Clap Your Hands – Unraveling the Rhythmic Revelations

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Tribe Called Quest's Clap Your Hands at
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. A Sonic Slam: Wrestling with Metaphors and Making Waves
  5. Unwrapping the ‘Real’: Tribe’s Navigational Map for Hip Hop Authenticity
  6. Dynamic Duos and Cultural Crossovers: Tribe’s Homage to Iconic Partnerships
  7. Decoding the Beat: Understanding Tribe’s Compulsion to Rhythm
  8. A Tribe Called Quest’s Intellectual Caress: The Ill Rendition and Its Echoes


Brothers know the flavs when the Quest gets loose

Slamming sucker fuckers like the wrestler Zeus

Crazier than 2Pac in the flick called Juice

Cock is longer than the hat worn by Dr. Seuss

Love a girl in Daisy Dukes like them kids called Duice

Gets paid to sex the hoochie like my main man Luke

Control the mic like Denzel on the girls

Wack MCs be on the nuts like Rocket J. Squirrel

The worst thing in the world is a sucker MC

Favorite rap group in the world is EPMD

Can’t forget the De La, due to originality

And if I ever went solo my favorite MC would be me

Phife Dawg up in the house, I give a shout out to Snoopy

Peace to all the Questers, to hell with the groupies

Like um, Ralph Malph to Potsie, Brooklyn to Dodger

Laverne to Shirley, Rerun to Roger

Ren to the Stimpy, Laurel to Hardy

Q-Tip and Phife, they mashed up the party

Kick the rhymes and more rhymes

Kick the beats and more beats

We’ll have you scratching in your head like Shaheed on Technics

For those who wanna oppose then take a stand

But for now, just shut your shit and clap your hands

You just wanna dance man, then clap your hands

If you venture up the wrong road, then the circumstance

Will be crucial, I got hundreds of rhymes that’ll suit you

So listen

The Abstract intuition is very very worthy

I can feel ya out from Russia to Jersey

Can’t understand the underground, it gets deep

The Lo, the Nikes, the links, the jeeps

The women, the lingo, and all the other goods

Peace to the hoods, keep my shit on play

Please don’t do the mute when you hear me on the juke

Brothers know the angle, it’s the Star-Spangled black banner

Hook up the beats at the funk manor

If you want a roll, then the dough I be raking

The scope is on the world cos it’s mine for the taking

You know I’m gonna do it

My shit is rock solid, but it flows like fluid

Chemists get confused of my ill composition

This is the third of the new Tribe addition

MCs be swinging, but a lot of them be missing

So shut your bloodclot and listen

Cuz I’m bringin you the ill rendition

I’d like to send this out to the L.E.S

Gotta a lot of rhythm and style and finesse

Come here love, hot sex on a plat

And when your done with that then clap

Keep bouncing

Full Lyrics

When A Tribe Called Quest released ‘Clap Your Hands,’ it wasn’t just another track to get the listener grooving—it was a cerebral symphony, a layered invitation to explore the psyche of a vibrant era in hip hop. With beats that make your head nod as instinctively as your palms meet in applause, ‘Clap Your Hands’ is an invitation into the complex world of the early ’90s rap scene. But beyond the undeniable hook and the intricate rhythms, there’s a poetry in motion, a coded message waiting to be unfurled.

Diving into each verse is akin to peeling back the curtain on a collective consciousness that reigned supreme in Tribe’s golden age. Phife Dawg and Q-Tip, the masterminds behind the lyrics, didn’t just rap; they painted sociocultural murals with their words. As we navigate through the linguistic labyrinth laid out in ‘Clap Your Hands,’ the intention is to shine a light on the deeper meanings and celebrate the wit and wisdom embedded in one of A Tribe Called Quest’s most emblematic anthems.

A Sonic Slam: Wrestling with Metaphors and Making Waves

Opening with a reference to Zeus, the wrestling titan, Tribe sets up the track as a metaphorical power show, positioning themselves amid the landscape of hip hop gladiators of the time. This isn’t just a song; it’s a cultural takedown, a lyrical body slam against ‘sucker fuckers’—the inauthentic, the weak, the imitators. Tribe knew they were the real deal and weren’t afraid to tussle with the mainstream and come out on top.

‘Crazier than 2Pac in the flick called Juice’ is more than a shout-out to a peer. It’s an acknowledgment of the escalating intensity and raw emotional power that gripped the genre. Tupac’s portrayal of Bishop in ‘Juice’ exemplified a turning point in hip hop’s narrative, one where the lines between the streets and the studio blurred, echoing the authenticity Tribe sought to embody.

Unwrapping the ‘Real’: Tribe’s Navigational Map for Hip Hop Authenticity

The Abstract intuition, inherent in the song’s verses, invites the listener to peel back the outer layers of hip hop’s commercial façade. In a world steeped in brand names and status symbols—the ‘Lo, the Nikes’—Tribe clamors for a deeper understanding. They were architects of a sound that valued realness over pretense, substance over style. A Tribe Called Quest challenged their audience to understand the roots and complexities of the scene’s culture, or risk missing the point entirely.

By saluting hip hop legends like EPMD and De La Soul, Tribe pays homage to their forebears, ensuring that the pillars of their musical influences are recognized and respected. This is not just about the tracks that make you move; it’s about acknowledging where the rhythm originated and the creative forces that shaped its evolution.

Dynamic Duos and Cultural Crossovers: Tribe’s Homage to Iconic Partnerships

When Tribe references pairs like ‘Laurel to Hardy’ and ‘Ren to Stimpy,’ they’re drawing parallels to their own partnership within the hip hop world. Just as these duos have become emblematic of their respective genres, Phife Dawg and Q-Tip, have proven to be a force to be reckoned with on the lyrical stage. These pairings represent a synergy that transcends their individual parts, a cohesion that A Tribe Called Quest has mastered musically.

The song’s celebration of duos further emphasizes the power of collaboration and partnership. It suggests that the essence of A Tribe Called Quest—and indeed, one aspect of hip hop’s spirit—is about the alchemy that occurs when great minds and talents converge.

Decoding the Beat: Understanding Tribe’s Compulsion to Rhythm

A Tribe Called Quest tells a story not just through their words but through the masterful construction of their beats. DJ Shaheed’s scratching is mentioned as a parallel to the listener’s puzzled thoughts—there’s a complexity and an intricacy to the soundscape that prompts introspection and demands engagement. When the beats are dissected and the scratching analyzed, one is left with the realization of a carefully curated auditory experience designed to mirror the depth of the lyrics.

The mention of ‘the funk manor’ where beats are hooked up is no random backdrop; it’s a significant setting in the lore of hip hop. It represents the birthplace of vibes, the creative haven where minds meld and music takes on a life of its own. The Tribe’s sounds become almost tangible entities that beckon you to get lost in their world.

A Tribe Called Quest’s Intellectual Caress: The Ill Rendition and Its Echoes

The song’s closing lines pack a punch with the eloquence of Phife Dawg’s invitation: ‘shut your bloodclot and listen.’ It’s a bold command that demands attention and respect, rejecting passive consumption for an active auditory engagement. What is labeled an ‘ill rendition’ speaks to the craft of their music, a style so unique and potent it seems to have medicinal properties for the listener’s soul.

By sending out ‘this one to the L.E.S. (Lower East Side)’ Tribe anchors their music in a place of origin while simultaneously acknowledging the widespread appeal that transcends geographic bounds. This is hip hop with a global reach, a language spoken from Russia to Jersey, a universal call to ‘keep bouncing’ in the rhythm of life.

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