A TRIBE CALLED QUEST – Can I Kick It?

Yes, we can! “Can I Kick It?” is a 1990 song by American hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest, released as the third single from their debut album, People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm (1990). The song, which has a call and response chorus, was recorded in 1989, when the band members were aged 18-19.

The song contains samples of “Walk on the Wild Side” by Lou Reed, “What a Waste” by Ian Dury and the Blockheads, “Spinning Wheel” by Dr. Lonnie Smith, “Dance of the Knights” by Sergei Prokofiev and “Sunshower” by Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band. Phife Dawg has stated that, because of the use of the “Walk on the Wild Side” sample, the group did not receive any money from the single, with Lou Reed instead claiming the profits.

“Can I Kick It?”, considered one of the group’s signature songs, appears on the band’s 1999 compilation album, The Anthology, with the outro of “Bonita Applebum” added to the beginning of the song. In 2012, NME listed the song at number 90 in their ranking of the “100 Best Songs of the 1990s”.

… Can I kick it? (Yes, you can!)
Can I kick it? (Yes, you can!)
Can I kick it? (Yes, you can!)
Can I kick it? (Yes, you can!)
Can I kick it? (Yes, you can!)
Can I kick it? (Yes, you can!)
Can I kick it? (Yes, you can!)
Well, I’m gone (Go on then!)

… Can I kick it? To all the people who can Quest like A Tribe does
Before this, did you really know what live was?
Comprehend to the track, for it’s why ‘cause
Getting measures on the tip of the vibers
Rock and roll to the beat of the funk fuzz
Wipe your feet really good on the rhythm rug
If you feel the urge to freak, do the jitterbug
Come and spread your arms if you really need a hug
Afrocentric living is a big shrug
A life filled with that’s what I love
A lower plateau is what we’re above
If you diss us, we won’t even think of
Will Nipper the doggy give a big shove?
This rhythm really fits like a snug glove
Like a box of positives is a plus, love
As the Tribe flies high like a dove

… Can I kick it? (Yes, you can!)
Can I kick it? (Yes, you can!)
Can I kick it? (Yes, you can!)
Can I kick it? (Yes, you can!)
Can I kick it? (Yes, you can!)
Can I kick it? (Yes, you can!)
Can I kick it? (Yes, you can!)
Well, I’m gone (Go on then!)

… Can I kick it? To my Tribe that flows in layers
Right now, Phife is a poem sayer
At times, I’m a studio conveyor
Mr. Dinkins, would you please be my mayor?
You’ll be doing us a really big favor
Boy this track really has a lot of flavor
When it comes to rhythms, Quest is your savior
Follow us for the funky behavior
Make a note on the rhythm we gave ya
Feel free, drop your pants, check your hair
Do you like the garments that we wear?
I instruct you to be the obeyer
A rhythm recipe that you’ll savor
Doesn’t matter if you’re minor or major
Yes, the Tribe of the game, rhythm player
As you inhale like a breath of fresh air

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