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A Tribe Unto Himself: Q-Tip’s Best & Brightest Jams

Let’s get this out of the way first – A Tribe Called Quest stands as one of (if not THE) greatest rap/hip-hop groups of all time. They were the golden boys during the genre’s Golden Era, and their albums inspired many of today’s artists to pursue their own musical aspirations. Oh, and let’s not forget about their iconic album covers and strong usage of African tribal colors and famous faces.

The lead MC of the whole ensemble, Q-Tip, is a lyrical/beat master. He lays down record skipping instrumentals, he contributes unforgettable hooks to any song he hops on, and his production skills are legendary. Once his group became unglued, Tip didn’t fade into rap/hip-hop obscurity. He stayed in the game and left us with three excellent bodies of solo work (Amplified, The Renaissance, and Kammal The Abstract).  

It’s about time we honored this rap/hip-hop great. Q-Tip may have been a part of Tribe’s dopest songs, but he has also stood alone on some classic records. The G.O.O.D. Music representative is on another plateau when it comes to this music thing.

I present to you – Q-Tip’s best and brightest jams:


10. “Life is Better”

Norah Jones and Q-Tip make a beautiful couple, don’t they?



9. “Johnny Is Dead”

Those guitars welcome us to Tip’s soul touching words for this instrumental joint.



8. “We Fight/We Love (Remix)”

Tip’s fellow label mates know how to improve things for this remix.



7. “Damn You’re Cool”

A bonus track off of Kammal The Abstract. Now you know where to find this hidden gem.


6. “Things U Do”

RIP J Dilla. Dillas’s genius is all over this one.


5. “Move”

That Jackson 5 sample/video nod makes this song come more alive.


4. “Let’s Ride”

Wandering around aimlessly in the whip with Tip is still a joy.

3. “Getting Up”

Club denizens definitely got out of their seat for this cut.

2. “Breathe and Stop”

Look at all the natural ladies in that video. They kind of reflect Tip’s natural progression from Tribe.

1. “Vivrant Thing”

When Tip broke this track out, everyone realized one thing – Tip will live on just fine.

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About the Author


Elton Jones (no relation to the guy who sings "Bennie and The Jets") is a huge fan of rap, hip-hop and R&B. His favorite artists range from golden era rap crews such as A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul, to today's current rap stars like Big Sean and Kendrick Lamar. Elton appreciates every facet of the urban music genre and follows the major developments that are made within the industry. Elton obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Saint Augustine's College in 2010. With his degree in hand, he now looks to make a lasting impact in the world of music journalism. He also hopes to attend a SXSW and Rock The Bells concert someday.

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Posted in: Featured, Hip Hop Music


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