Starita and Jarobi also trekked to St. Albans in Queens, ATCQ's stomping grounds, for the video. "The director, Frank Door, is doing all these things to break the rules visually so there’s sideways rooms, weird stuff going backwards and forwards so something that really just f--ks with your head a little bit," explains Starita. "I wanted to give respect to Queens and Tribe in video so that’s why we went down to Phife Dawg Way."
The collaboration also comes in the midst of Rasta Root and Starita working on Phife Dawg's forthcoming posthumous solo effort titled Forever. Reflecting on the Five-Foot Assassin's last days in the studio before his death last March, Starita and Jarobi note that he "was in great spirits," adding, "He was tearing it up on the mic. He just came in the studio, firing on all cylinders."
Starita also recalls the final record Phife recorded. "One thing that was a little strange was the last track that he recorded was called 'Forever' and he basically starts from when they were kids, talks about growing up and the whole story of Tribe. He basically just apologizes for bumping heads," says Starita. Jarobi admits he cried for a day and a half after listening to the song. "It’s like he wrote a goodbye letter to me, Ali [Shaheed], Tip -- individually -- and the fans."
A release date for Phife's Forever is yet to be announced, but the pair assure that the project will keep his legacy intact. "[Rasta] Root is definitely going to make sure none of this shit goes sideways," explains Jarobi. "How Phife delivers and his presence on whatever he does, doesn’t really need to be tempered with too much. You can’t really f--k it up because he’s giving you all that you really need."
Jarobi also reveals that he is working on a solo effort with no features. "It’s like a window into me," he says. "I’ve always been the mysterious fourth member. People always ask, 'What’s his contribution to the group?' I think once I release my solo album, a lot of those questions will be answered." While no release date is attached to the project, Jarobi says he's wrapping it up soon.
For Starita, his upcoming EP will blend both deep cuts with party tunes as he aims to go beyond genre barriers: "A lot of the songs are not following conventions, making sure we do what’s right for the song and not trying to squeeze it into any confines."
Listen to "Rules" below.