By Brian Ives
Saturday Night Live‘s first post-election episode was a very memorable one. For the first time in weeks, it didn’t start with Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump impression, although Kate McKinnon did reprise her role as Hillary Clinton, who performed Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” and then ended the performance by saying, “I’m not giving up and neither should you!” It was a solemn opening, the type that SNL usually reserves for after national tragedies.
Later in the show, Q-Tip announced “We are all one!” from the stage, as A Tribe Called Quest – Tip and Jacobi 0n the mics and Ali Shaheed Muhammed on the turntables – performed “We the People…” the first single from their new album We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service. When it was time for Phife’s verse, they simply played his vocals from the album, as an abstract painting of him was draped on the stage.
Their second performance was “The Space Program” which featured the lines “Time to go left and not right.” Q-Tip looked right at the screen and said, “We’re not gonna give up” as Busta Rhymes and Consequence joined the group on stage as they all chanted “Gotta get it together for brothers/Gotta get it together for sisters!” At the end, the four guys embraced; clearly the idea of performing as A Tribe Called Quest without Phife was an emotional experience for all of them.