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Midnight Marauders

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Midnight Marauders

Midnight Marauders
Studio album by A Tribe Called Quest
Released November 9, 1993 (1993-11-09)
Recorded November 1992–September 1993
Genre Alternative hip hop, jazz rap
Length 51:12
Label Jive
Producer A Tribe Called Quest, Large Professor, Skeff Anselm
A Tribe Called Quest chronology
The Low End Theory
Midnight Marauders
Beats, Rhymes and Life
Singles from Midnight Marauders
  1. "Award Tour"
    Released: November 1993
  2. "Electric Relaxation"
    Released: 1994
  3. "Oh My God"
    Released: May 30, 1994
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic [1]
Chicago Tribune [2]
Robert Christgau A−[3]
Entertainment Weekly A[4]
NME (7/10)[5]
Q [5]
RapReviews (10/10)[6]
Rolling Stone [7]
The Source [5]
USA Today [8]

Midnight Marauders is the third album by hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest, released November 9, 1993 on Jive Records. It was released two years after A Tribe Called Quest's second album, The Low End Theory, and reached #1 on the R&B/HipHop Charts and #8 on the Billboard 200 in 1993.[9] Midnight Marauders is also seen by many fans and critics as a classic jazz rap album along with The Low End Theory.


  • Background 1
  • Track listing 2
    • Additional credits 2.1
  • Accolades 3
  • Cover art 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6


The album Midnight Marauders was a critical and commercial success, especially the hit single "Award Tour". "Award Tour" was the first single released from the album and it is their highest charting single to date. It peaked at #47 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and #1 on the U.S. Hot Rap Singles Chart. The single features Trugoy from De La Soul on the chorus. Subsequent singles released from the album were, in order, "Electric Relaxation" and "Oh My God" which featured a sample of former Leaders of the New School Emcee Busta Rhymes on the chorus. The same sample of Busta Rhymes was also used on the last track of the album "God Lives Through".

The listener is guided through the program by a robotic voiced woman played by Laurel Dann. As this voice tells the listener at the end of "Award Tour", the meaning of the album's title derives from a figure that "seven times out of ten, we listen to our music at night", hence the "Midnight", and that the word maraud means to loot, and A Tribe Called Quest "maraud for ears".[10] One of the group members, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, described the album's name this way: "We decided to call the album 'Midnight Marauders' because A Tribe Called Quest are like sound thieves looting your ears."

With this album, A Tribe Called Quest "shifted their attention to more urban concerns".[11] Rather than simply discussing violence, the group's songs tell stories about everyday events such as a trip to a bodega or a getting a milkshake.[12] However, while they have paid more attention to everyday life, the album is still mattered with typical Hip Hop subjects such as racial issues and sexual tension.

Midnight Marauders is one of three A Tribe Called Quest albums on The Source's 100 Best Rap Albums.[13] On January 12, 1994 it was certified and it reached platinum status one day less than a year later on January 11, 1995.[14] It is also one of three A Tribe Called Quest albums to be certified platinum by the RIAA.[15]

Some of the songs have been used in television shows and other media. The song "Electric Relaxation" was used during the opening theme for The WB sitcom The Wayans Bros. Of all the videos for this album, "Oh My God" is the only track from the album with a full color music video. The original version of "The Chase Part Two", called "The Chase", uses the same beat, but instead features Consequence without the other members, and can be found as a b-side to "Award Tour". The European Version of the album features the bonus track “Hot Sex” which was featured in the Eddie Murphy film Boomerang in 1992. Later it was released on the bonus disc of the group's fifth studio album The Love Movement in 1998.

Track listing

All songs written by Jonathan Davis, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Malik Taylor, except where noted. Artists sampled by the group are officially credited as writers for four songs. All songs are credited as produced by A Tribe Called Quest, except "8 Million Stories", produced by Skeff Anselm and "Keep It Rollin'", produced by Large Professor.

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Midnight Marauders Tour Guide"     0:45
2. "Steve Biko (Stir It Up)"     3:11
3. "Award Tour" (featuring Trugoy the Dove)   3:46
4. "8 Million Stories"   Davis, Muhammad, Taylor, Skeff Anselm 4:30
5. "Sucka Nigga"   Davis, Muhammad, Taylor, Freddie Hubbard 4:05
6. "Midnight" (featuring Raphael Wiggins)   3:49
7. "We Can Get Down"     4:19
8. "Electric Relaxation"     4:04
9. "Clap Your Hands"   Davis, Muhammad, Taylor, Cyril Neville, Joseph Modeliste 3:16
10. "Oh My God" (featuring Busta Rhymes)   3:29
11. "Keep It Rollin'" (featuring Large Professor) Davis, Muhammad, Taylor, William Mitchell 3:05
12. "The Chase, Part II"     4:02
13. "Lyrics to Go"   Davis, Muhammad, Taylor, Steve Arrington, Victor Godsey, Buddy Hankerson 4:09
14. "God Lives Through"     4:15
European bonus track
No. Title Length
15. "Hot Sex"   2:45

Additional credits

# Title Notes
1 "Midnight Marauders Tour Guide"

Songwriters: J. Davis, A. Muhammad, M. Taylor
Sample: "Aquarius" by Cal Tjader

2 "Steve Biko (Stir It Up)"

Songwriters: J. Davis, A. Muhammad, M. Taylor
Sample: "Ekim" by Michael Urbaniak
Sample: "Blackstone Legacy" by Woody Shaw

3 "Award Tour"

Songwriters: J. Davis, A. Muhammad, M. Taylor
Sample: "We Gettin' Down" by Weldon Irvine
Sample: "Lowdown" by Charles Earland
Sample: "Olinga" by Milt Jackson
Sample: "Hobo Scratch" by Malcolm McLaren

4 "8 Million Stories"

Songwriters: J. Davis, A. Muhammad, M. Taylor, S. Anselm
Sample: "Bettina" by Bola Sete
Sample: "Over the Rainbow" by The Ohio Players

5 "Sucka Nigga"

Songwriters: J. Davis, A. Muhammad, M. Taylor, Freddie Hubbard
Sample: "Red Clay" by Jack Wilkins
Sample: "M.C. Battle" by Busy Bee Starski and Rodney Cee

6 "Midnight"

Songwriters: J. Davis, A. Muhammad, M. Taylor
Sample: "Psychedelic Shack" by Albino Gorilla
Sample: "North Beach" by George Duke

7 "We Can Get Down"

Songwriters: J. Davis, A. Muhammad, M. Taylor
Sample: "Martin's Funeral" by Bill Cosby
Sample: "The Big Beat" by Billy Squier
Sample: "My Melody" by Eric B. and Rakim

8 "Electric Relaxation"

Songwriters: J. Davis, A. Muhammad, M. Taylor
Sample: "Mystic Brew" by Ronnie Foster
Sample: "Outside Love" by Brethren
Sample: "Dreams" by Ramsey Lewis

9 "Clap Your Hands"

Songwriters: J. Davis, A. Muhammad, M. Taylor, G. Porter, C. Neville, J. Modeliste
Sample: "Nautilus" by Bob James
Sample: "Hand Clapping Song" by The Meters
Sample: "Ode to Billy Joe" by Lou Donaldson

10 "Oh My God"

Songwriters: J. Davis, A. Muhammad, M. Taylor
Sample: "Who's Gonna Take Weight" by Kool & the Gang
Sample: "Why Can't People Be Colors Too?" by The Whatnauts
Sample: "Absolutions" by Lee Morgan

11 "Keep It Rollin'"

Songwriters: J. Davis, A. Muhammad, M. Taylor, W. Mitchell
Sample: "Feel Like Making Love" by Roy Ayers

12 "The Chase, Part II"

Songwriters: J. Davis, A. Muhammad, M. Taylor, Steve Arrington, Victor Godsey, Buddy Hankerson
Sample: "Beddie Biey" by Steve Arrington
Sample: "Nobody Beats the Biz" by Biz Markie

13 "Lyrics to Go"

Songwriters: J. Davis, A. Muhammad, M. Taylor
Sample: "Just Enough Room for Storage" by James Brown
Sample: "Inside My Love" by Minnie Riperton
Sample: "Mixed Up Cup" by Clyde McPhatter

14 "God Lives Through"

Songwriters: J. Davis, A. Muhammad, M. Taylor
Sample: "Dig On It" by Jimmy McGriff
Sample: "On Love" by David T. Walker
Sample: "Oh My God" by A Tribe Called Quest

* "Hot Sex"

Songwriters: J. Davis, A. Muhammad, M. Taylor
Sample: "Who's Making Love" by Lou Donaldson


The information is taken from[16] and other website links below


Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Ego Trip USA Hip Hop's 25 Greatest Albums by Year 1980-98 1999 #2
Exclaim! Canada 100 Records that Rocked 100 Issues 2000 *
Pitchfork Media USA Top 100 Albums of the 1990s [redux] 2003 #75
The Source USA The Source 100 Best Hip-Hop Albums of All Time 1998 *
The Guardian UK 100 Albums that Don't Appear in All Other Top 100 Album Lists 1999 #98
The New Nation UK Top 100 Albums by Black Artists #11
OOR Moordlijst Netherlands 10 The 100 Best Albums of 1991-1995 1995 #31
Spex Germany 1001 The 100 Albums of the Century 1999 #19

( * ) designates lists which are unordered.

Cover art

The back vinyl cover of Midnight Marauders

Widely respected and admired for their success and artistry throughout the hip hop scene, and preternaturally inclined to accept this adulation with grace and humility, the group elected to summon fellow hip hoppers whose work as artists and actions as human beings they respected, and photographed headshots of each for arrangement on the album's cover and liner-notes insert. And like The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, it serves as a time capsule of the era: a who's who of hip hop circa 1993.

According to ego trip's Book of Rap Lists, there are a reported 71 different hip hop luminaries and radio DJ's who adorned Midnight Marauders. The cover was issued in three different color schemes- red, black, and green (with black being the rarest). The book goes into detail as to which artists were on which particular album cover using a number scheme to easily identify each artist. The complete list of artists is as follows:

The album artwork of Midnight Marauders was the source of inspiration for a collection of products released by the Air Jordan Brand that includes T-shirts and sneakers and was released February 2009. The sneakers, officially called Air Jordan I Retro High Strap, were often called Midnight Marauders Air Jordan I or A Tribe Called Quest Air Jordan I by customers and featured a design of red, green and black. Two of the T-shirt designs include a wing design and a design mimicking the album cover of Midnight Marauders.

It also served as inspiration for a T-shirt by Munich-based clothing company Beastin', showing the members of the original 1992 Dream Team, as well as for other works of album artwork (such as the Talking Heads' 2004 compilation album The Best of Talking Heads).[17]

See also


  1. ^ Bush, John (1993-11-09). "Midnight Marauders - A Tribe Called Quest".  
  2. ^ Preston, Rohan B. (1993-12-09). "A Tribe Called Quest Midnight Marauders (Jive)".  
  3. ^  
  4. ^ Bernard, James (1993-11-12). "Midnight Marauders".  
  5. ^ a b c "A Tribe Called Quest - Midnight Marauders CD Album".  
  6. ^ Juon, Steve "Flash" (2001-04-20). "A Tribe Called Quest :: Midnight Marauders :: Jive". RapReviews. Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  7. ^ Kenny, Glenn (1993-11-25). "Midnight Marauders".  
  8. ^ Jones IV, James T. (1993-11-10). "Strong third rounds for rappers".  
  9. ^ "Midnight Marauders - A Tribe Called Quest". 1993-11-27. Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  10. ^ Stated by 'Tour Guide' at the end of "Award Tour" This end before "Lyrics to Go".
  11. ^ "EBSCOhost - world’s foremost premium research database service". Retrieved 2012-03-01. 
  12. ^ "EBSCOhost - world’s foremost premium research database service". Retrieved 2012-03-01. 
  13. ^ "The Source: Albums Rated 5 Mics (Out of 5)". Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  14. ^ "Recording Industry Association of America". RIAA. Retrieved 2012-03-01. 
  15. ^ [3] Archived November 16, 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ "Midnight Marauders at". Retrieved June 23, 2007. 
  17. ^ [4]
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