'the anthology'

Photos by Nick Tomecek

If I could only take 10, which 10 records would I take to my own island to listen to for eternity?

This may sound strange, but I honestly ask myself this question on the regular.

A Tribe Called Quest’s “The Anthology” makes the list every time.

Elvis Costello’s “My Aim Is True,” The Killers’ “Hot Fuss” and Earth, Wind & Fire’s “The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1” also frequent the list, in case you were wondering. Don’t judge; it’s my island.

The list fluctuates, but A Tribe Called Quest’s 1999 greatest hits compilation always feels like an essential.

The hip-hop record features Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammed and Jarobi White, a temporary member of the group. Malik Taylor, known as Phife Dawg, died in March 2016; may he rest in peace.

Truth be told, I discovered A Tribe Called Quest a little late in the game. I swear I wasn’t living under a rock, just near one. I’m glad, though, because time allowed my music taste to mature and diversify to a point where I can truly appreciate the group for what it is, really freaking awesome.

I heard the song “Can I Kick It” while shopping at a quirky knickknacks store in Austin, Texas. The cashier was grooving to the song, and I remember I couldn’t get it out of my head.

I instantly felt cooler just being exposed to it.

When I got back from my trip, I immersed myself in A Tribe Called Quest music starting with “The Anthology.” I played the tracks “Check the Rhime,” “Award Tour” and “Bonita Applebum” on repeat for weeks.

In “Check the Rhime,” I would rap both Q-Tip and Phife Dawg’s parts. “You on point, Tip?” I’d ask. “All the time, Phife,” I’d reply.

I can rap every line, and I still do every time I hear it. As bad as I might sound, I can’t even help myself. Apologies, in advance, to those in the car with me when this occurs.

“Vivrant Thing” is one of my favorites on the album. I remember visiting dictionary.com to see if “vivrant” was a real word. It’s not, but it should be.

There should be an honorary section in the dictionary. Here is my entry:

Vivrant: 1) Special 2) Real good. See entries for vibrant and Savannah Off the Record.

This song, one of the group’s most successful, captures everything I like about A Tribe Called Quest and this album. It’s lively, fun and positive.

I’ve always loved hip-hop music, but I have a special affinity for artists who don’t make it sound sad or angry. I adore a fantastic sad song, but something really tugs heartstrings when I hear an upbeat, joy-filled rapper.

“The Anthology” is downright vivrant. (See how I used it in a sentence?)

From the faint horn in “Jazz (We’ve Got)” to the humorous storytelling in “I Left My Wallet in El Segundo,” the group has many playlist-worthy tracks. It’s this perfect concoction of old-school music, witty lines and sensual subjects.

It wasn’t hard to choose an outfit that fit this record. I chose something sultry I would wear to an island, the same one I plan to take “The Anthology,” along with 9 other albums.

I wear the Sultry Something Black Backless Maxi Dress from Lulu’s Fashion Lounge, available at lulus.com. This dress is beach-y and comfortable, and I plan to buy it in red, too.

The album art bears the face of Erykah Badu, a singer-songwriter, DJ and record producer. Green and orange vertical stripes across her face represent the traditional colors of the Kente tribe of north Congo.

“The Anthology” makes me feel cheeky and hip. When I see this record, I always get the feels.

The outfit:

Earrings - Aldo

Dress- lulus.com

Body, feet chains - Forever 21

Hey, I'm Savannah. I collect records, and they collect dust. Like my preferred media form, I strive to not become obsolete. I created Off the Record as a way to turn my mind inside out, into something visual and tangible. One is the loneliest number, so I asked my friends to join.