Pays attention to the larger changes in the culture, but its overall tenor is warm, immediate and intensely personal ... Readers looking for a biography of the group will find some of the basics here, but it’s how Abdurraqib filters the information—absorbing it, refracting it through his own distinctive lens—that gives this compact book its power ... This lush and generous book is a call to pay proper respects—not just to a sound but to a feeling.
Riveting and poetic ... Adburraqib’s gift is his ability to flip from a wide angle to a zoom with ease. He is a five-tool writer, slipping out of the timeline to deliver vivid, memoiristic splashes as well as letters he’s crafted to directly address the central players, dead and living. He is a grown man, a cultural critic, an Important Voice, but he’s also an awkward kid huddled in the back seat of the school bus, that 'Beats, Rhymes and Life' cassette wearing out his Walkman. He brings everything to the game, whether a cosmic vignette about Leonard Cohen or an unexpected curveball that somehow morphs into connective tissue ... The beauty of being both a true fan and a professional is that you can embrace even the low points and yet analyze with pinpoint accuracy when your heroes have fallen short. And as you search for the perfect ending, you’ll realize there seldom is one.
In his two previous books... Abdurraqib demonstrated his expertise at compressing massive emotions into minimal space. Here, he takes that skill up yet another notch. He has a seemingly limitless capacity to share what moves him, which means that to read Go Ahead in the Rain, you don't need to be a Tribe Called Quest fan: Abdurraqib will make you one. His love for the group is infectious, even when it breaks his heart ... Abdurraqib does not shy from his sadness over the group's breakup or Phife Dawg's death, but Go Ahead in the Rain is not a sad book. Instead, it's steeped in gratitude and joy ... Without fail or hesitation, [Abdurraqib] invites the reader into the text. Even his deepest dives into history and technique have a come-with-me spirit ... I have been listening to A Tribe Called Quest my whole musically conscious life, and yet Go Ahead in the Rain made their records sound new ... This comes from deepened knowledge and understanding, but it also comes from absorbing Abdurraqib's love, which reinvigorated my own. This, too, is a way of reaching for the future: to write about music so beautifully and intelligently that readers are moved to love it, or reminded to love it more.