Jazz
A Tribe Called Quest Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

We got the jazz, we got the jazz
We got the jazz, we got the jazz
We got the jazz, we got the jazz
We got the jazz, we got the jazz

Stern firm and young with a laid-back tongue
The aim is to succeed and achieve at 21
Just like Ringling Brothers, I'll daze and astound
Captivate the mass, 'cause the prose was profound
Do it for the strong, we do it for the meek
Boom it in your boom it in your boom it in your Jeep
Or your Honda or your Beemer or your Legend or your Benz
The rave of the town to your foes and your friends
So push it, along, trails, we blaze
Don't deserve the gong, don't deserve the praise
The tranquility will make ya unball your fist
For we put hip-hop on a brand new twist
A brand new twist with a whole heap of mystic
So low-key that ya probably missed it
And yet it's so loud that it stands in the crowd
When the guy takes the beat, they bowed
So raise up squire, address your attire
We have no time to wallow in the mire
If you're on a foreign path, then let me do the lead
Join in the essence of the cool-out breed
Then cool out to the music cause it makes ya feel serene
With the birds and the bees and all those groovy things
Like getting stomach aches when ya gotta go to work
Or staring into space when you're feeling berserk
I don't really mind if it's over your head
'Cause the job of resurrectors is to wake up the dead
So pay attention, it's not hard to decipher
And after the horns, you can check out the Phifer

We got the jazz, we got the jazz
We got the jazz, we got the jazz
We got the jazz, we got the jazz
We got the jazz, we got the jazz

Competition, dem try fi come sideway
But competition, dem must come straight way
Competition, dem try fi come sideway
But competition, dem must come straight way
Hows' about that? It seems like it's my turn again
All through the years my mic has been my best friend
I know some brothers wonder, can Phifer really kick it?
Some even wanna diss me, but why sweat it?
I'm all into my music cause it's how I make papes
Tryin' to make hits, like Kid Capri makes tapes
Me sweat another? I do my own thing
Strictly hardcore tracks, not a new jack swing
I grew up as a Christian so to Jah I give thanks
Collect my banks, listen to Shabba Ranks
I sing, and chat, I do all of that
It's 1991 and I refuse to come wack
I take off my hat to other crews that tend to rock
But the Low End Theory's here, it's time to wreck shop
I got Tip and Shah, so whom shall I fear?
Stop look and listen, but please don't stare
So jet to the store, and buy the LP
On Jive/RCA, cassettes and CD's
Produced and arranged by the four-man crew
And oh shit, Skiff Anselm, he gets props too
Make sure you have a system with some phat house speakers
So the new shit can rock, from Mars to Massapequa
'Cause where I come from quality is job one
And everybody up on Linden know we get the job done
So peace to that crew, and peace to this crew
Bring on the tour, we'll see you at a theatre nearest you

Ayo but wait, back it up, hup, easy back it up
Please let the Abstract embellish on the cut
Back and forth just like a Cameo song
If you dig this joint then please come dance along
To the music cause it's done just for the rhyme
Now I gotta scat and get mine, underline
The jazz, the what? The jazz can move that ass
For the Tribe originates that feelin' of pizzazz
It's the universal sound, best to brothers underground
In the ones six below, ya didn't have to go
Some say that I'm eccentric 'cause I once had an orgy
And sometimes for breakfast I eat grits and porgies
If this is a stinker, then call me a skunk, I ask
"What? What? What?" now, check it out

All my peoples in Queens ya don't stop
Now all my peoples in Brooklyn ya don't stop
And all my peoples uptown ya don't stop
That includes the Bronx and Harlem ya don't stop
Now to that girl Ramelle ya don't stop
I say because Ladies First ya don't stop
And to the JB's, ya don't stop
And De La Soul, ya don't stop
To my Brand Nubians ya don't stop
And to my Leaders of the New ya don't stop
To my man Large Professor ya don't stop
Pete Rock for the beat ya don't stop
Everybody in the place ya don't stop
Ya keep it on, to the rhythm, ya don't stop




And last but not least on the sure shot
It's the Zulu nation

Overall Meaning

The song "Jazz (We've Got)" by A Tribe Called Quest is a tribute to the group's jazz influences and their love for the music. The lyrics describe the power of jazz music to captivate and enthrall listeners, and the importance of coolness and tranquility to the hip-hop art form. The chorus repeats the phrase "we've got the jazz" to reinforce this relationship between jazz music and hip-hop culture. The verses boast of the group's prowess and talent, using metaphors related to the circus, such as "Ringling Brothers" and "the rave of the town," to describe their entertaining and impressive style. The vocal delivery is smooth and laid-back, with a jazzy flow that compliments the instrumental backing.


One of the most interesting facts about this song is that it features a sample from the jazz standard "Povo" by Freddie Hubbard, which contributes to the song's overall jazz vibe. The song was also included on A Tribe Called Quest's second album, "The Low End Theory," which is widely regarded as one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time. Another interesting fact is that Q-Tip, one of the group's members, produced the track with co-production from Ali Shaheed Muhammad. The song has been heavily sampled by other artists, including Deee-Lite and Tupac Shakur.


The chord progression for this song is fairly simple, with a repetitive bassline and jazzy piano chords. The main chord progression is as follows:


Verse: Emaj7 – F#m7 – G#m7 – A
Chorus: Emaj7 – F#m7 – G#m7 – A


Overall, "Jazz (We've Got)" is a timeless classic that showcases the intersection between jazz and hip-hop and celebrates the unique coolness and tranquility of both genres. The song has influenced countless artists over the years and remains a standout track in A Tribe Called Quest's discography.


Line by Line Meaning

We got the jazz, we got the jazz
We have the essence and style of jazz music in our music


Stern firm and young with a laid-back tongue
We are serious, confident, and skilled with a relaxed and smooth delivery


The aim is to succeed and achieve at 21
Our goal is to be successful and accomplished by the age of 21


Just like Ringling Brothers, I'll daze and astound
Similar to the circus, we will amaze and astonish you


Captivate the mass, 'cause the prose was profound
We will captivate the audience with our profound lyrics


Do it for the strong, we do it for the meek
We make music for both the powerful and the marginalized


Boom it in your boom it in your boom it in your Jeep
Blast our music from your car stereo


Or your Honda or your Beemer or your Legend or your Benz
Whether you drive a Honda, Beemer, Legend, or Benz


The rave of the town to your foes and your friends
Our music is celebrated by both supporters and critics


So push it, along, trails, we blaze
We push our music forward, making our own path


Don't deserve the gong, don't deserve the praise
We don't need awards or excessive praise


The tranquility will make ya unball your fist
Our mellow and soothing music will make you relax


For we put hip-hop on a brand new twist
We bring a fresh and unique style to hip-hop


A brand new twist with a whole heap of mystic
Our innovative approach has a mystical quality


So low-key that ya probably missed it
Our subtlety may have gone unnoticed


And yet it's so loud that it stands in the crowd
Despite being understated, our music stands out


When the guy takes the beat, they bowed
When our MC takes control of the beat, they are respected


So raise up squire, address your attire
Get up and present yourself with confidence


We have no time to wallow in the mire
We don't have time to dwell in negativity


If you're on a foreign path, then let me do the lead
If you're unfamiliar with our music, let us guide you


Join in the essence of the cool-out breed
Become a part of the relaxed and cool community


Then cool out to the music 'cause it makes ya feel serene
Relax and enjoy the music, as it brings a sense of calm


With the birds and the bees and all those groovy things
Incorporating elements of nature and positivity


Like getting stomach aches when ya gotta go to work
The stress and anxiety of going to work


Or staring into space when you're feeling berserk
The moments of feeling overwhelmed and lost


I don't really mind if it's over your head
I don't care if you don't fully understand it


'Cause the job of resurrectors is to wake up the dead
Our role as artists is to revitalize and inspire


So pay attention, it's not hard to decipher
Listen closely, the message is clear


And after the horns, you can check out the Phifer
After the musical interlude, listen to Phife Dawg's verse


Competition, dem try fi come sideway
Competitors try to come from different angles


But competition, dem must come straight way
But they must come straight ahead


Hows' about that? It seems like it's my turn again
How about that? It's my time to shine once more


All through the years my mic has been my best friend
Throughout my career, my microphone has been my closest companion


I know some brothers wonder, can Phifer really kick it?
Some doubt my abilities, can I truly deliver?


Some even wanna diss me, but why sweat it?
Some even want to criticize me, but I don't bother with it


I'm all into my music 'cause it's how I make papes
I am fully dedicated to my music because it brings me success


Tryin' to make hits, like Kid Capri makes tapes
Striving to create popular songs, like Kid Capri's mixtapes


Me sweat another? I do my own thing
I don't worry about others, I focus on my own path


Strictly hardcore tracks, not a new jack swing
I create hard-hitting tracks, not conforming to trends


I grew up as a Christian so to Jah I give thanks
I was raised as a Christian, so I express gratitude to God


Collect my banks, listen to Shabba Ranks
I accumulate wealth while enjoying the music of Shabba Ranks


I sing, and chat, I do all of that
I sing and rap, utilizing different vocal techniques


It's 1991 and I refuse to come wack
In the year 1991, I am determined to deliver great music


I take off my hat to other crews that tend to rock
I pay respect to other talented music groups


But the Low End Theory's here, it's time to wreck shop
But our album, The Low End Theory, is making an impact


I got Tip and Shah, so whom shall I fear?
I have Q-Tip and Shah, so I have nothing to worry about


Stop look and listen, but please don't stare
Pay attention, but don't be too intrusive


So jet to the store, and buy the LP
Go quickly to the store and purchase our album


On Jive/RCA, cassettes and CD's
Available on Jive/RCA, in cassette and CD format


Produced and arranged by the four-man crew
Created and organized by the four members of the group


And oh shit, Skiff Anselm, he gets props too
And don't forget to give credit to Skiff Anselm


Make sure you have a system with some phat house speakers
Ensure you have a good sound system for optimal music listening


So the new shit can rock, from Mars to Massapequa
So our new music can be enjoyed everywhere


'Cause where I come from quality is job one
In my hometown, emphasis is placed on quality


And everybody up on Linden know we get the job done
Everyone in our neighborhood knows we are successful


So peace to that crew, and peace to this crew
Peace and respect to all music groups


Bring on the tour, we'll see you at a theater nearest you
Prepare for our upcoming tour, we will perform near you


Ayo but wait, back it up, hup, easy back it up
Wait a minute, rewind and pause for a moment


Please let the Abstract embellish on the cut
Allow the Abstract (Q-Tip) to explain further


Back and forth just like a Cameo song
Back and forth like the style of a Cameo song


If you dig this joint then please come dance along
If you enjoy this song, join us in dancing to it


To the music cause it's done just for the rhyme
Dance to the music because it's created for the sake of art


Now I gotta scat and get mine, underline
Now I need to freestyle and do my thing


The jazz, the what? The jazz can move that ass
Jazz music can make you dance


For the Tribe originates that feelin' of pizzazz
We, A Tribe Called Quest, bring that unique and exciting vibe


It's the universal sound, best to brothers underground
Our music has a universal appeal, especially to those in the underground scene


In the ones six below, ya didn't have to go
In the lower socioeconomic class, you don't have to conform


Some say that I'm eccentric 'cause I once had an orgy
Some consider me eccentric because of my past experiences


And sometimes for breakfast I eat grits and porgies
Occasionally, I have unconventional meals like grits and porgies


If this is a stinker, then call me a skunk, I ask
If you think this song is bad, then I embrace that criticism


"What? What? What?" now, check it out
"What? What? What?" Now, pay attention to this next part


All my peoples in Queens ya don't stop
To all my people in Queens, keep going


Now all my peoples in Brooklyn ya don't stop
To all my people in Brooklyn, keep going


And all my peoples uptown ya don't stop
To all my people uptown, keep going


That includes the Bronx and Harlem ya don't stop
That includes the Bronx and Harlem, keep going


Now to that girl Ramelle ya don't stop
To that girl Ramelle, keep going


I say because Ladies First ya don't stop
I say that because of the song 'Ladies First,' keep going


And to the JB's, ya don't stop
To the JB's, keep going


And De La Soul, ya don't stop
To De La Soul, keep going


To my Brand Nubians ya don't stop
To Brand Nubians, keep going


And to my Leaders of the New ya don't stop
To Leaders of the New, keep going


To my man Large Professor ya don't stop
To Large Professor, keep going


Pete Rock for the beat ya don't stop
Pete Rock for the beat, keep going


Everybody in the place ya don't stop
Everyone in the place, keep going


Ya keep it on, to the rhythm, ya don't stop
Keep it going, stay in tune with the rhythm


And last but not least on the sure shot
Lastly, on the guaranteed hit


It's the Zulu nation
It represents the Zulu nation




Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Reservoir Media Management, Inc., Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
Written by: Kamaal Ibn John Fareed, Ali Shaheed Jones-Muhammad, Malik Izaak Taylor, Bronislaw Kaper, Ned Washington

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Most interesting comment from YouTube:

@Popu_GTB

Jazz (We’ve Got) samples:

Jimmy McGriff - Green Dolphin Street
The Dells - Segue 2: Funky Breeze/Ghetto Scene (Vocals) 0:13
Five Stairsteps - Don’t Change Your Love (Drums)
The Doors - Light My Fire (Lyrics) 0:56
Ninja Man - Murder Dem (Lyrics) 1:37

Props to Pete Rock for producing the beat👍🏻

3:35 Buggin’ Out Samples:

Lonnie Smith - Spinning Wheels (Drums)
Jack Dejohnette’s Directions - Minya’s the Mooch (Bass Guitar)



All comments from YouTube:

@JFloatin

When everyone does their jobs in a group project:

@thechannelofagerbil5036

Lmao

@amipadme3985

👍🏾👍🏾👍🏾👍🏾👍🏾

@Jmschstn

Well put

@Amanda-fw9lc

Yes! Good one

@stephen300o6

What?

33 More Replies...

@tricckk2976

Jazz Rap is just unmatched. Good music never dies this shit will always be fire

@sanidarryl7052

That high hat is the FUNK .

@Ryan-zm2nr

Bet you cream over The Roots

@magicpotionstudios9519

Excuse me sir, this is 90s Hip-Hop, not "Jazz Rap".

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