Beats, Rhymes & Gripes…


True story, funny story about Q-Tip…

I know him as Jonathon from the days when Queens kids would occupy the IND platform at Queens Plaza and take those subways to their respective schools. The kids that congregated on the platform went to every make and model of school there was. Jarobi went to Brooklyn Tech and Tip went to Murray Bergtraum.

All I can tell you about ATCQ back then was that they went about their business like true professionals. There was no subway rhyme cipher. Truthfully, Q-Tip was as much about broads as he must have been about his beats. I feel like we butted heads [ll] from time to time chasing chicks from Norman Thomas HS.

Several years after high school and I see that A Tribe Called Quest is killing shit with Bonita Applebum. Until I saw the music video on Ralph McDaniels show I didn’t even realize how culturally significant Jarobi and Jonathon were to become. Their style was effortless and unique. ATCQ had my full support from that point forward. Sure, the music was dope, but these were also MY dudes making good.

I run into Q-Tip several months later at Powerhouse nightclub wearing a Tribe Called Quest tee. I loved that t-shirt and one of my exes (read: jumpoffs) got me for that joint just like the first Tribe album cassette which I ended up buying three(3) times. When Jonathon saw my shirt he got all tight and said to his homey, “Look at this nigger.”

I was like, “What?”. Tip asked me, “Where did you get that shirt?” I told him that I bought it at a skateshop downtown. I bought it from my dude who used to piece me Stussy shirts and Fresh Jive caps at this shop on Varick Street. What did it matter since I was repping his band was my response. Then he told me that none of the money from that shirt I was wearing was going to support the group, that his artwork’s copyright was being used without his permission.

Q-Tip’s complaints didn’t make any sense to me at the time like they do now, but in the same instance I think he was getting a lesson in piracy and commercial art. If you don’t want someone to steal your ideas you might should prA’li just stop thinking. And if you ever have a good idea, you best be having another one.

ATCQ was a great idea and NO ONE can ever take that away from Q-Tip.

atcq movie

14 Responses to “Beats, Rhymes & Gripes…”

  1. illill says:

    an ill documentary i havent seen at the theater yet….i found on online (the internet is great)
    tip is never talked about when discussing the illest producers ever since most didnt know he did produced the tribe first 3….plus he had the ill lo gear

  2. abstrizzle says:

    @ illill: I agree. He’s a very underrated producer. He’s definitely one of the greats
    even though he didn’t produce “We Got The Jazz.” Pete Rock made that.

  3. illill says:

    definitely aware of the jazz
    tips discogs is crazy

  4. D! says:

    I met Q-Tip outside the House of Blues in Hollywood. It was a De La Soul show.

    What a fuckin asshole. He was walking with 2 sexy bitchez and some whiteboy. I

    said what up & asked if he was gonna “spit” tonight. He answered back in that

    nasaly, lispy, kinda gay tone “Ssssspit?” Like he never heard of such a thing. He

    kinda chuckled and kept it moving.

    I shoulda 3 pieced his ass like Wrex N Effect. No homo.

  5. BIGNAT says:

    @D! i guess he had that white girl in his system and couldn’t quite make out what you were saying.

  6. $yk says:

    yeah I remember him by is government too…his homie used to work for me back in the day and tip would stop thru during work hours…in 2k6 tip was djing in the les and I brought it up about his homie…son remembered…held me down on the drinks too…

  7. cocotaso says:

    not talking shit but i never understood jarobi’s inclusion in the group. what were his contributions? i mean even pretty lou from lost boyz was on the choruses.

  8. TED says:

    shout out to my buddy[II] disco dave in the can i kick it video, he looks just the same age today

  9. digs says:

    Well put. How many people have a story like that? It always feels good when people you know personally get put on. I guess the situation shows Tip’s business acumen, way back then. Great story!

    SN: I hope there’s footage of them performing “Luck Of Lucien” in the movie, I’d love to see that!


  10. $yk says:

    yo dP…

    certain times the pages take hella long to load or it crashes the browser (safari)…check it out fam…

  11. the_dallas says:

    I’m not sure what is causing the page to load slow in Safari. Why you no fux with Firefox? I use that.

  12. gstatty says:

    yeah Y U no I’ve been back and forth on q-tip, at first I was in support of michael rappaport, then in support of q-tip, now i’m not so sure anymore, I’ll probably still check the documentary though

  13. Msidious says:

    the film was dope……Large Pro was in it so that lended cred. Also Trugoy kept it the most real in the entire film. I have heard that Tip can be difficult on some artsy shit………….

  14. Mark Dub says:

    Dope story, DP. I’ve heard both stories of really cool encounters with Tip, and some less than great ones. He still gets much respect as an artist, producer, pioneer…all that jazz.

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