You Say It's Your Birthday: A Tribe Called Quest's Ali Muhammad

It's also Squeeze co-leader Chris Difford's birthday.

Today is the birthday of A Tribe Called Quest DJ Ali

Muhammed, whose work with ATCQ rappers Q Tip and Phife has propelled them into

the spotlight as one of the few hip-hop acts to consciously avoid the

negativity and violence that often pervades the music of their peers. The group

debuted in 1990 with their gold-selling album Peoples Instinctive Travels

and Paths of Rhythm; their followups, Low End Theory and Midnight

Marauders, have both gone platinum.

After Marauders was

released, the group took some time off to explore other endeavors. Muhammad

collaborated with nouveau-soul singer D'Angelo and took over as the director of

East Coast A&R at Quest Records. In addition, he and Q-Tip penned songs with

Busta Rhymes and Tony, Toni, Tone. ATCQ returned in 1996 with their fourth

record, Beats, Rhymes and Life, to much acclaim, and in June they

performed at the first Tibetan Freedom Concert in San Francisco,


Other birthdays: Chris Difford (Squeeze), Neville Staples

(Specials), Stuart Adamson (Big Country), Lisa Stansfield, Delroy Pearson (Five

Star) and Nigel Pulsford (Bush). -- Beth Winegarner