Updated: Aug 20, 2020
"Melatonin": A Tribe Called Quest
Production: Q Tip and Blair Wells
Album: We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your service
From what is arguably A Tribe Called Quest’s most ambitious and electrifying projects comes the infectious Melatonin. How can you not be moved by those wet drums that crash after the beat or by Chris Sholar’s masterful guitar riffs plucking your muscle fibres for all four minutes of the song? The artistic vision from Q Tip to create a song as addictive as the subject matter it is describing makes this one of the stand out bangers from the album and showcases the best of a Tribe Called Quest: off kilter beats, jazz influences, masterful song structure, memorable hooks and quality bars. Lyrics wise, Q Tip situates himself and his experiences within the wider culture of drug addiction in America- Melatonin is both the vehicle for his own addiction to find peace as well as another pill in the cocktail that has cost so many lives in the US today. The song ends with a rather ominous synth sound that scales up to an uncertain end. You are left wondering where all the positive energy has gone.