FILTER Issue 29
Q-Tip and the Legacy of A Tribe Called Quest
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You’d be hard-pressed to find a rap artist in today’s current hip-hop climate who doesn’t owe a debt to A Tribe Called Quest in some shape or form. Never as anecdotal in their commentary as their contemporaries (and nowhere near as gangsta), Tribe preferred to spit their jazz-funk beats from an impartial distance, a lyrical space where violence is discussed, never committed. In our newest issue, FILTER meets with the revered group’s lead emcee, Q-Tip, to discuss the legacy of one of New York’s greatest. And rather than mourn the group’s early demise, here we pay homage to it, remembering the awareness raised in so many of Tribe’s songs to subsequently inspire the artists who followed in its wake. And naturally, we gather Tribe’s community of peers, influences and influencees to join us in tribute, with commentary from Chuck D, Busta Rhymes, Mike D, Arsenio Hall, Common, Talib Kweli, Prince Paul, Janet Jackson, Pharrell and many, many more.
Turn the pages of installment No. 29 to find a battle of wits and minds between I’m Not There director Todd Haynes and indie rock’s crown prince and fellow storyteller, Stephen Malkmus. We talk to DeVotchKa’s Nick Urata about the American diaspora and its influence on his band of eclectic Denver-gypsies, wherein the heavily traveled road finally leads them homewards. Next, we light some candles and fumble with the mood lighting before climbing into bed with Hot Chip. And have you ever heard of Alex St. Andrews and the Manhammers? God’s Assassins? Bubble Men 3000? How about Dojo? Neither had we, until the threesome of sketch-comics-on-the-beating-pulse-of-hip, Human Giant, wrote us up a little feature to shed some light on them all.
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