award tour

like a mother who thinks that their child is a genius there are certain artists who in my eyes can do no wrong and even if they did, i’d never tell: because i just like them too much, as people. q-tip is one of those artists. he can be a handful and has had his moments  but i just flat out adore him and no, not like that although hey; who wouldn’t? . i just think he is a straight up hunny bunny(that sound you hear is any shred of tip’s street cred disappearing into thin air.) since meeting a tribe called quest when they were working on the low end theory ,i’ve had nothing but love and respect for phife(who is on the road to good health, thanks goodness) and ali shaheed, but it is kamaal with whom i have spent the most time. when my now almost 20 year old was in 2nd grade I wrangled tip into hosting a fundraiser at my kid’s elementary school. tip didn’t have to do it. he doesn’t even live in brooklyn or have a kid. but because i asked and he’d  met lucian(who, cue awwwws, used to called tip “uncle ear-wax”. ) and he knew that it mattered  tip took the stage at ps20 in front of a group of little kids who knew he was famous but not quite sure why. come’on! what’s not to love?oh. no press was involved or invited ,lest you think it was a publicity stunt.

on november 4th, in a rare amy sighting, i dragged my monkey ass outta my house and attended a party held to celebrate both the election and the release of tip’s new  cd The Renaissance. like shalamar sang “it was a night to remember”and while i he and i are far from bffs sharing that moment with a guy that, in some ways i’ve  watched grow up(yes. I am that old and so what if i am?  just made it even more, tip gives good hug.

the very qualities that make tip a good man are also what help make his new cd so good.  too many years in the making and shelving and tbd’ing, The Rennaisance is what a hip hop album sounds like when it’s made by a guy who doesn’t  see hip hop as a means to an end, marketing plan, concession to the public’s or label’s whims or something that needs to be dumbed down . the cd  swings. it’s playful. it’s smart and it’s musical because tip is a music head and like tribe did, recognizes that hip hop shouldn’t live in a vacuum of its own design. now, i don’t need rap music to always be conscious ,but i’d be lying if i didn’t yearn for  hip hop that made you move and articulated something  by someone you wanted to listen to .while I don’t know if tip is still speaking in native tongues you can hear that he understands the language. yet another reason q-tip will for once and forever be my celebrity rap friend. strike that. my friend, period.


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