The end of an era is finally here. Earlier this month, A Tribe Called Quest shattered the hearts of fans when they announced their “last video” would be arriving in the coming weeks and now, it’s finally here. The Tribe teamed up with Apple Music to premiere the gripping, 8-minute visual for their We Got It From Here… album cut “The Space Program” and recruited a crop of famous friends to help them say goodbye.
The Warren Fu-directed video begins with Q-Tip in a bathroom with the walls covered in tally marks. In another scene, Q-Tip wakes up as he and Jarobi deliver politically driven lines about the African-American experience in today’s America. “They’d rather lead us to the grayest water poison deadly smog/ Mass un-blackening, it’s happening, you feel it y’all?/ Rather see we in a three-by-three structure with many bars/ Leave us where we are so they can play among the stars,” Jarobi raps.
As the late Phife Dawg’s verse rolls around, Q-Tip attempts to break free from the spaceship he’s trapped in. Consequence, Erykah Badu, Vince Staples, Pharrell Williams, Common, Alicia Keys, Rosario Dawson, Questlove and more perform Phife Dawg’s poignant closing chorus where he pleads, “Gotta get it together forever/ Gotta get it together for brothers/ Gotta get it together for sisters/ For mothers and fathers and dead n—as.”
Vintage photos of civil rights activists like Rosa Parks and Muhammad Ali as well as visuals of police officers beating black men and black prisoners locked up behind bars play on TV screens. Q-Tip continues his attempt to escape as a nearby monitor reads “I Can’t Breathe” referencing the last words Eric Garner spoke before losing his life at the hands of police officers. The visual ends with “For Malik” on the screen, a tribute to Phife Dawg.
Watch”The Space Program” below.
— Apple Music (@AppleMusic) March 29, 2018
This story was first posted to Billboard.