People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm is the debut album by alternative hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest, released on April 17, 1990 on Jive Records. Though the album was well-received critically, it had little mainstream appeal. The album did earn the group a devoted following, however, within the alternative hip hop community. People’s Instinctive Travels was praised for its inventive lyricism and production.
A Tribe Called Quest began recording this album began in late 1989, and finished three months later in early 1990, with ‘Pubic Enemy’ and ‘Bonita Applebum’ as the first tracks recorded.
The group selected Calliope Studios as their primary studio to record the album, as they were told no one who worked there would dictate how artists do things. Jungle Brothers, Queen Latifah and Prince Paul with De La Soul and Stetsasonic were all recording new music in separate rooms while A Tribe Called Quest recorded People’s Instinctive Travels. Q-Tip later commented “It was exciting. We were kinda left to our own devices. It was just a great environment, conductive for creating. We didn’t have cell phones, we didn’t have the internet, we didn’t have a bunch of things to tear at us. When we got to the studio, the specific job was to make music. There was no TV in there. It was all instruments and speakers. It was just music.