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Love Letter To A Record: Young Franco On A Tribe Called Quest’s ‘The Low End Theory’

Many of us can link a certain album to pivotal moments in our lives. Whether it’s the first record you bought with your own money, the chord you first learnt to play on guitar, the song that soundtracked your first kiss, the album that got you those awkward and painful pubescent years or the one that set off light bulbs in your brain and inspired you to take a big leap of faith into the unknown – music is often the catalyst for change in our lives and can even help shape who we become. 

In this Love Letter To A Record series, Music Feeds asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share with us stories about the effect music has had on their lives.

Young Franco – Tribe Called Quest’s ‘The Low End Theory’

When I was asked to do this article, it was almost immediate which record I wanted to write it on. My first proper introduction to A Tribe Called Quest was through ‘Can I Kick it?’ off their first album. I’m not sure how I discovered it, or why it was on my iPod. All I knew was that I liked it. It probably was a few years later, when I was 14/15 that I really discovered them and others on my own terms.

Finding this album was a gateway to a world of groundbreaking music that is one of the main reasons I’m doing what I’m doing now. Dissecting the album track by track, the samples used, where they came from and trying to re-create them (poorly) was probably my first jump into music production.

What I liked about ATCQ was how they were doing their own thing, they never followed any of their peers but instead created their own lane. They danced between being fun and goofy guys (check the ‘Buggin’ Out’ film clip) as well as talking on political/social issues and their own personal experiences growing up in Queens.

Although I can’t decide on my favourite song on the record, ‘Check the Rhime’ is definitely a stand out. The call and response cipher between Phife and Q-Tip for me sums up how well they compliment each other throughout their records. Theres something magical about the two weaving through the record with such ease and smoothness. How a record can feel at home in a packed club and fit in just as well on a long car drive shows its versatility.

The importance of this album to me is immense, but the world it led me to may have changed the trajectory of my life.

After a year delving into new sonic worlds of combining positive house grooves with the most unique corners of contemporary hip-hop, Young Franco has now unveiled his biggest weapon yet via ‘Fallin’ Apart’ which sees him collaborate with Miami rap mogul Denzel Curry and rising name Pell. Watch here.

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