Thank You 4 Your Service: 8 Things We Learned From Q-Tip's 'Questlove Supreme' Interview
This week’s guest on Questlove Supreme does not need any introduction. Kamaal the Abstract, The Last Zulu, better known as Q-Tip blessed the Pandora Studios to reminiscence and clown around with host (and our illustrious leader) Questlove. Joining him in the mix was Laiya Stclair and Phonte, as they discussed Tip’s legendary penchant for sampling, favorite jazz records, A Tribe Called Quest history and his back-and-forth history with the late, great Phife Dawg. If you haven’t wrapped your ears around Questlove Supreme yet, please, stop sleeping, set your alarm for every Wednesday at 1 p.m. and get your lessons. With three hip-hop legends from different generations all in the same room, you know there had to be some gems dropped. Thankfully, we caught some of the best ones that we never heard before + wanted to share with you all. Peep the statistics below, share your comments with us online (@Okayplayer) + take notes.
1. The first record Q-Tip ever mixed was…
“The first record I ever mixed was ‘Straight Out the Jungle,'” Tip told the Questlove Supreme crew. “It was me, DJ Red Alert, Tony D, and Mike. Red Alert served as his mentor for the production, which was a memorable experience for him. “I’m going to let you do one where if you want to do a different one, then you just do it different, but for the first couple,” he recalled his time with DJ Red Alert.
2. Solange was almost incoherently mad when describing A Seat at the Table.
The conversation shifted to Q-Tip’s work with Solange‘s Grammy nominated, life-altering, safe space affirming album, A Seat at the Table. For the #MAGAs out there who are hating, trust and believe y’all (and Jon Caramanica) inspired the album that we all love so much. The problem was when developing the idea, the emotions were still raw, so Tip had problems understanding what she was saying but not the vision. “She was super mad about that [Jon Caramanica] piece while proposing the idea of A Seat at the Table and was speaking incoherently.” Thankfully, the communication wasn’t messed up as the duo have 10 records in the stash together.
3. EPMD’s “Underground” Inspired Tribe’s “Check The Rhime”
Rap, hip-hop + music nerds are familiar with these drums on A Tribe Called Quest’s “Check The Rhime”. For the others in attendance, the song is originally thanks to Grover Washington, Jr.‘s “Hydra”. Now, what you didn’t know and what Quest got Tip to tell the story behind was that the drums on EPMD‘s “Underground” inspired Tribe’s “Check The Rhime”. That revelation made everyone in the room just bugged out.
4. Q-Tip vs. Phife Dawg was an extremely awkward time during ATCQ’s life.
“The Beats, Rhymes + Life period, it was an odd time,” Tip admitted to the Questlove Supreme crew. “It was a little dark, but this is because, I guess Phife and I were having our issues, and I converted to Islam, and then I met Dilla, and just meeting him was like a bright spot, and bringing him in on the record, bringing Consequence on the record, so I guess everybody started feeling threatened.” Whether or not everyone was feeling that, there’s no doubt that Beats, Rhymes + Life was one of the moments in hip-hop where you could hear the game shifting around the sum of its parts.
5. Speaking of Phife… What songs was he supposed to be on but wasn’t?