A Tribe Called Quest's debut album was crowned by the Lou Reed sampling single 'Can I Kick It'. It was though, a bitty, slightly immature effort. With most of the vocal duties taken by Q-Tip, Phife's equally expressive flow was relegated to the odd guest spot. So it took their second album, The Low End Theory, to really bring the group's style to maturity. More cohesive, TLET went against the grain of the dominant sound of late 80s / early 90s hip-hop. Instead of, for example, Dre's menacing g-funk on The Chronic, with its pulsing tonality, drenched in the LA dichotomy of sunshine and gunshots, or the highly political and claustrophobic beats of the East Coast scene expounded by the likes of Jeru, Public Enemy and KRS-ONE, ATCQ developed this a broadly jazz influenced, downbeat and pensive style.
This is exemplified in two singles from it, 'Jazz (We've Got)' and 'Scenario'. Jazz is pretty straight up, flipping between Q-Tip and Phife, yet showcase their downtempo, bass heavy sound. 'Scenario' is far more lively, made even livelier by a guest spot from a young Busta at the end. Possibly his greatest ever.