Sure, in the wake of A Tribe Called Quest’s implosion, Aplified seemed like a terrible idea. Q-Tip, master of flow and king of the rootsy hip-hop aesthetic, had done an about-face and made a straight-up party album in which most of the lyrics seemed to be, well, all about booty.
Once the initial rage wore off, Q’s debut made much more sense, and the years since have been more than kind to it. It’s not a complete repudiation of the Tribe ethic, either, there are moments of flow here that rival anything on The Low End Theory.
Still, probably best to forget all about the Korn collaboration near the end.
READ: There’s a great look back at the album, as well as at all its attendent controversies, over at Albumism
WATCH: Not a lot of great video of Q from the time, so here he is performing Vivrant Thing a little awkwardly at an awards show. Still mega, though.