There are many lofty angles to take when talking about Q-Tip’s Amplified. It was his first solo work post-Tribe. There was a change in sound from The Love Movement to tracks like “Vibrant Thing” and “Breathe and Stop.” You’ve got another avenue to wax poetic about J Dilla production. Also, Tip was going through his cornrows phase. But that’s all “marquee album anniversary” talk, and with Amplified recently turning 16, it seems more appropriate to remember that time Tip drove through Queens in a Rambo Lambo.
The video for “Let’s Ride” tends to keep to the subject of the song for the most part: Q-Tip’s cruising in his ride, looking for someone to swing an episode with. But instead of the “four point something” one would expect to see in a rap video, Q-Tip and director Stephane Sednaoui thought it would be best to roll through in a Lamborghini LM002. Dammit, there really should be more to this paragraph than “I didn’t know there were Lambo SUVs in ’99 and was blown away seeing one in the video,” but that’s pretty much the size of it. Sure, rappers had their Ferraris and Jaguars switching four lanes, but no one was running around in a luxury SUV from Lamborghini.
As far as the music, the instrumental is the true star here. A guitar and a break loop wouldn’t necessarily strike one as ride out music, but Dilla had a habit of making these sort of things work. It ended up as a track that bangs properly out of any vehicle.