 2016 with We Got It from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service, their sixth and final album and their first full-length since 1998. With polished beats, dense lyricism, and a guest list spanning acts from Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar to Elton John and Jack White, the album seemed destined to pick up some Grammy nominations when they were announced Tuesday morning.
But the Recording Academy didn’t bestow a single nomination upon the album — and Tribe’s leader Q-Tip took to Instagram on Tuesday afternoon to decry the seminal hip-hop group’s omission.
“The last f—ing Tribe album and y’all n—-s don’t give us no f—ing nominations?” the rapper said in one of three videos. “F— y’all Grammy n—-s.”
Q-Tip acknowledged the Recording Academy’s pivot toward diversity — for the first time in the Grammys’ history, no white men are nominated for the Album of the Year award — but still lamented Tribe’s exclusion. “Y’all think it’s some sort of caveat because this is the first time that no white man is ever nominated in no major categories and s—?” he noted. “We were the most black-cultured group out. That’s all we stood on. That’s what we represented.”
While he offered “respect to everybody who’s nominated and all that,” Q-Tip also emphasized that he thinks We Got It from Here… “stands with everybody else’s s—.” He also brought up Tribe’s fiery performance at the 2017 Grammys ceremony earlier this year. “Sick of y’all,” he said. “Y’all get us to get out there and f—ing perform last year and s— and you don’t get us no f—ing nominations?”
Part of Q-Tip’s frustration stems from We Got It from Here…‘s status as the final Tribe album. After founding member Phife Dawg died in March 2016, Q-Tip and the rest of Tribe assembled the album from verses Phife recorded before his death. They also vowed not to record another Tribe album without Phife.
Tribe received four total Grammys nominations over the years, but never won. And, in a sense, Q-Tip found solace in that: Bob Marley and Led Zeppelin, he observed, didn’t win Grammys during their careers either.
Watch Q-Tip’s videos above and tune into CBS for the (A Tribe Called Quest-less) Grammy Awards on Jan. 28.