"I Left My Wallet in El Segundo
" was the second single from A Tribe Called Quest
's debut album People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm
"I Left My Wallet in El Segundo (Vampire Mix)" Is Sampled In Lil Wayne's 2008 #1 R&B Hit "A Milli"
The song is frequently mentioned in the movie The Ladykillers by the character Mrs. Munson who is complaining about her neighbor's loud music. Mrs. Munson repeats lyrics to the song to illustrate her displeasure with the so-called "hippety-hop music" the neighbor is playing. The song name is also referenced in the Robbie Williams song Me And My Monkey from his 2002 album Escapology in the line "And we hit the strip with all the wedding chapels and the neon signs, he said 'I left my wallet in El Segondo' and proceeded to take two grand of mine". German Band Kilians uses the titlephrase in their song "Fight The Start" too. It is also referenced at various times in both seasons one and two of the Showtime series Sleeper Cell.
Both the acoustic riff and the beat are borrowed from "Funky" by The Chambers Brothers
All of the music video is narrated, and the story is as follows. The Group is at a police station and Q-tip tells the story (i.e. the song). Initially his mother wins a game show prize and goes on a month long cruise trip. After her departure, Q-Tip calls Ali and they take a road trip across America in Q-Tip's mother's car. The group gets lost on the way, Q-tip seeing a dwarf with a sombrero and asks for directions. He tells them that they are in El Segundo
and a mile away there is a fast food station. They get there then eat, Q-tip paying for lunch. Q-Tip is distracted by an attractive woman and forgets his wallet when they leave. The waitress then takes his wallet off the counter. They return home and Q-Tip drops Ali off at his home. Then Q-tip realizes that his wallet is missing and he rounds up the group to get it back. When they get back to El Segundo they want to stay longer, and the video fades out.
There was a limited edition "Transparent green" vinyl pressing of this single backed by a B-Side track called "Pubic Enemy". This was a song about somebody catching an STD (most likely crabs). The backing rhythm sample behind this track is the infamous "Roll, Bounce, Rock, Skate"
The final episode of Showtime's series Sleeper Cell: American Terror
featured a cover of "I Left My Wallet In El Segundo" performed by Brooklyn Punk vocalist Malene Younglao
and produced/composed by the avant-garde Washington DC born musician Gary Gunn
. Gunn's original music introduces a rock-edged style intertwined with the lyricism of the original. It can be heard in the long driving sequence through the desert. The song was commissioned specifically for the series, building on a continuing theme throughout both seasons. "I Left My Wallet In El Segundo" was the favorite song of the character Ilija Korjenić
played by Henri Lubatti
. In season one, he provided a karaoke performance of the song and frequently referenced it throughout the series.