Ladies Love Lyrics: “1nce Again” – A Tribe Called Quest

SB March 13, 2012 1
Ladies Love Lyrics: “1nce Again” – A Tribe Called Quest

Intro:

You on point Phife?
1nce Again Tip
You on point Phife?
1nce Again Tip
You on point Phife?
1nce Again Tip
Word
Watch me bust they shit
OK

This back and forth between Phife and Q-Tip takes me back to “Check The Rhime” off of  The Low End Theory , when the two MCs make sure each one is ready.  “You on point Phife? All the time, Tip. You on point Phife? All the time, Tip. You on point Phife? All the time, Tip. Well, then grab the microphone , and let your words rip.”

Chorus:

[Tammy Lucas]

Ohhhh, you did it to me 1nce Again my friend
I swear you do it to me every time
Cause you stay crazy on my mind
Yo you got it goin on (say word), on and on and on
On and on and on

The chorus, implies, that time after time after time, the group’s witty lyrical skills will stay with us long after the song has finished playing. You will be walking down the street and just start reciting one of their many songs randomly to the point where you cannot deny just how nice they are on the mic.

Verse One: Phife Dawg, Q-Tip

This is the year that I come in and just devastate
My style is great, ask your peoples can I dominate?

This will be the year that Phife finally gets his props.  He’s basically telling you, “Go out and ask anybody if they can match me on the rhymes. I dare you.”

My rhymes are harder than last night’s erection
Don’t play me close, I’ll have this mic up in your rear section

Phife is simply stating that his rhymes are lyrically satisfying to the listener’s ear just as a hard erection would be during intercourse. Don’t try to test him, because if you do…he’ll make you look very stupid. Hence, making an ass out of yourself

My shit is lovely simply meaning that my joint is tight
Amping up the mic, making sure production’s tight

Phife always makes sure that all of the elements are right before spitting his verse so he that sounds his best.

Sometimes I might catch a severe case of writer’s block
But by the end of the day you’ll be on my jock

As all writer’s experience a time when they’re not at their best; this generally does not last very long. Shortly after his writer’s “block”, he’ll be one of your favorite MCs.

My name’s Malik my hobby’s putting MC’s to the test
And if you front I’ll put my foot up in your friggin chest

Malik, is Phife’s government name and in his free time he enjoys pina coladas, long walks on the beach, and oh yeah, battling MCs who think they’re nice. If you step to him and lack skill, your chest is going to feel like it’s caving in.

Freestyle fanatic, and never will it ever stop

Phife will always love to flow off the top of the dome.

You crew is loose, you might just want to call the cops

Your crew is not tightly fixed in place. You may want to call the cops for help.

Aiyyo I gotta put some action on paper

Q-Tip is feeling the need to put the pen to the pad and write some rhymes.

Make sure my verse jump up and spread out like the raper

He wants to make sure his verse catches everyone’s attention and it’s well known just as a serial rapists’ reputation is.

The only tip I got for a waiter
Is watch the doorknob hit me where the dirty dog shoulda bit me

Q-Tip is saying that he’s not leaving you a monetary tip, but he will advise you to watch him leave the establishment while the door closes behind him.  He used to believe that a dog should have bitten him in the behind due to past mistakes. Sort of like karma will come to bite him in the ass.

That was my train of thought, but for so long I fought
Now I’m at a level supreme to the devil

Q-Tip has paid his dues and now he feels he is above the sins and vices associated with the hip hop industry.

So turn up the bass and lay low on the treble
We be the real MC’s and you dead, bring a shovel

To all phony MCs, your time is up and you’re no longer relevant. You might as well just make a grave and bury yourself.

Revitalize, the vital Tribe nigga, WHAT?
The ladies sweat the style like the squirrel sweat the nuts

The squirrels’ efficiency in digesting the kernels of different species of nuts is correlated with the lipid content of the kernels. Squirrels need certain nuts to stay healthy, just as female hip hop fans need real lyricism .

You know a fellas good for the moola
Don’t smoke no woolas, read the name call me Slick Tip the Ruler

If you let Q-Tip borrow money, he’ll always be sure to pay you back. I hardly feel he needs to borrow money nowadays, though. Q-Tip does not smoke the cannabis plant. Slick Tip The Ruler is a play on Slick Rick’s name in the 80’s and 90’s, “Slick Rick The Ruler”. A Slick Rick is also someone who is suave at everything, which Q-Tip is.

Chorus

Verse Two: Q-Tip, Phife

Yo I’ve been treading on this globe man for twenty-five joints

Q-Tip was 25 years old when he wrote this and he’s been traveling the world that long.

Sometimes Shaitan got me by the pressure points

Satan, (or Devil, Eblis, Mephistohpeles, Lucifer,  Belial), is viewed as arch enemy to humanity, or by satanics as a true god to follow.  In “Satanism”, Satan is the self  (praising him is praising oneself).  In “Judaism”, there’s no devil or being that tempts to evil, it is the bad tempt in all humans without embodiment.  In “Christianity”, Satan-Devil is the fallen angel from heaven who wanted to be like God and who is the source of all evil and mischief in the world.  In “Isalm”, Shaitan-Eblees is a djinni made of smokless flame unlike angels made of light. He tempts humans, but humans are a source of evil as well.

But I can break a fella down like sex
You eat Wheat Chex but still light in the ass and can’t flex

Typically in a dance or pop track, the texture is decreased, to give a low-key mood, before the texture of the music is brought up again to raise the emotional level, like sex. And even though you may eat healthy, you still cannot pull your own weight. The term “flex”, is “to show off.” Used by many rappers, most notable Ice Cube and the Geto Boys. Originated in the urban community, and has been used for quite some time.

If one nigga front I’ma make more pay
Cause toniiiiight, we gettin off like O.J.

To front, is to put on a fake or false personality; not keeping it real. “Getting off like O.J.”, well…we all know that story and its ending. Sigh.

And yo I got a Dawg that bites, fuck the barking
Yo I got a crew with the beats and the smarts and

Phife Dawg will bite you with his rhymes. The complete opposite of the phrase, “His bark is worse than his bite”. You have Ali Shaheed on the beats and Q-Tip, Phife Dawg and Jarobi…A, E, I, O, U and sometimes Y. That was said in my best Midnight Marauder guide voice.

I fought my shit up on Linden in the one-nine-two

Phife grew up on Linden Blvd and 192nd in Queens.

Forever writing never biting ain’t shit else to do
Hoping to battle, but most MC’s ain’t ready yet

Biting, is referred to copying another rap artist’s lyrics in a plagiaristic form. This is often done while rapping “freestyle”. Phife looks forward to competing, but most MCs are not on his level yet.

But if they huddle, and word, then this is good as set

In poker, a “set” is considered a 3 of a kind.

You have MC’s dropping bombs that’s incredible
Some of the brothers, their styles are just despicable
As for me see I just do how I love to do
Try to deny me of my props then I’ll be seeing you

Phife isn’t saying he’s the only one that can spit well, but some of them are just awful. He does this because he loves being a MC. If you dry to diss him, then he’ll address you and what you said about him.

Most of you suckers wanna be down for the tag along
The friggin fame, someone tell em that this shit ain’t games

Most rappers don’t have the talent to stay in the business for an extended period of time. They only want to be in it for the fame and money. Phife tries to tell you that it’s hard work and involves a lot of sacrifice…it’s not a game.

You gots to do this from your heart meaning your inner soul
And if it’s real only then will you be on a roll

You have to be a MC because it’s what you truly have a passion for, and every time you spit, it has to be done with tenacity. If this is the case with you, then in time, you will show and prove and be successful.

I try to stay on top my game there ain’t no time to lose
Four albums deep as a Quester but still we payin dues

Phife tries to stay doing extraordinarily well, because rap careers are generally viewed as short lived. A Tribe Called Quest had put out 4 albums at the time of this release and still they were not getting the credit they rightfully deserved.

So hear me out one time, you gots ta be yourself
Cuz if you ain’t yourself you end up by your friggin self
I’m coming rugged with the Linden Boule type of slang
And yo we’ll see who can hang yo

If you pretend to be someone other than who you really are, then others will not want to be around you and support your art. Linden Boulevard was known to be a rough and tough part of Queens, where Q-Tip and Phife grew up together. They’re waiting to see who can keep up with them in the long run.

You on point Tip?
Yo 1nce Again Phife
You on point Tip?
Yo 1nce Again Phife
You on point Tip?
Yo 1nce again Phife
Aiyyo that kid is hard!

Oh, you finally get that A Tribe Called Quest is quite possibly one of the best groups to grace hip hop? GOOD…that was the point!

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