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Lead Performance: A Tribe Called Quest; Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

The New York rap trio's third effort sounds as fresh as their first. As funky as it is, the smooth-as-butter musical production -- propelled by a bouncy acoustic bass -- doesn't overpower as much as it gently settles into a groove. Backed by this jazzy, whimsical vibe, rappers Phife and Q-Tip manage to hold our attention without resorting to gun references or expletives.

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