Also known as The Abstract Poetic, MC Love Child
April 10, 1970
Harlem, New York City, New York, United States
St. Albans, Queens, New York, United States
Rapper, record producer, disc jockey
Vocals, piano, keyboards, bass, drums
Jive, Very G.O.O.D. Beats, Arista, Universal Motown, Battery, Def Jam
A Tribe Called Quest, Kanye West, Mobb Deep, De La Soul, Beastie Boys, J Dilla, Jungle Brothers, Busta Rhymes, Mary J. Blige, Nas, Pharrell Williams, Queen Latifah
Kamaal Ibn John Fareed (born Jonathan Davis on April 10, 1970), better known by his stage name Q-Tip, is an American rapper and record producer from St. Albans, Queens, New York. He embarked on his music career as part of the critically acclaimed East Coast hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest. John Bush of AllMusic called him "the best rapper/producer in hip-hop history," while editors of [1 ] About.com placed him on their list of the Top 50 Hip-Hop Producers, as well as placing him on their list of the Top 50 MCs of Our Time (1987–2007). [2 ] In 2012, [3 ] ranked him #20 on their list of the Top 50 Lyricists of All Time. The Source [4 ]
Early and personal life [ edit ]
Jonathan Davis on April 10, 1970 in Harlem, he converted to Islam in the mid-1990s, and changed his name to Kamaal Ibn John Fareed. He moved to [5 ] St. Albans, Queens as a child. As referenced in the song "Check the Rhime", he mostly resided at Linden Boulevard. His father was from Montserrat, a British territory in the eastern Caribbean. His mother is an [6 ] African American from Alabama. His sister, Gwen, is eight years older than him. He attended Murry Bergtraum High School in Manhattan, New York. According to Fareed, he was given his stage name by Afrika Baby Bam of Jungle Brothers, which he used as a replacement for his prior name, MC Love Child. [7 ]
He has also said that the Q in Q-Tip stands for Queens and he is often referred to as Tip, which later caused problems when a Southern rapper, now known as
T.I., signed to Arista Records and attempted to use the stage name Tip, which was later shortened to T.I. to avoid confusion with his then-labelmate Q-Tip. Throughout his career, he also called himself "The Abstract". [8 ] He said that one of the main people in his life that inspired him was his childhood friend, Mohammed Sead. [9 ] Q-Tip lives in [9 ] Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. He is the cousin of [10 ] Consequence, who was featured heavily on . According to a DNA analysis, he descended, mainly, from the Beats, Rhymes and Life Jola people of Guinea-Bissau. [11 ]
A Tribe Called Quest [ edit ]
Q-Tip, together with high school friends
Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, and Jarobi White, is a founding member of the critically acclaimed hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest, which they formed in 1985. The band signed to Jive Records and released five studio albums during its initial run. The band split up in 1998. A Tribe Called Quest reunited in 2006 and played a limited number of dates. The group was composed of its original lineup, including Q-Tip and occasional member Jarobi.
Solo career [ edit ]
Q-Tip provided the rap element of the highly successful 1990 track "
Groove Is in the Heart" performed by Deee-Lite, rapped on the 1994 Beastie Boys track " Get It Together", on the 1995 Mad Skillz track " Extra Abstract Skillz," and on the 2005 The Chemical Brothers track " Galvanize". After the breakup of the group, Q-Tip pursued a solo career. His first solo singles, " Vivrant Thing" and " Breathe and Stop", were far more pop-oriented than anything he had done in A Tribe Called Quest, as was his solo debut LP for Arista Records, . His Amplified 2002 follow-up, , although critically acclaimed and issued a catalog number, wasn't released at that time because the label believed that it did not have commercial appeal. Q-Tip featured on Kamaal/The Abstract R.E.M.'s 2004 album during this period, with a rap on "The Outsiders". Early 2007, Q-Tip signed a new solo deal with Around the Sun Motown/ Universal Records. In 2008, Q-Tip appeared on DJ/producer Statik Selektah's first album Spell My Name Right, on the tracks "Stop, Look, & Listen" with Styles P and Termanology.
His third album
was released on November 4, 2008, through Universal Motown and was nominated for The Renaissance Best Rap Album at the 2010 Grammys. [12 ] Kamaal/The Abstract was finally released on September 15, 2009, on Battery Records after being shelved for seven years. Q-Tip is among a group of producers who were brought in by Kanye West to work on his fifth album, . My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy He appeared in 2010 on [13 ] Mark Ronson's album, , on the song entitled " Record Collection Bang Bang Bang" with MNDR, for which a video was released. For Kanye West's and Jay-Z's collaborative album he produced "That's My Bitch" and co-produced "Lift Off". Q-Tip was the headliner at the 2011 Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival with a set called, 'Q-Tip and Friends'. Accompanying him on stage were Watch the Throne Monie Love, Black Thought, Busta Rhymes, and Kanye West. In 2013, Q-Tip was featured on Busta Rhymes's " Thank You" and then released a collaboration mixtape titled The Abstract & The Dragon on December 12, 2013. He is currently working his fourth studio album The Last Zulu and is producing Kanye West's 2015 album with Rick Rubin. [14 ]
Production [ edit ]
Q-Tip produced the first three A Tribe Called Quest albums with
Ali Shaheed Muhammad, with the exception of contributions from Skeff Anselm ("Eight Million Stories", "Everything Is Fair") and Large Professor ("Keep It Rolling"). Q-Tip did production work as part of the production company [7 ] The Ummah, alongside fellow Tribe member Ali Shaheed Muhammad, and the late Slum Village member J Dilla. Outside of his work with Tribe, Q-Tip produced for such artists as Apache (" Gangsta Bitch", 1993), Nas ("One Love", from , 1994), Illmatic Mobb Deep ("Give up the Goods (Just Step)", " Temperature's Rising", and "Drink Away the Pain", from , 1995) and R&B singers The Infamous Mariah Carey (" Honey", from , 1997) and Butterfly Whitney Houston (" Fine", from ). He co-wrote and featured in Whitney: The Greatest Hits Janet Jackson's song " Got 'til It's Gone" from the album in 1997. He co-produced jazz guitarist The Velvet Rope Kurt Rosenwinkel's 2003 release . He is/has been involved with producing for Heartcore Phife Dawg, Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige, Jay-Z, Rza, Wale, Asher Roth, Esperanza Spalding, Chiddy Bang, Melanie Fiona, Mark Ronson, Busta Rhymes, D'Angelo, Questlove, Kanye West, John Legend, Roc Marciano, and Mariah Carey, once again.
On March 18, 2013, Q-Tip was a Special Guest of Honor for the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding at the home of
Def Jam Recordings co-founder, Russell Simmons, who serves as Chairman of The Foundation. Q-Tip was invited by friend Ali Naqvi, who is a Trustee of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding and Chairman of MindShare Ventures Group in New York City. Q-Tip received this invitation to be Special Guest of Honor, for being one of the most successful Muslim music artists and producers in the world. [15 ] [16 ] [17 ] [18 ]
As a DJ [ edit ]
Q-Tip regularly acts as a DJ, most notably at
Santos Party House where he hosted a weekly residency called OPEN. At [19 ] 's 2008 Nightlife Awards, OPEN was named "Best DJ Night". Paper magazine [20 ]
Discography [ edit ]
Filmography [ edit ]
Awards and nominations [ edit ]
2014, Best R&B Performance: "Nakamarra" (with Hiatus Kaiyote), Nominee
2010, Best Rap Album: (The Renaissance), Nominee
2006, Best Dance Recording: "Galvanize", Winner (shared with The Chemical Brothers) 2000, Best Rap Solo Performance: "Vivrant Thing", Nominee
1999, Best R&B Song: "Honey", Nominee
References [ edit ]
^ Bush, John. (2008-11-04) The Renaissance – Q-Tip. AllMusic. Retrieved on 2011-12-18.
^ Top 50 Hip-Hop Producers. Rap.about.com. Retrieved on 2011-12-18.
^ Top 50 MCs of Our Time: 1987 – 2007 – 50 Greatest Emcees of Our Time. Rap.about.com. Retrieved on 2011-12-18.
^ Transcription of Source Top 50
^ "Music: Hip-Hop's Next Wave". Time. December 6, 1999 . Retrieved . May 22, 2010
^ Del F. Cowie A Tribe Called Quest at the Wayback Machine (archived April 16, 2008). exclaim.ca. February 2008
^ a b Exclusive: Q-Tip Interview. MOOVMNT.com. Retrieved on 2011-12-18.
^ T.I. – Profile of Atlanta Rapper T.I. Rap.about.com (1980-09-25). Retrieved on 2011-12-18.
^ a b Q-Tip, J.Period, "Manwomanboogie", track 35, The [Abstract] Best, Truelements, 2009
^ Colman, David. "Flat-Panel TVs Sure Look Cool, But They Pose Design Dilemmas", , August 27, 1999. Accessed December 27, 2007. "The rapper Q-Tip has been at the cutting edge of the music world for the past decade. So it was only natural that he'd want the latest for his Englewood Cliffs, N.J., living room: a sleek, flat-panel TV set." The Wall Street Journal
^ "Q-Tip Gets Swabbed & Discovers His African Roots". YouTube. 2012-01-24 . Retrieved . 2014-07-13
^ Nominees And Winners. GRAMMY.com. Retrieved on 2011-12-18.
^ 'Good Ass Job' Marks Kanye West's Return to 'Real' Hip-Hop | Prefix. Prefixmag.com. Retrieved on 2011-12-18.
^ a b "Q-Tip, Busta Rhymes Release 'The Abstract & The Dragon' Mixtape: Listen". Billboard. 2013-12-12 . Retrieved . 2014-07-13
^ "Russell Simmons Hosts the 2013 Young Leadership Benefit for The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding - Page". Interview Magazine. 2013-03-18 . Retrieved . 2014-07-13
^ "The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding". Blacktiemagazine.com. 2013-03-19 . Retrieved . 2014-07-13
^ Adrienne Gaffney. "Peace at the Penthouse". The Wall Street Journal . Retrieved . 2014-07-13
^ "The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding". Ffeu.org . Retrieved . 2014-07-13
^ Torem, Caroline. (2008-11-17) WORD UP! – About Last Night... PAPER's Fourth Annual Nightlife Awards Presented by Diesel. Papermag. Retrieved on 2011-12-18.
External links [ edit ]
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