The surviving members of A Tribe Called Quest — Q-Tip, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Jarobi White — linked up with Best New Artist nominee Anderson .Paak for a three-song medley that included the classic track “Award Tour” from Tribe’s 1993 LP Midnight Marauders as well as new tracks “Movin Backwards” and “We the People” from their latest album We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service.
With .Paak handling drums, Q-Tip made sure to open by referencing the group’s fourth member, Phife Dawg, who died suddenly last year. “We dedicate this to our brother who’s not here, Phife Dawg,” Tip said, before teasing “Award Tour” and “Can I Kick It?” and launching into “Movin Backwards.” Busta Rhymes — who thanked “President Agent Orange” — and Consequence then joined the crew for “We the People,” the single from We Got It From Here that got the crowd moving.
“We the People” also served as the backdrop for a political statement; as Tip hit the chorus (“All you black folks, you must go”), people of several different ethnicities began walking down the aisles, making the group’s position on Donald Trump’s proposed travel ban even more explicitly clear than it had been already.
As if to underline the point, Q-Tip then ended “We the People” with a single word: “RESIST!”