Amidst mixing down and putting the final touches on his upcoming Universal LP “Live at the Renaissance”, we got a chance to sit down with Q-Tip. He’s let us in on what he’s been up to, where the Kamal project is at, and what movie roles he has taken on. He also puts the proverbial nail in the coffin on the rumored Tribe reunion.
What up, how are you doing, and I have to say it is great to see you back on the scene.
Thank you, I’m good, how are you sir?
Before we get to talking about the album, inquiring minds want to know, what’s up with ATCQ. We have heard from Phife and Ali is doing his thing with Penalty, what is your take on it?
Yeah, I hear you man….it’s not going to happen, that’s done, it’s done. We just have to move on. But, for everybody out there, I would like to say this for clarity and for my own piece of mind; I did all them tracks on the first 3 albums, I did everything. So don’t think the sound or any of that is gone. It’s the same mindset and the same ability, so I don’t want anybody to get disheartened.
Speaking of Tribe, lots of DJs go to the site, and this is from Mr. Pizzo himself, in Ego Trip’s Book of Rap Lists it states there is a “Scenario” (Remix) with De La Soul and the Jungle Brothers, does this exist?
There is a “Scenario” (Remix) with Jarobi, Chris Lighty, who manages 50 Cent and I believe Dres from Black Sheep rhyming.
Another question is peoples minds is the Kamal the Abstract album that was coming out, is that shelved forever or do you plan on dropping that later still?
Yes, we are negotiating right now with Arista to get those masters back. The Kamal album will come out immediately following this album, with the original artwork, original liner notes, and I’m going to put some bonus material on there from those sessions.
Let’s talk about things other than music, we have been told you are doing some acting, what are those roles and how did they come about?
I just recently finished up a film with Spike Lee called “She Hate Me”. I’m working on producing a film with an independent film company out of New York about the life of Miles Davis; I’m really excited about that. If everything goes right hopefully we will be in production next year sometime.
Who is the actor or actress you would most like to work with, present or past?
Wow, that’s a good question. Brando of course….even though I heard he is kind of scary.
Without question somebody like Bette Davis, or Diane Carroll. Probably, Denzel, Fishburne and I really dig Phillip Seymour Hoffman and I actually love Dustin Hoffman. There are so many, I feel like the art for me is a double prong thing you know? I’m equally passionate about film as I am about music.
Do you see yourself moving more into acting and away from music?
Never! Never, Never I love music. I think if you are a successful actor versus a successful musician, you are probably in a better position for yourself as an actor because the music business is so scandalous. The music business is set up to rob the artist, because it is so treacherous. You are probably better off as an actor if it was about your well-being. But, the joys you get out of creating something out of your own mind, out of you own spirit and touching thousands of people at one time. It’s crazy, it’s a high.
Do you see yourself playing more of mentor role, since you have been in the game so long you knowledge for someone just coming up would be priceless.
I see myself doing that but I always want to be an active participate in it as well, as a student. I learn stuff from Pharrell, and Kanye. I learned stuff from Mos Def and Pharoahe Monch, they teach me and I share with them little things that I know. I’m not too proud and I’m not too accomplished to take a lesson from somebody.
The single “For the Nasty” is produced by the Neptunes and features Busta Rhymes. Did Busta hook you up with the Tunes or did you have connections before hand?
Aaah, I’ve known them for years, I’ve know Pharrell for like 12 or 13 years. He used to come to Tribe shows and hang out backstage. He would take the trip up to New York and I used to call them cats “Tribees”.
Our sessions used to be filled with all of these kids, who I now run into the streets are like “you remember me; I used to be in your sessions”. Pharrell just happened to be one of those kids and I have known him for years. It was really a complete pleasure to work with him and learn from him.
The album is coming out on Universal/Motown, do you have a title as of now and when does it drop?
I’m finishing it up now and the title is “Live at the Renaissance” and it is looking like the first week of August.
Aside from the Neptunes, who else is producing tracks?
The Neptunes, they did one, I got Kanye to do one, I did the rest.
Can you let the cat out of the bag on guest appearances? We Know of Busta, anybody else?
We have Busta, D’Angelo, Andre 3000, Consequence and Pharaohe Monch, a whole bunch of men.
One last question before we let you, is there anybody out there you haven’t worked with that you would like to, producer or emcee or both?
I would love to work with Prince.
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