People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm

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People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm
Studio album by A Tribe Called Quest
Released April 10, 1990
Recorded 1989-1990; Calliope Studios
Battery Studios
Dumb D.J. Towha's DewDrop Inn
(New York, New York)
Genre Alternative hip hop
Golden age hip hop
Jazz rap
Length 64:15
Label Jive/RCA Records
Producer A Tribe Called Quest
A Tribe Called Quest chronology
People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm
The Low End Theory
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Chicago Tribune 3.5/4 stars[2]
Robert Christgau B+[3]
Entertainment Weekly A−[4]
RapReviews (10/10)[5]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[6]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4/5 stars[7]
The Source 5/5 stars[8]
Stylus (favorable)[9]
Trouser Press (favorable)[10]

People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm is the debut album by the alternative hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest, released April 10, 1990 (see 1990 in music) on Jive Records. Though the album was well-received critically, it had little mainstream appeal. The album did earn the band a devoted following, however, within the alternative hip hop community. People's Instinctive Travels was praised for its lyrical inventiveness and bizarre sense of humor, mixed with socially aware and literate message tracks. The record was given the perfect rating of 5 mics in The Source in 1990.[8] It is one of three A Tribe Called Quest albums included in The Source's 100 Best Rap Albums.[11] It also was certified gold by the RIAA on January 19, 1996.

Critical reviews were generally positive, but many felt that the group's effort was immature and unfocused. John Bush of allmusic writes "Tribe perhaps experimented too much on their debut, but they succeeded at much of it, certainly enough to show much promise as a new decade dawned".

Track listing[edit]

# Title Time Performers
1 "Push It Along" 7:42
2 "Luck of Lucien" 4:32
3 "After Hours" 4:39
  • Q-Tip
4 "Footprints" 4:00
  • Q-Tip
5 "I Left My Wallet in El Segundo" 4:06
6 "Pubic Enemy" 3:45
7 "Bonita Applebum" 3:50
  • Verses: Q-Tip
  • Outro: Jarobi White
8 "Can I Kick It?" 4:11
  • First verse: Q-Tip
  • Second verse: Phife Dawg
9 "Youthful Expression" 4:52
  • Verses: Q-Tip
  • Outro: Ali Shaheed Muhammad
10 "Rhythm (Devoted to the Art of Moving Butts)" 4:01
  • Intro: Ali Shaheed Muhammad
  • Verses: Q-Tip
  • Background: The Rhythm Kids
11 "Mr. Muhammad" 3:33
  • First, second & third verses: Q-Tip
  • Fourth verse & background: Phife Dawg
12 "Ham 'n' Eggs" 5:27
  • Chorus: Phife Dawg, Q-Tip, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Jarobi White & The Rhythm Kids
  • First verse: Q-Tip & Phife Dawg
  • Second verse: Phife Dawg
  • Third verse: Q-Tip
  • Outro: Jarobi White
13 "Go Ahead in the Rain" 3:54
  • Q-Tip
14 "Description of a Fool" 5:41
  • Q-Tip

Timing misprints in liner notes[edit]

  • "Bonita Applebum" – 3:50 (Notes mistakenly claim 4:11)
  • "Can I Kick It?" – 4:11 (Notes mistakenly claim 4:52)
  • "Youthful Expression" – 4:52 (Notes mistakenly claim 4:01)
  • "Rhythm (Devoted to the Art of Moving Butts)" – 4:01 (Notes mistakenly claim 3:33)
  • "Mr. Muhammad" – 3:33 (Notes mistakenly claim 5:27)
  • "Ham 'n' Eggs" – 5:27 (Notes mistakenly claim 3:54)


The information is taken from[12] and other website links below.

Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
ego trip USA Hip Hop's 25 Greatest Albums by Year 1980-98 1999 #9
Les Inrockuptibles France 50 Years of Rock'n'Roll 2004 *
Les Inrockuptibles France The 100 Best Albums 1986-1996 1996 #60
Mixmag UK The 100 Best Dance Albums of All Time 1996 #36
Mucchio Selvaggio Italy 100 Best Albums by Decade 2002 #21-50
Pop Sweden The World's 100 Best Albums + 300 Complements 1994 #101
Record Collector UK 10 Classic Albums from 21 Genres for the 21st Century 2000 *
Robert Dimery USA 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die 2005 *
Technikart France 50 Albums from the Last 10 Years 1997 *
The Source USA 100 Best Rap Albums of All Time 1998 *
Zundfunk Germany The Best Albums of the 90s 2000 #24
(*) designates lists that are unordered.

Album singles[edit]

Single information
"I Left My Wallet in El Segundo"
  • Released: April 11, 1990
  • B-side: "Pubic Enemy"
"Bonita Applebum"
  • Released: July 5, 1990
  • B-side: "Mr. Muhammad"
"Can I Kick It?"
  • Released: October 29, 1990
  • B-side: "Spirits", "If the Papes Come", "If the Papes Come (Remix)"

Album chart positions[edit]

Year Album Chart positions
Billboard 200 Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums
1990 People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm 91 23

Singles chart positions[edit]

Year Song Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks Hot Rap Singles Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales
1990 "I Left My Wallet in El Segundo" - 9 49
"Bonita Applebum" 56 4 -
"Can I Kick It?" - 8 -



External links[edit]