Hanif Abdurraqib tells the history of A Tribe Called Quest, hip hop and his own coming of age in Ohio in Go Ahead In The Rain. It is a story of evolution, growing up and growing apart.
The opening of the book describes the origins of hip hop being rooted in traditional African methods of communication that has pervaded black music since African slaves were first brought to America. Hanif then invites the reader into his childhood and shares the moment he discovers A Tribe Called Quest. He documents Tribe’s inception, their rise, their trials and tribulations, and their loss (R.I.P. Phife).
Go Ahead In The Rain is a story of growth, and with growth comes growing pains. Hanif does a good job of conveying this as his writing perspective shifts from adoring letter from a fan, to personal notes of empathy aimed at the group as a whole at times, and addressing individual members when the subject matter calls for it.
Being a fan of ATCQ that grew up listening to their music, I enjoyed this book as it reminded me of a number of 80’s and 90’s hip hop moments. The author’s storytelling is creative making for an entertaining read even if you’re not a ATCQ fanatic. At 216 pages long it’s a relatively swift and enjoyable read.