A Tribe Called Quest - Beats Rhymes & Life (CD)
For Beats, Rhymes and Life, The Ummah created a minimalist sound reminiscent of The Low End Theory, which Ali Shaheed Muhammad described as "nothing extravagant, nothing far out." Miles Marshall Lewis of The Source praised The Ummah for being "the most proficient in the rap game at using samples as instruments in themselves."
Regarding Jay Dee's five contributions to the album, Q-Tip stated, "He would just send me the beats and then I would lay them." One of his contributions, the lead single "1nce Again", was hailed as "one of the few successes" on the album and a "surprising R&B crossover."
Lyrically, the group addresses "everything from O.J. to spirituality" and were recognized for the complexity of their messages.