A Tribe Called Quest: ‘Lou Reed made all the money from ‘Can I Kick It?”

Hip-Hop group's 1990 single samples Reed's ‘Walk on The Wild Side’

A Tribe Called Quest have revealed that group earned no money for their 1990 hit ‘Can I Kick It?’

The hip-hop group’s track uses the bass line from Lou Reed song ‘Walk On The Wild Side’, which featured on ‘Transformer’ in 1972. In an interview with Rolling Stone, A Tribe Called Quest member Phife Dawg revealed that Reed allowed them to sample the track on the provision that he took all of the money made by it.

“I remember with [record label] Jive, there was a problem with the sample being cleared,” Phife said. “I don’t think they cleared the sample, and instead of Lou Reed saying, ‘You can’t use it,’ he said, ‘Y’all can use it, but I get all the money from that.'” As a result, Reed kept all the royalties from the song and Phife and group “haven’t seen a dime” ever since.


‘Can I Kick It?’ appeared on their debut album ‘People’s Instinctive Travels And The Paths of Rhythm’ and became the collective’s biggest crossover hit. The album was certified Gold by the RIAA in 1996.

The album was reissued this month with new remixes from Pharrell, J Cole and CeeLo Green.


The original members of the group, Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Jarobi White recently reunited for a one off performance on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show in the US, which you can watch below.

A Tribe Called Quest last released a studio album in 1998 with ‘The Love Movement’.