A Tribe Called Quest Holds FourTwoFour Merchandise Pop-Up in Los Angeles
On Saturday (July 22), A Tribe Called Quest rocked the FYF stage while keeping the legendary Malik "Phife Dawg" Taylor’s memory alive. A day earlier, the rap legends hosted a meet and greet, pop-up shop event in collaboration with Fairfax’s FourTwoFour. “Last minute, Q-Tip said he wanted to do a pop-up shop knowing that we were going to be in town a couple of days before FYF,” Tribe’s DJ, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, explained. “So we made a couple of calls to some friends and they said yes.” Owned by Guatemalan designer Guillermo Andrade, FourTwoFour is a staple of the Fairfax streetwear culture and is worn by the likes of Migos and Wiz Khalifa. The event, along with the clothing, was produced by Sony Music’s merchandising arm Thread Shop (Tribe is signed to Sony subsidiary label Epic Records).
The exclusive merch sold at the pop-up showcased a more minimalist design in contrast to Tribe’s vibrant and often busy album covers. But the collection stayed true to their aesthetic, featuring the group’s circle text logo and highlighting the colors red and black. A diverse crowd sporting classic kicks and eclectic styles lined up outside the doors for their chance to meet Ali, Jarobi White, and longtime Tribe associate Consequence. Once the doors opened, five to ten fans at a time were led to the of the back showroom where they took pictures and scored autographs from the hip-hop icons.
Super fan Tony showed up to the event decked out in a vintage Tribe shirt, screen-printed socks featuring the “Midnight Marauders” cover art, and a five-panel hat he picked up at a thrift shop. “So I found this five-panel. It was [made] by some bootleg company called Butter and it had the Tribe logo on the side.” Remembering a couple lines from the song “Butter” off of Tribes ’91 album, “The Low End Theory,” Tony rapped, “I got more game than Parker Brothers and I’m smooth like Butter.”
In 2016, after 18 years, fans were surprised with A Tribe Called Quest’s sixth album, “We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service.” The project features Andre 3000, Elton John, and Kendrick Lamar, and gives us that quintessential Tribe sound that masterfully fuses East Coast hip-hop with jazz. Ali was also tapped to score season one of Marvel’s Luke Cage. “It was interesting to create music from the perspective of supporting what you see,” Ali stated, “versus any other time when I make music it’s from an internal thought or an idea, feeling [or] something that you may see or hear that inspires you.” The DJ/producer confirmed that he’s back on board to score season two of the Netflix series.
On what the rest of 2017 holds for A Tribe Called Quest, Ali keeps it simple stating, “We’re just touring in support of this and trying to honor and celebrate [Phife Dawg]. That’s it for now.”
Written and photographed by Jamyla Sabree