Name: Q-Tip / Kamaal Ibn John Fareed
Birthday: 10 April 1970
Profession: Musician / Producer
Q-Tip is one of hip-hop’s greatest rappers and producers. As a member of A Tribe Called Quest, he helped to create the sound of hip-hop throughout the 1990s and beyond. The group’s extraordinary run of albums became a blueprint for rappers looking to balance facts and fiction, as well as producers searching for the perfect, and unexpected, samples. Tip loves collaborating with other like-minded individuals and he uses this to expand his own expression. During Tribe’s multiple breaks and eventual final split, Q-Tip has kept busy with a solo career that has included multiple solo albums, a huge number of productions, and guest appearances in places both expected and unlikely.
Keeping positive through adversity and misfortune is one of the key abilities as he has unfortunately had three people he has been close with throughout his life pass away unexpectedly in his father, Phife Dog (his former ATCQ band member) and Prince (his role model who he harboured a great relationship with later in life). Many individuals find it extremely difficult to move on from loss but Q-Tip has used these events to help him push on. He displays remorse for these occasions and he is human like us all, but his coping methods are productive and he can always remain focused on his goal, to carry on producing high quality music.
Tip has mentioned before how his Father was a keen music listener and jazz record collector. Q-Tip clearly wanted to continue where his father left off and built himself a collection of ~20,000 records. Sadly, these were destroyed in a fire at his home recording studio in 1998 along with a computer which had his own unreleased songs on it. This would be a disaster for a musician who places such an emphasis on his collection but he could embrace a fresh start rather than being stuck in turmoil, as he has dealt with worse events. In his fashion, since this moment, Q-Tip rebuilt his collection from scratch and now owns ~9000 records across multiple genres. He listens to these for enjoyment, to take samples he can use in his own music or even to DJ.
Within the music he has made collaboratively and personally, Q-Tip tries to spread a positive message. He feels a responsibility within his music to present the truth in what he speaks, displaying both sides to an argument where possible and trying to making the music accessible to both historic fans whilst attracting a whole new audience. He respects his desire to think outside of the box and explore different genres rather than just sticking to the tried and trusted and this shines through in the songs he creates.
Q-Tip Mindset – Quotes:
“I feel like Obama in a way. His idea that hope means not shrinking from a fight; it’s the courage to reach for something. My music is that. Those are principles I try to embody.”
“You know, I hate to sound self-involved, but I feel like I haven’t peaked yet.”
“All we want in this life is peace, prosperity and a little paper…”
“I like music with soul and passion and the good of humanity. As long as it has those things, I’m all the way in.”
“We got to mediate our greedy levels, cause the lust of currency can have us sleepin with the devil.”
“The thing that men and women need to do is stick together, progressions can’t be made if we’re separate forever”
“I do try to speak of positive things. I still try to, like, present two sides of the story, and I do try to relate to life in a 360 degree and not be one-dimensional. But by all means manage expectations.”
Q-Tip’s Keys to Success:
- Don’t be Greedy – Instead of aspiring for material things, look to improve yourself on a personal level. You will gain much more satisfaction from improving your knowledge, relationships and health than you will ever gain from buying things.
- Your Best is Yet to Come – Never take the attitude that your best days are behind you. As long as you are living, you can still work on your existing talents, starting from your current baseline which is higher than when you started (with a few exceptions), so naturally you can get better and produce better work as you age.
- Support Those Around You – Strive to improve the lives of those around you, starting with the people you care most about and then following up with those you do not know. By improving your interpersonal relationships with others, you will feel an increased sense of self-worth.
Islam, Vegetarianism, Transcendental Meditation