The Round of 64 for Sound of the City’s own version of March Madness—in which you, the Sound of the City voting public, help determine the quintessential New York musician—continues, and you get to vote on who makes it to Round Two. (The schedule and results are here; the full bracket is here. This time out, we return to the Brooklyn division with a matchup between its eight and nine seeds, A Tribe Called Quest and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Cast your vote over on Facebook.
THE YEAH YEAH YEAHS
“We put out a record every three years now; we could easily be forgotten. If you look at a lot of our peers that we came up with, a lot of them have disappeared,” Yeah Yeahs Yeahs frontwoman Karen O told the Los Angeles Times a few years ago. While it’s true that a lot of the acts linked to New York’s rock resurgence of the early naughts have faded from view, Yeah Yeah Yeahs have never found themselves at risk. From the art-damaged punk of debut Fever to Tell to the darkly dance-ready 2009 bid It’s Blitz! (not to mention the soundtracks, groundbreaking videos and one weirdly appropriate mash-up), YYYs have remained one of the most unwaveringly fierce acts to come out of BK in the last decade.
A TRIBE CALLED QUEST
In contemporary hip-hop’s endless rabbithole of increasingly divided subcultures, A Tribe Called Quest are often reduced to merely godfathers of “conscious” rap. But fuck that: At a time when the hip-hop nation was still small enough to reach a consensus on anything, Tribe were as central to pre-Death Row hip-hop as anyone. Few, if any, have pumped out back-to-back classics as essential as The Low End Theory and Midnight Marauders, and they were as fun and rowdy as they were heady and adventurous, while Q-Tip’s guiding hand for future Queens legends Nas and Mobb Deep should silence any concerns about street cred. And while Phife Dawg’s role as Q-Tip’s de facto sidekick is a sore spot that has recently both fueled and nearly derailed a documentary about the group, the funky diabetic remains perhaps rap’s most talented and quotable second banana.
Head over to Facebook to cast your vote.