Amplified (Q-Tip album)

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Studio album by Q-Tip
Released November 30, 1999 (U.S/Canada)
Recorded 1998–99 at NRG Studios Recording Los Angeles,California and A&M ,Metalworks Studios
Genre Hip hop
Length 47:30
Label Arista
Producer DJ Scratch, Jay Dee, Q-Tip
Q-Tip chronology
The Renaissance
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau A[2]
Entertainment Weekly A−[3]
Los Angeles Times 3/4 stars[4]
NME (8/10)[5]
Q 4/5 stars[6]
Pitchfork Media (6.8/10)[7]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[8]
USA Today 3.5/4 stars[9]
The Village Voice favorable[10]

Amplified is the debut solo album of American hip hop artist Q-Tip, released November 30, 1999, on Arista Records. The album was recorded following the dissolution of Q-Tip's former group, A Tribe Called Quest. Production was primarily handled by Q-Tip and J Dilla, who had previously produced for A Tribe Called Quest. Q-Tip's lyrics throughout the album feature boasts, playful seduction raps, and abstract lyricism.

The album debuted at number 28 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, selling 89,000 copies in its first week.[11] On January 5, 2000, it was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America, for shipments of 500,000 copies in the United States.[12] As of July 2008, Amplified has sold 675,000 copies in the U.S.[13]


Recorded after the dissolution of Q-Tip's former group, A Tribe Called Quest,[14] the album was produced primarily by Q-Tip and Jay Dee, who had previously collaborated for production on A Tribe Called Quest's two last albums. The majority of the beats were initiated by Jay Dee with Q-Tip adding some final touches to it; “When we would work together, he would have it, like, 75 percent there and I would add a kick or bass line".[15]

Colin Ross of PopMatters writes of the album's music, "Amplified's content is very much a vibe-orientated affair. Infectious hooks, Jay Dee's trademark keys, and some seriously funky beats all work to create a captivating soundscape upon which Q-Tip drops his traditionally abstract rhymes".[16] Jon Pareles of The New York Times notes Q-Tip's lyrics as typified by boasts and playful seduction raps.[17]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Wait Up"   Kamaal Fareed, James Yancey 3:43
2. "Higher"   Fareed, Yancey 3:30
3. "Breathe and Stop"   Fareed, Yancey Robert Bell, George "Funky" Brown, Roy Handy, Robert Mickens, Gene Redd, Jr., Claydes Smith, Dennis Thomas, Richard Westfield 4:03
4. "Moving with U"   Fareed, Yancey 3:22
5. "Let's Ride"   Fareed, Yancey 4:07
6. "Things We Do"   Fareed, Yancey 4:06
7. "All In" (featuring Meda Leacock) Fareed, Yancey 3:08
8. "Go Hard"   Fareed, Yancey 3:02
9. "Do It" (featuring Jessica Rivera) Rémy Bellenchombre, Fareed, Jean-Marc Monneville, George Spivey 2:51
10. "Vivrant Thing"   Fareed, Barry White, Yancey 3:11
11. "N.T." (featuring Busta Rhymes) Fareed, Trevor Smith, Spivey 3:54
12. "End of Time" (featuring Korn) Jonathan Davis, Fareed, Yancey 3:57
13. "Do It, See It, Be It" (hidden track) Fareed, Yancey 4:35

Sample credits[edit]

Sampling information for Amplified adapted from The-Breaks.[18]

  • "Breathe and Stop" contains samples from "By Myself" by Urszula Dudziak (from the 1979 album "Future Talk"), "N.T." by Kool & the Gang (from the 1972 album "Live at P.J.'s") and "Gypsy" by Emmett Chapman (from the 1985 album "Parallel Galaxy")
  • "Higher" contains a sample from "Wonderin'" by Roy Haynes
  • "Let's Ride" contains samples from "Giant Steps" by Joe Pass (from the 1976 album "Virtuoso #2"), "UFO" by ESG (from the 1981 album "ESG") and "The Humpty Dump" by The Vibrettes
  • "All In" contains a sample from "Leo: Rosebud" by Cannonball Adderley (from the 1974 album "Love, Sex and the Zodiac")
  • "Go Hard" contains a sample from "M3000 (Opus VI)" by Mandre (from the 1979 album "M3000")
  • "Vivrant Thing" contains a sample from "I Wanna Stay" by Love Unlimited Orchestra (from the 1975 album "Music Maestro Please")



Chart (1999) Peak
U.S. Billboard 200 28
U.S. Billboard Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums 4


Year Single Peak position[20]
Billboard Hot 100 Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks Rhythmic Top 40 Canadian Singles Chart
1999 "Vivrant Thing" 26 7 15 20
2000 "Breathe & Stop" 71 21
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.


  1. ^ Bush, John. "Amplified - Q-Tip". Allmusic. Retrieved on 2009-09-28.
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert. "CG: Q-Tip". The Village Voice: January 25, 2000. Archived from the original on 2009-09-28.
  3. ^ Diehl, Matt (December 3, 1999). "Amplified". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 2008-11-20. Retrieved 2013-06-24. 
  4. ^ Baker, Soren. "Record Rack (Q-Tip: 'Amplified')". Los Angeles Times: 66. November 28, 1999. Archived from the original on 2009-09-28.
  5. ^ Columnist. "Album Reviews - Amplified". NME: 29. January 10, 2000. (Transcription of original review at talk page)
  6. ^ "Q-Tip - Amplified CD Album". Muze. CD Universe. Retrieved on 2011-04-20.
  7. ^ Clark, Taylor M (November 30, 1999). "Q-Tip: Amplified". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved on 2009-09-28.
  8. ^ Ex, Kris (January 20, 2000). "Q-Tip: Amplified : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2007-10-02. Retrieved 2013-06-24. 
  9. ^ Jones, Steve. "Experimental Metallica, quirky Q-Tip, grand Grimaud (Q-Tip, Amplified)". USA Today: 04.D. November 30, 1999. (Transcription of original review at talk page)
  10. ^ Lewis, Miles Marshall (December 14, 1999). "New Abstract". The Village Voice. Retrieved on 2009-09-28.
  11. ^ Basham, David. Celine, Backstreet, Britney Continue Chart Domination; Sisqo, Q-Tip Debut Strong. MTV. Retrieved on 2010-01-01.
  12. ^ Search Results - "Amplified". Recording Industry Association of America. Accessed December 11, 2008.
  13. ^ Concepcion, Mariel (July 31, 2008). Q-Tip Returns To Roots On 'The Renaissance'. Billboard. Accessed December 11, 2008.
  14. ^ Harrington, Richard. "A Tribe and True Approach; Q-Tip Shed His Quest but Held On to Its Upbeat Jazz-Rap Sound". The Washington Post: G.14. December 5, 1999.
  15. ^ Del F. Cowie "Verses From The Abstract". Exclaim. Retrieved on 2010-03-22.
  16. ^ Ross, Colin. "Q-Tip: Amplified". PopMatters. Retrieved on 2009-09-28.
  17. ^ Pareles, Jon (December 17, 1999). "ALBUM OF THE WEEK (Q-TIP: "Amplified")". The New York Times. Retrieved on 2009-09-28.
  18. ^ Rap Sample FAQ: Q-Tip. The Breaks. Retrieved on 2010-01-01.
  19. ^ allmusic ((( Amplified > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums ))). Allmusic. Accessed December 11, 2008.
  20. ^ allmusic ((( Amplified > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles ))). Allmusic. Accessed December 11, 2008.

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