Being a 32-year old New Yorker and a fan of Hip-Hop, I don’t think I’m allowed not to be a fan of Q-Tip. The fact is there are few artists who debuted in ’89 that are still relevant today. He’s a bridge from what was to what is and therefore his words hold weight. So when I heard about a two-hour chat with Chairman Mao for Red Bull’s Music Academy? I’m in.
Some highlights include: On-point (and hilarious) impersonations of Nas, Mobb Deep, Bob Power, Jarobi & KRS-ONE; stories of classic recording sessions; his relationship with Dilla; breakdowns of some of his songs and productions; unreleased snippets from Nas and Kanye (hear “Mama’s Boyfriend” around the 1:37); and um….transcendental meditation. Yeah, the topics are far and ranging.
He even speaks on the meaning of title of his new album, The Last Zulu:
“…one of the last people who feel like…um…am I the last person think there’s nothing wrong with having a private life, and to hold on to secrets? Does everything have to be available? Like, the reality TV shit… Am I one of the last people to really believe that having some sort of talent at something really can get you currency in this world? Do you like, have to be a buffoon or a some sort of vixen to kind of like make it? You know, just holding on to those kind of principles and questioning them. Not saying that they’re right or wrong, but just posing that question…”
Check it out. The runtime is two hours but it’s time well spent.