A Tribe Called Quest
Search Menu

Meaning of the song ‘Check the Rhime’ by ‘A Tribe Called Quest’

Released: 1991

“Check the Rhime” is a profound representation of the golden era of hip-hop, a vivid reflection of A Tribe Called Quest’s lyrical prowess and indomitable spirit. It’s a song that emanates with pure lyricism, friendship, and social commentary, soaked in introspection and the essence of hip-hop’s core values.

To kick things off, “Back in the days on the boulevard of Linden” signifies the boys’ reminiscence of growing up in Linden Boulevard, Queens, New York, a pivotal place in their musical journey. The “routines” they speak of are their early rap sessions. References to “The Abstract” and “the five footer” are aliases of group members Q-Tip and Phife Dawg, respectively, further weaving their identities into the narrative.

The recurrent phrase “You on point Phife? All the time, Tip” depicts the pair’s perfect sync in their musical endeavours. They’re always ready to drop some heat when it’s their turn on the mic. “Grab the microphone and let your words rip” is a straight-up hip-hop declaration – spit your truth, and let your voice be heard.

“I’m like an energizer ’cause you see I last long / My crew never ever wack because we stand strong.” This line underlines their endurance in the game, and the unwavering unity of their crew. Mention of “El Segundo” hints at their previous song “I Left My Wallet in El Segundo”.

Phife Dawg’s lines about being “a fly MC who’s five foot three and very brave” serves as his self-assured proclamation of his emcee skills and courage, while the face-off with “wack MC’s” highlights their fearlessness against competition.

“Extremity in rhythm, yeah that’s what you heard / So just clean out your ears and just check the word” – this is a call to truly listen, to understand, and appreciate the depth of their lyricism, not just the catchy rhythm.

The second verse digs deeper into social commentary with the line “Industry rule number four thousand and eighty – Record company people are shady”, laying bare the harsh realities of the music industry, underlining their personal experiences with record labels.

The line “rap is not pop, if you call it that then stop” is a defense of the genre’s authenticity, highlighting the distinction between true rap and commercial pop music. The repeated chant “Check the Rhime y’all” isn’t merely a song title dropped; it’s an invitation to delve deep into the essence of their lyrics, to decipher the message behind the rhyme.

To conclude, “Check the Rhime” is a song that encapsulates the quintessence of A Tribe Called Quest – their lyrical complexity, thought-provoking messages, and an unwavering commitment to the roots of hip-hop.

Related Posts