Flashback Friday: Q-Tip

Flashback Friday: Q-Tip
ESSENCE.COM Apr, 07, 2010

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We got our first taste of A Tribe Called Quest – then, a quartet – with their 1990 debut, “People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm.” Their single, “Can I Kick it?” got the album off the ground, followed by the sing-songy tale about a girl named “Bonita Applebum.”

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After the departure of Jarobi White, Tribe became a three-man operation and we couldn’t get enough of Tip, Phife and Ali. “The Low End Theory” was a stellar sophomore effort and included “Check the Rhime,” “Jazz (We’ve Got)” and Busta Rhyme’s now-infamous vocal wild-out on “Scenario.”

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By the time Tribe took us on an “Award Tour” for their 1993 album, “Midnight Marauders,” everybody was bobbing their heads. Along with the Busta-infused “Oh My God,” the trio brought us “Electric Relaxation,” which was accompanied by one of the illest black & white videos on record. But we still wonder…where was homegirl walking to?

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1996’s “Beats, Rhymes and Life” came right in the midst of the much-hyped East Coast/West Coast rap war. Led by the singles “Stressed Out” and “1nce Again,” the album earned the trio a Grammy nod. And yes, their album artwork continued to be as creative and original as their sound.

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The Queens trio released their last (and hopefully, not their final) studio album, “The Love Movement” in 1998, led by the smoothed-out hit, “Find A Way.”

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Before the group’s “Hits, Rarities & Remixes” collection was released in 2003, Q-Tip burned up the charts and video channels with “Vivrant Thing,” “Breathe & Stop” and “Let’s Ride” from his solo debut, “Amplified.”

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Q-Tip gets his spin on at the Hugo Boss store opening celebration in Manhattan in 2004.

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Q-Tip performs during the CMJ Music Marathon at New York’s Blender Theater in 2007.

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Q-Tip takes the stage during the “Best of Both Worlds” Tour at Madison Square Garden in 2004.

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Diddy and Fabolous pose alongside Q-Tip while backstage at VH1’s Hip Hop Honors, circa 2006.

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In 2008, Q-Tip released the his second solo project, “The Renaissance,” which featured the talents of late producer extraordinaire, J Dilla, as well as Nora Jones, D’Angelo, Raphael Saadiq and Amanda Diva. He earned a Grammy nod for Best Rap Album for his efforts.

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Q-Tip works up a sweat on stage at 2009’s All Points West Music & Arts Festival in New Jersey.

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Last fall, Q-Tip released his ever-eclectic, long awaited collection, “Kamaal the Abstract.”

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Just this year, Q-Tip was photographed doing his DJ thing, ever-so well.

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