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Meaning of ‘Award Tour’ by ‘A Tribe Called Quest’ feat. Trugoy The Dove

Released: 1993 • Features: Trugoy The Dove

“Award Tour” by A Tribe Called Quest, featuring Trugoy The Dove, is an anthem celebrating the group’s success and progression in the hip-hop industry. This tune is a lyrical journey that pays homage to the artists’ roots, highlights their personal growth, and underlines the importance of staying true to oneself while navigating the entertainment industry’s complexities.

The song starts with “We on award tour with Muhammad my man, Goin’ each and every place with the mic in their hand.” This stands as a metaphor for A Tribe Called Quest’s success in the music industry, traveling around the globe showcasing their lyrical prowess. Muhammad is a reference to Q-Tip, whose Muslim name is Kamaal Ibn John Fareed, translated as Muhammad.

“You can be a black man and lose all your soul, You can be white and groove but don’t perp the roll.” The group emphasizes here the importance of authenticity in the hip-hop community. This line is open to different interpretations, but the consensus is about maintaining personal integrity, whether you’re black trying to preserve cultural heritage or white trying to fit into an originally African-American-dominated genre without perpetrating stereotypes.

“Hold up a second son, ‘cuz we almost there” – this line might refer to the group nearing the pinnacle of their success and letting their fans know that they’re about to reach new heights of creative genius.

A Tribe Called Quest also addresses their critiques directly: “A lot of kids was bustin’ rhymes, but they had no taste, Some said Quest was wack, but now is that the case.” They demonstrate their resilience against critics who doubted their talents and potential in the early stages of their careers.

The lines, “I never let a statue tell me how nice I am, Comin’ with more hits than the Braves and the Yankees”, express A Tribe Called Quest’s belief in their talent, not relying on awards or external validation to define their worth. They are confident in their ability to “hit it out of the park” with their music, just like MLB teams, the Braves and the Yankees, are known for their talented hitters.

Finally, the repeated refrain, “We on award tour with Muhammad my man, Goin’ each and every place with the mic in their hand” underlines the song’s essence: This is A Tribe Called Quest’s celebration of their journey, achievements, and place in the hip-hop landscape, staying authentic and grounded throughout the process.

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