Right as Kanye West has signaled new music from his G.O.O.D. Music label, Q-Tip has been added to that Def Jam imprint’s roster.
The hip-hop artist plans to drop his next album, tentatively titled “The Last Zulu,” in 2013. A source told me that Q-Tip and Kanye West are working in New York on new music this week.
Tip has been working on wildly different projects since his last solo album, 2009’s “Kamaal/The Abstract,” an experience that undoubtedly left a bad taste in his mouth: his former label Arista had shelved that album until it leaked in the softest of soft releases, under his own label name with its distribution from RED.
Q-Tip obviously would want some stability out of his label home, and he may just have that with G.O.O.D., a label that’s on the upswing. It also returns him into the fold of Universal Republic/Island Def Jam head Barry Weiss, who was at Jive when Q-Tip’s former group A Tribe Called Quest released music there in the ’90s.
“I am thrilled to be working with Q-Tip once again,” said Weiss in a statement. “He is a respected voice in the music community as shown by his acclaimed solo albums and countless contributions to the work of other artists. His creativity continues to surpass all boundaries of hip-hop, R&B, pop, and jazz.”
Q-Tip’s “creativity” has known few bounds in the last three years, as he’s produced and written for artists like Rico Love, Marsha Ambrosius, Kendrick Lamar, Fiona Apple and Esperanza Spalding. He was also on tap for West’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” a collaboration that likely helped seal the deal in bringing Tip into the company.
This way, G.O.O.D. Music may continue to grow out as a collective, instead of a label of several disparate solo acts. It seems Q-Tip will be able to work easily with other Def Jam artists in other capacities, regardless of genre.
One of those capacities that ISN’T likely is returning to work in A Tribe Called Quest. The group was highlighted in Michael Rappaport’s outstanding 2011 documentary “Beats, Rhymes and Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest,” which also happened to reiterate why the group broke up to begin with (and, frankly, should have stayed that way, without one-off reunions along the way).
Meanwhile, G.O.O.D. Music released the first single from its eponymous collaboration album: “Mercy” features Big Sean, Pusha T, 2 Chainz and West himself. No word when the next song will arrive, or when the compilation will be released. Perhaps Q-Tip will be showing up on the album?