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"Midnight Marauders Tour Guide" • A Tribe Called Quest (by John Waddy Bullion)


In a move sure to make music lovers say “Oh My God”, Amazon Echo users can now download the voice of the Tour Guide from A Tribe Called Quest’s classic 1993 album Midnight Marauders. Thanks to Amazon’s state-of-the-art neural network and uncanny deepfake technology, fans will finally be able to enjoy the periodic interjections of the funky female computer program from one of the greatest hip-hop recordings ever!

Once enabled, your Tour Guide can respond to a variety of unique voice commands, including:

Tour Guide, what is the average beats per minute of every song on this album or playlist?

Using Amazon’s proprietary beat detection algorithm, your Tour Guide will provide the exact metronomic indicator of an artist’s entire discography down to the thousandth decimal place. Precise, bass-heavy, AND just right!

Tour Guide, who are the members of [name of band]? 

Your Tour Guide will not only recite, with 100% accuracy, the complete current lineup of every popular music group on Amazon’s streaming music platform, but also the names of ex-members, managers, sound engineers, backup dancers, roadies, hangers-on, hype men, groupies, stepchildren, love children, pets, and second- and third-cousins. A, E, I, O, U, and sometimes Y. And now, sometimes W!

Tour Guide, has anyone ever told you that your voice sounds a lot like Alexa’s? 

The term “M.C.” means “Master of Ceremonies”. It also stands for “Major Case”, as in, the legal challenge that the three living members of A Tribe Called Quest are building against Amazon, LLC.

Tour Guide, tell me a fact that I might find beneficial. 

Your Tour Guide provides a treasure trove of trivia, anecdotes, and statistics to “elevate your mental”! For example, did you know that HIV and AIDS continue to disproportionately impact Black and Hispanic communities? Did you know that a systemic pattern of racial bias permeates every rung of leadership in corporate America? Did you know that over four hundred bills aimed at restricting voter access were introduced in the past year alone? Did you know that all the education in the world won’t slow this down? Did you know that, if anything, we are over-enlightened and under-armed?

Tour Guide, turn the party out. 

When shit starts to get too heavy and you desire a return to a blissful state of electric relaxation, use this command to drastically limit your Tour Guide’s interruptions solely to benign toasts over your music selections. Your Tour Guide’s pre-loaded library of phrases includes: Keep bouncing!, Represent, represent-sent!, Hot sex on a platter!, R.I.P. Phife!, and many more!

Tour Guide, am I any less of a man if I don’t pull the trigger? 


Tour Guide, am I necessarily a man if I do pull the trigger? 

Thorny questions about masculinity and gun violence are right in the Tour Guide’s wheelhouse. And luckily, data monitoring, mass surveillance, and predictive policing are—increasingly—right in Amazon’s! 

So tell us: what do you maraud for? 

We’re all ears!

John Waddy Bullion’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in BULL, HAD, X-R-A-Y, Hunger Mountain, and Vol 1. Brooklyn, among other fine places. He lives in Fort Worth, Texas, with his family. Visit him online at


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