5 Minutes With Q-Tip: A Brooklyn Bodega Exclusive
Only in New York City – scratch that – only in Brooklyn, can you casually run into an iconic artist and actually have a conversation with them. At least that’s what happened to me one random evening at BK Bowl. I saw Q-Tip along side ?uestlove while spinning at the DJ Booth and took a chance. Being a journalist, I’ve found meeting some artists proves disheartening. They sometimes say or do things that ruin their image for you. I was happily surprised when Q-Tip proved to be as humble as he is talented. He allowed me to pick his brain about everything from his relationship with Dilla, the future of hip-hop and working with Apache.
Check out Tip’s thoughts on all the above along with his special message for Jay-Z:
BB: Do you still feel like you have something to prove musically after being in the game for so long?
Q-Tip: It’s not that I have anything to prove, it’s that I still feel I have a lot to find out. It just don’t stop you know what I mean? Music is an ongoing process, a journey, so it hasn’t stopped for me.
BB: Who are you listening to now?
Q-Tip: I stay listening to anything Dilla, cause that’s just where my head is at. The Reflection Eternal album, Talib, Hi-Tek, Jay Electronica – stuff along those lines.
BB: Do you have a favorite Dilla track? Or is it too hard to choose?
Q-Tip: Yeah you know I don’t have a fave one. I’m just happy to have been associated with him and to watch him work and just to be down.
BB: Are there any new up-and-coming artists you are checking for? People we should look out for?
Q-Tip: This cat YP from Chicago who is nice. This group SKI, Spree Wilson, Rocky Marciano from Brooklyn – he’s nice. Amanda Diva – I also fucks with her.
BB: What do you think is the future of Hip-Hop now?
Q-Tip: Jay Electronica. I think he is the future. I think he is the shit. Hopefully we can continue to go in that direction of cats like him and Lupe. Hopefully, we can get more musical and less critical and opinionated.
BB: With the recent passing of Apache (R.I.P), do you want to reflect on how you came to work with him on the beat of “Gangsta Bitch”? How was that experience?
Q-Tip: That was on me. I just knew him for a while, he was fucking with 45 K and Latifah so he was just always around, and he was a really cool dude. He was working on his shit and he wanted me to fuck with him. So, I made the beat for him. He was just a cool, cool dude man. Just watching him in the studio with Latifah all the time, he held her down on a lot of shit. He was just a stand up dude. I just feel sad that he is gone.
BB: You seem to be very selective when it comes to picking artists to produce for. So how do you go about choosing projects?
Q-Tip: I just try to work with people who I admire or whom I think has got it. So right now I’m working on Nas’ shit, about to work with Kanye on his shit. Just trying to keep up my momentum. I’m about to work with Talib on his project. I been trying to work with “Hova” for a while so hopefully he’ll realize the heat I got and come with it [laughs].
BB: Do you have any other solo projects coming up?
Q-Tip: My solo shit is on deck for sometime this year. I can’t reveal what the name of it is just yet but I’m real excited about it. So for all the people that fucked with the “Renaissance” and knew what it was, or for those who are just finding out now –- we going to come crazy on this one. And the Nas shit is going to be fucking bananas. Look for that at the end of the year.