Joined by Anderson .Paak, A Tribe Called Quest took the Grammys stage Sunday to run through a career-spanning medley — and they used their national stage to take aim at the new president.
The final song of their mini-set — which included “Award Tour,” “Can I Kick It?,” and “Movin Backwards” — was “We the People,” the incendiary cut off their 2016 album We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service. As the instrumental began to play, longtime Tribe affiliate Busta Rhymes took a moment to address America’s current political state.
“I just wanna thank President Agent Orange for perpetuating all of the evil that you’ve been perpetuating through the United States,” Busta said, also referencing Trump’s “Muslim ban.” Tribe’s other members and .Paak then busted through a stone wall set behind Busta, and as they performed the song, extras wearing hijabs joined them on stage.
Though some performances at the annual music awards show fall into the “only at the Grammys” category, Tribe’s collaboration with .Paak wasn’t one of them: The rising Angeleno, nominated for Best New Artist at this year’s event, appeared on the legendary rap group’s final album, released last November. Famed Tribe MC Phife Dawg died due to complications from diabetes in March 2016.
Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl was originally slated to perform with Tribe and .Paak at the Grammys, but the Recording Academy walked the news back earlier this month, telling Billboard in a statement that the “announcement was made prematurely.”