Happy Birthday, Q-Tip!
Q-Tip has one of hip-hop's lengthiest and most celebrated resumes. Both as frontman of A Tribe Called Quest and as a solo artist and producer, Kamaal has built up quite the legacy. Hip-hop's smoothest rhymer turns 47 today (April 10).
Q-Tip's production with Tribe played a huge part in bridging the gap between hip-hop and jazz, two genres essential to black culture. Q-Tip, Phife Dawg and Ali Shaheed Muhammad made albums with resonating impact. A generation of producers were birthed off of The Low End Theory and Midnight Marauders, including Pharrell Williams and Terrace Martin.
Q-Tip, instantly recognizable for his nasally voice, put out a solid streak of solo albums following A Tribe Called Quest's 1998 breakup. And The Abstract gave Nas the hip-hop classic "One Love." Mobb Deep's nihilistic The Infamous is a ways from Q-Tip's conscious lane, but his production and verse on "Drink Away the Pain" fit right in with the classic (even though Q-Tip, only a fair-weather drinker, was on a song about drinking). Q-Tip also had a hand in classics like Janet Jackson's The Velvet Rope, Jay Z's The Blueprint and Mos Def's Black on Both Sides.
A Tribe Called Quest's return was one of the more unexpected (but very welcome) events of 2016, even though it was clouded by the death of Phife. Nonetheless, Q-Tip is as omnipresent as ever.
Check Out Some Classic Q-Tip Videos:
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