Our hearts still hurt after Phife Dawg passed away earlier this year, but what better way to celebrate one of rap’s greatest icons than for the group he’s from to record a reunion album? A Tribe Called Quest hit the studio in secret and, in only two weeks, will share a brand new (and final) album with the world. That’s not the only thing worth celebrating this week. Muse dressed up as The Cramps to cover one of their songs, someone found a letter from John Lennon to Queen Elizabeth II hidden in a record sleeve, Charli XCX returns with a poppy single, and Common gave a moving performance with The Roots on live TV.
Remember when we lost Prince? And David Bowie? And everyone ever this year? Yeah, it’s hard to forget. One of the legends that passed away in 2016 is Malik “Phife Dawg” Taylor of A Tribe Called Quest. He was working on a solo album before passing, and now we found out that apparently the rest of A Tribe Called Quest was eyeing studio time, too. Q-Tip took to Facebook on Thursday night to announce that, after performing a reunion set on The Tonight Show in November of 2015, A Tribe Called Quest decided to hit the studio to record a new album. You read that correctly. A new (and “final”) album by A Tribe Called Quest is on the way. Best of all, it will drop in two weeks (!) on November 11. There’s always a silver lining as long as you know how to kick it.
If nothing else, Muse are phenomenal at performing. The band loves to go for dramatics, be it standing atop pillars at their live shows or filling modern albums with plenty of pops and pizazz. Now the British rockers are at it again, but they’re channeling that energy into Halloween. Muse dressed up at The Cramps and performed “New King of Kick” in a new video directed by Tom Kirk, which is fun and entertaining as promised, and yet it’s still totally Muse-y. Watch it above to see what we mean, especially if you want to get extra spooky before the holiday. [Consequence of Sound]
The last thing people expect to find when they buy old, crummy records are important notes, nevertheless historic ones. That’s what one lucky fan found when he bought a £10 car boot haul over two decades ago. Apparently the person found a letter John Lennon wrote to Queen Elizabeth II in 1969 inside one of the records. According to BBC News, it may be a draft of an actual letter Lennon sent that’s now in the Royal archive. As such, this goes for a massive £60,000 as The Beatles Story declared this past Wednesday in Liverpool. Not too bad for some bin buys, huh? [Consequence of Sound]
At last, pop’s punk princess has returned. Songwriter, pop star, and rock ‘tude woman Charli XCX dropped a new single that sees her reeling with plenty of catchy hooks. The song, called “After the Afterparty,” bounces with a piano melody and heavy bass with help from Atlanta rapper Lil Yachty. He brings out some of the song’s punchy undertones while Charli XCX, as usual, dominates in a captivating, entrancing way. It’s the comeback we’ve been wanting. Give it a listen above. [Rolling Stone]
This Thursday, The Tonight Show got political. Grammy-winner Common stopped by to perform his powerful single “Black America Again” with help from The Roots and BJ the Chicago Kid. The title-track to his upcoming 11th LP is bold and important, a song that’s worth listening to if only to remember that change is a constant and we’ve certainly still got plenty to work on when it comes to equality. Check it out above before you head out to Halloween festivities. [Rolling Stone]
See you back here on Monday for another Music Dispatch!
Image: A Tribe Called Quest/Jive Records