How A Tribe Shaped My College Career

Have you ever heard the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child”?

Well, it is very true but something I never expected was for a tribe to shape some of the big things in my college life. Now I have talked a lot about music, mostly because it is a big part of me. From musicals to readying up for those Friday night football games, I have always felt at home between a set of earbuds. A certain alternative hip hop group going by the name A Tribe Called Quest was forever in the forefront of my vibe.

I listen to all of their albums on a regular basis, but they really changed my life when I came to Iowa State.

Picture me as a freshmen. I was in my Math 143x recitation and I get paired with the most random group of people I have ever met. I didn’t know off the bat if I would be friends with any of these people or even talk with them outside of class.

Then one day, one of my partners Matias comes in listening to one of my favorite songs “Check The Rhime” by (you guessed it!) A Tribe Called Quest. Immediately, I asked if it was them or a cover. He looked surprised to see that I even knew who they were. We ended up hanging out after class that day and all the other classes we had that day. We spotted and sat next to each other in our giant lecture hall and would just talk about random things that we both knew.

There were small things like YouTube videos and Vines to big things like our personal lives back home in Illinois and how we both are working hard for our families to stay in school. We clicked and became best friends after that. He was like theĀ Q-Tip to my Phife Dawg.

Now, this is a nice little story from my life, but remember this started from a common interest in one of my favorite musicians of all time during my freshman year. I loved joining my fraternity after meeting him and know that it has been a big influence on how I am as a man now.

Recently, one of the founding members of Tribe, Malik “MC Phife Dawg” Taylor passed away at 45 and it hit in the heart a bit. I never got to meet those guys but I appreciate everything that they accomplished over their careers and thank them for their music for I think some parts of my life wouldn’t have happen without them.

To me, they made more than music, they made me into me: Malik “the 5 foot Freak” as Phife would put it. Always look for the smaller things to truly shape your life and you can truly be happy.

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