Native Tongues

The Native Tounges is a New York-based collective of alternative hip-hop artists, with the principal members being A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul and Jungle Brothers. The collective is renowned for their good-natured, abstract, open-minded and Afrocentric lyrics, and for being trailblazers when it comes to eclectic sampling.

The collective never recorded anything under the name Native Tongues, and were also fairly restrictive when it came to releasing collaborations. Only a few notable crew cuts exist.

Jungle Brothers, De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest formed the core of the crew, creating music inspired by acts such as Zulu Nation and Afrika Bambaataa. By the late 1980s, they had been joined by Monie Love (from the UK) and Queen Latifah, and before long Black Sheep and Chi-Ali became a part of the collective as well.

The songs from The Native Tounges spans a wide range of themes, from spirituality and race issues to sex and simply enjoying life. They are often hailed as pinoeers of alternative hip hop and socially concious hip hop.

The members had a large impact on the development of hip hop in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Towards the end of this era, many of them began incorporating jazz into their tracks, spearheading the jazz rap movement.

The various groups started to grew distant from each other in the 1990s, but the collective did come togehter in 1996 for the Jungle Brother’s “How Ya Want It We Got It (Native Tongues Remix)”. By now, latter-day additions to the collective was present, such as Da Bush Babees, Mos Def, Common, The Roots, DJ S.T.R.E.S.S, and Truth Enola. In 1998, the “Rock Rock Ya’ll” track on A Tribe Called Quest’s album “The Love Movement” features Mos Def, Jane Doe, Punchline & Wordsworth.


Core members

  • A Tribe Called Quest (Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Jarobi White)
  • De La Soul (Posdnuos, Trugoy, and Maseo)
  • Black Sheep (Dres and Mista Lawnge)
  • Chi-Ali
  • Fu-Schnickens (Chip Fu, Moc Fu and Poc Fu)
  • Jungle Brothers (Mike Gee, Sammy B, Afrika Baby Bam)
  • Lucien Revolucien
  • Monie Love
  • Queen Latifah

Peripheral members

Name Additional info
Brand Nubian Grand Puba

Sadat X

Lord Jamar

DJ Alamo

DJ Sincere

Common Common is the stage name for Lonnie Corant Jaman Shuka Rashid Lynn Jr.
Da Bush Babees




Lord Khaliyl

DJ S.T.R.E.S.S. Scott Crary
J Dilla J Dilla was the stage name of James Dewitt Yancey, who lived 1974-2006
Leaders of the New School Busta Rhymes

Charlie Brown

Dinco D


Mos Def Dante Terrell Smith / Yasiin Bey
Shorty No Mas  
The Beatnuts Psycho Les



The Parhcyde Bootie Brown





Truth Enola  
VLNZ This hip-hop collective is affiliated with Blvck Gang Familia and Raider Klan


Late 1980s and early 1990s.


Examples of collaborations

1988 “Black is Black” by Jungle Brothers feat. Q-Tip, from Straight out the Jungle
1988 “The Promo” by Jungle Brothers feat. Q-Tip, from Straight out the Jungle
1989 “Buddy” by De La Soul featuring Jungle Brothers and Q-Tip from Tribe Called Quest, from 3 Feet High and Rising
1989 “Description” De La Soul featuring Q-Tip and Prince Paul, from 3 Feet High and Rising
1989 “Buddy (Native Tongues Decision)” by De La Soul featuring Jungle Brothers, A Tribe Called Quest, Monie Love, and Queen Latifah, from “Buddy” 12-inch single
1989 “The Mack Daddy on the Left” by De La Soul from “Say No Go” 12-inch single
1989 “Doin’ Our Own Dang” by Jungle Brothers feat. De La Soul, Queen Latifah, Q-Tip and Monie Love, from Done by the Forces of Nature
1989 “Mama Gave Birth to the Soul Children” by Queen Latifah featuring De La Soul, from All Hail the Queen
1989 “Ladies First” by Queen Latifah featuring Monie Love, from All Hail The Queen
1990 “Swiney Swiney” by Monie Love featuring De La Soul, from Down to Earth
1991 “Scenario” by A Tribe Called Quest featuring Leaders of the New School, from The Low End Theory
1991 “La Menage” by Black Sheep featuring Q-Tip, from A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
1991 “A Roller Skating Jam Named “Saturdays”” by De La Soul featuring Q-Tip and Vinia Mojica, from De La Soul is Dead
1991 “Fanatic Of The B Word” by De La Soul featuring Dres and Mike G, from De La Soul is Dead
1993 “Award Tour” by A Tribe Called Quest featuring Trugoy, from Midnight Marauders
1994 “Sh. Fe. MC’s” by De La Soul featuring A Tribe Called Quest, from Clear Lake Auditorium EP
1996 “How Ya Want It We Got It (Native Tongues Remix)” by Jungle Brothers featuring Q-Tip and De La Soul, from Raw Deluxe
1997 “Rumble in the Jungle” by The Fugees featuring John Forté, A Tribe Called Quest, and Busta Rhymes, from When We Were Kings Soundtrack
1998 “Rock Rock, Y’all” by A Tribe Called Quest featuring Pvunch, Jane Doe, Words, and Mos Def, from The Love Movement
1999 “Bang” by Maseo featuring Truth Enola, DCQ, Mike G (of the Jungle Brothers) and Indeed
1999 “Vivrant Thang (Remix)” by Q-Tip featuring Busta Rhymes & Missy Elliott