Break out the backpacks — A Tribe Called Quest are going back on tour.
Eight years after they broke up, Q-Tip, Phife Dawg and Ali Shaheed Muhammad are planning more than a dozen dates this fall. And what's brought these Midnight Marauders back? A video game, of all things.
Tribe are the headline act for the 2K Sports Bounce Tour, which will promote the basketball game "NBA 2K7." Last year's inaugural Bounce Tour showcased the Roots.
Rumors of a Tribe reunion tour started brewing in the spring (see "Mixtape Monday: Tribe Plan Reunion Tour; Wu-Tang Open Vault"). At about that time, 2K Sports' Tim Rosa mentioned his dream of reuniting Tribe for the Bounce Tour, said Peter Bittenbender of Decon Media, the company putting together the "NBA 2K7" soundtrack. Bittenbender knew someone who knew the group, and the deal was done.
"I think it was just time," Bittenbender said. "It was like magic."
According to Bittenbender and hip-hop producer Dan the Automator — who worked with Decon to compile the game's soundtrack — Phife Dawg is a video game fanatic, which helped seal the deal. Phife will appear as a playable character in the game, as will Flavor Flav, Common, the Roots' ?uestlove and a host of other rappers.
The Bounce Tour will stretch from Atlantic City, New Jersey to Los Angeles. As for a show in Tribe's hometown, the 2K team has penciled in an October slot for a New York show, but the specific date and venue have not been announced.
Dan the Automator's remix of Tribe's "Lyrics to Go" — from the group's 1993 album, Midnight Marauders — will be featured on the game's soundtrack. That's the only remix on a 12-song album that includes original songs from Ghostface Killah, Fabolous, Rhymefest, Hieroglyphics and others from both the mainstream and underground hip-hop scenes. The album will be featured in the game and released as a standalone CD and for iTunes download in mid-September.
"NBA 2K7" will be available for Xbox 360, Xbox and PlayStation 2 this fall. A PS3 version is also in development.
A Tribe Called Quest tour dates, according to the 2K Sports Bounce Tour Web site:
- 9/8 - Las Vegas, NV @ Red Rock
- 9/9 - Berkeley, CA @ Berkeley Community Theatre
- 9/10 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern LG
- 9/13 - Denver, CO @ Fillmore Auditorium
- 9/15 - Chicago, IL @ Congress Theatre
- 9/16 - Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave/ Eagles Club
- 9/17 - Toronto, ON @ Kool Haus
- 9/20 - Baltimore, MD @ Rams Head Live
- 9/22 - Washington, DC @ Love the Club
- 9/23 - Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle
- 9/24 - Lake Buena Vista, FL @ House of Blues
- 9/28 - Atlantic City, NJ @ House of Blues
- 9/29 - Worcester, MA @ The Palladium
- 10/1 - Sayreville, NJ @ The Starland Ballroom