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Description Of A Fool
A Tribe Called Quest Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

Fool, defined in Webster's
Open up the book, read it, read it
Turn the page, see what it says
Read it to me, will you please?

(One who acts doltishly
So what, what does it mean to me?)
That's you (how's that?) 'cause of the way you act (Huh?)
Standing on the corner selling Girbauds (what you talking bout?)
Scaling your friends and also your foes
What's the matter with you boy? (Ain't nothing wrong with me, mother)
You big galoot (huh?), you nincompoop (what?)
What's wrong witchu? You can't compute (Yes sure I can compute)
Don't fix your lips to tell me you can
Standing on the poley playing pusher man
What you got to do with yourself? (Oh what?)
Can't you be somebody else? (No)
Look at you described to a tee (huh)
You're a fool of many in society
I know some more, I shall go on
And continue in the song, fooled the fool

Man I don't know what you're talkin' 'bout callin' me a fool
I've been out here for twenty-some-odd years
Doin' my thing, I ain't no fool, man
You crazy or something?
I'm gonna stick this, right up your

The girl I talked to she's sort of neurotic (yeah)
Her crazy ex-boyfriend is really psychotic (uh-huh)
Scares the girl by threatening her life (word)
Says, "Girl, you're dead if you're not my wife" (oh man)
Beats in her public, beats her in private (yes)
Tried it 'round me, almost a riot (what you mean?)
Said, "Forget him, don't you know he's a loser?"

Who would love a woman turn around and abuse her? (oh)
Only a fool as described by the Tribe
Here's another one who's on the fool vibe (okay)
Gonna make it short, gonna make it quick (why?)
For this situation makes me sick (oh)
See your brother man, with the female (yeah)
His crazy ego tryna show he'll prevail (aha)
In any situation, Lady Luck's on his side (word)
Emotions run free, nothing he will hide
Why, I remember one sunny day (yeah)
Took my cousin to the park so we can play (yeah, park)
On the way, a couple resembled
The one I just described, everything assembled
Another young man walked in their direction (yeah)
Bumped him a bit, excused his imperfection
But the man with the lady grabbed the other by the neck
Demanded an apology and also respect (uh-huh uh-huh)
The young man, aggravated, grabbed him back and smacked him
The girl just laughed and laughed and laughed at him (oh man!)
He felt ashamed for what he had done
It looked like a fool to everyone (oh!)
These are three stories from the naked city (yeah)
Reality, is sometimes a ditty (yeah uh huh)
Like Rod Serling from The Twilight Zone
Earth to your brain, is anyone home? (What you talking 'bout?)
I see ya there, trying to make amends
Try to make some friends, but now my story ends (oh man!)
On the note, that I just wrote
Stay afloat on the reality boat (oh)
Slow down and think and take it cool
And try to avoid the description of a

Overall Meaning

The lyrics of A Tribe Called Quest's song "Description of a Fool" attempt to define the term "fool" and apply it to various individuals in society. The first verse begins with the dictionary definition of a fool, and then the singer directs the definition towards someone he knows, criticizing their behavior of selling stolen clothes and causing trouble. The second verse tells three stories of individuals who are being foolish in their relationships, either by being abusive or getting into fights. The chorus repeats the phrase "Fooled the fool" several times, representing how these foolish individuals are ultimately hurting themselves and their own reputations.


The lyrics paint a picture of how society often shames and ridicules individuals who act foolishly, as it highlights various scenarios where people's actions are seen as negative and unwise. The song's theme suggests that people should be more aware of their actions and how they are perceived by others to avoid being labeled a fool. It is also a message for society as a whole to not judge people based on their actions, and to try and help them out of difficult situations.


Line by Line Meaning

Fool, defined in Webster's
The word 'fool' is explained in the dictionary


Open up the book, read it, read it
Look at the definition and read it aloud


Turn the page, see what it says
Flip the page and see if there's more information


Read it to me, will you please?
Please read the definition to me


(One who acts doltishly
A person who behaves foolishly


So what, what does it mean to me?)
What's the significance of that to me?


That's you (how's that?) 'cause of the way you act (Huh?)
You behave foolishly like the person in the definition


Standing on the corner selling Girbauds (what you talking bout?)
You sell clothes on the street corner


Scaling your friends and also your foes
You betray both your friends and enemies


What's the matter with you boy? (Ain't nothing wrong with me, mother)
What's your problem? (You deny having one)


You big galoot (huh?), you nincompoop (what?)
You're a big clumsy fool


What's wrong witchu? You can't compute (Yes sure I can compute)
What's your issue? Can't you understand?


Don't fix your lips to tell me you can
Don't lie to me and say you can


Standing on the poley playing pusher man
You sell drugs on the street


What you got to do with yourself? (Oh what?)
Why don't you have anything better to do?


Can't you be somebody else? (No)
Can't you be a different person?


Look at you described to a tee (huh)
You fit the definition perfectly


You're a fool of many in society
You're one of many foolish people


I know some more, I shall go on
I can give more examples


And continue in the song, fooled the fool
And keep singing about foolishness


Man I don't know what you're talkin' 'bout callin' me a fool
I don't understand why you're calling me a fool


I've been out here for twenty-some-odd years
I've been around for a long time


Doin' my thing, I ain't no fool, man
I'm doing what I want and I'm not foolish


You crazy or something?
Are you crazy or something?


I'm gonna stick this, right up your
I'm going to hurt you


The girl I talked to she's sort of neurotic (yeah)
The girl I spoke with is anxious or unstable


Her crazy ex-boyfriend is really psychotic (uh-huh)
Her ex is mentally ill and dangerous


Scares the girl by threatening her life (word)
He terrifies her by threatening to kill her


Says, 'Girl, you're dead if you're not my wife' (oh man)
He says she'll die if she's not with him


Beats in her public, beats her in private (yes)
He physically abuses her in front of others and in private


Tried it 'round me, almost a riot (what you mean?)
He almost caused a fight when he tried to abuse her in front of me


Said, 'Forget him, don't you know he's a loser?'
I told her to leave him because he's a failure


Who would love a woman turn around and abuse her? (oh)
Who would love someone and then hurt them?


Only a fool as described by the Tribe
The Tribe thinks only a fool would do that


Here's another one who's on the fool vibe (okay)
Here's another person acting foolishly


Gonna make it short, gonna make it quick (why?)
I'll keep it brief


For this situation makes me sick (oh)
This situation disgusts me


See your brother man, with the female (yeah)
I see a man with a woman


His crazy ego tryna show he'll prevail (aha)
He's trying to prove he's superior with his oversized ego


In any situation, Lady Luck's on his side (word)
He always seems to be lucky in every situation


Emotions run free, nothing he will hide
He's not afraid to express his feelings


Why, I remember one sunny day (yeah)
I recall a nice day


Took my cousin to the park so we can play (yeah, park)
I went with my cousin to the park to have fun


On the way, a couple resembled
We saw a couple that looked like


The one I just described, everything assembled
The couple matched the description I gave earlier


Another young man walked in their direction (yeah)
Someone else walked towards them


Bumped him a bit, excused his imperfection
He made a small mistake, but the couple forgave him


But the man with the lady grabbed the other by the neck
The man with the woman grabbed the other man's throat


Demanded an apology and also respect (uh-huh uh-huh)
He wanted an apology and to be respected


The young man, aggravated, grabbed him back and smacked him
The other man fought back and hit him


The girl just laughed and laughed and laughed at him (oh man!)
The woman found it amusing


He felt ashamed for what he had done
He regretted his actions


It looked like a fool to everyone (oh!)
Everyone thought he was foolish


These are three stories from the naked city (yeah)
These are three real stories


Reality, is sometimes a ditty (yeah uh huh)
Real life can be like a song


Like Rod Serling from The Twilight Zone
Like the TV show host who took viewers to strange places


Earth to your brain, is anyone home? (What you talking 'bout?)
Are you paying attention?


I see ya there, trying to make amends
I see you trying to fix things


Try to make some friends, but now my story ends (oh man!)
You're trying to befriend others, but that's the end of my story


On the note, that I just wrote
With the message I just conveyed


Stay afloat on the reality boat (oh)
Stay aware of reality


Slow down and think and take it cool
Relax and think things through


And try to avoid the description of a fool.
And avoid behaving foolishly.




Lyrics Β© BMG Rights Management, Universal Music Publishing Group, Downtown Music Publishing
Written by: Roy Ayers, Ali Shaheed Jones-Muammad, Kamaal Ibn Jonathan Davis Fareed, Edwin Birdsong

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
To comment on or correct specific content, highlight it

Most interesting comment from YouTube:

@Pride317

Lyrics

[Intro: Q-Tip]
Fool: defined in Webster's
Open up the book, read it read it
Turn the page, see what it says
Read it to me will you, please

[Verse 1: Q-Tip]
One who acts doltishly
So what? What does it mean to me
That's you (how's that?) Cause of the way you act (huh?!)
Standing on the corner selling jumbos
(What you talking bout?)
Scaring your friends and also your foes
What's the matter wit'cha boy?
(Ain't nothing wrong with me, mother...)
You big galoot (huh?), you nincompoop (what?)
What's wrong wit' you? You can't compute
(Yes, sure I can compute)
Don't fix your lips to tell me you can
Standing on the boulie playing pusher man
What you got to do with yourself? (why?)
Can't you be somebody else? (no)
Look at you described to a tee (huh)
You're a fool of many in society (crazy)
I know some more, I shall go on
And continue in the song, fooled the fool

[Interlude]
"Fool" - scratched by Ali Shaheed
(Man I don't know what you're talking bout calling me a fool
I've been out here for twenty-some-odd years
Doing my thing, I ain't no fool, man
You crazy or something?
I'm gonna stick this, right up your...)

[Verse 2: Q-Tip]
The girl I talked to she's sort of neurotic (yeah)
Her crazy ex-boyfriend is really psychotic (uh-huh)
Scares the girl by threatening her life (word)
Says "Girl, you're dead if you're not my wife" (oh, man)
Beats in her public, beats her in private
Tried it 'round me, almost a riot (what you gon' do?)
Said "Forget him, don't you know he's a loser
Who would love a woman turn around and abuse her?" (oh)
Only a fool as described by the Tribe
Here's another one who's on the fool vibe (okay)
Gonna make it short, gonna make it quick (why?)
For this situation makes me sick (oh)
See your brother man, with a female (yeah)
His crazy ego tried to show he'll prevail (aha)
In any situation lady luck's on his side (word)
Emotions run free, nothing he will hide
Why I remember one sunny day (yeah)
Took my cousin to the park, so we can play (yeah, park)
On the way, a couple resembled
The one I just described, everything assembled
Another young man walked in their direction (yeah)
Bumped him a bit, excused his imperfection (mhm hm)
But the man with the lady grabbed the other by the neck (mhm hm)
Demanded an apology and also respect (uh-huh, uh-huh)
The young man aggravated grabbed him back and smacked him
The girl just laughed and laughed and laughed at him (oh man!)
He felt ashamed for what he had done
It looked like a fool to everyone (Oh!)
These are three stories from the naked city (yeah)
Reality, is sometimes a ditty (yeah, uh huh)
Like Rod Serling from The Twilight Zone
Earth to your brain--is anyone home? (what you talking bout?)
I see ya there, trying to make amends
Try to make some friends, but now my story ends (oh man!)
On the note, that I just wrote
Stay afloat on the reality boat (oh)
Slow down and think and take it cool
And try to avoid the description of a...

(Awesome Solo)



All comments from YouTube:

@milostyle7875

And that's how a masterpiece album gets finish... letting the beat play out.

@haroldhollemanii3309

Frfr😭😭😭😭😭

@jumaaustin667

WHAT OTHER SONGS CAN YOU REMEMBER THAT THE END THE BEAT RIDES ON

@suvayamahamosquitocontrol

Concussion 🏈 @#NoeticS

@yunkarti

@Juma Austin paid in full

@lsky4446

WORD!!!πŸ’―πŸ”₯

@jarbon5

"Low End Theory" always gets mentioned when people speak of the greatness of the Tribe, but this album deserves mentioning too when speaking of Tribe's greatness. Like "Low End Theory", this is one of the greatest hip hop albums ever made. Truly a timeless classic!

@IvyProsper

Agreed!!

@miguelrosado7014

Alot of true tribers side with peoples album as #1 Tribe album all time. So you not off there.
To me beats rhymes and life was my vibe because it was party live lol. Can't leave out midnight marauders but maybe it had less classics so

@esmooth919

My cousin introduced me to this group with this album. I've been listening to this joint since I was a baby, and I still listen today.

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