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Michael Rapaport Unapologetic About Tribe Called Quest Doc; Done Appeasing Q-Tip; "You're No Jay-Z"

by Tambay A. Obenson
June 30, 2011 3:26 AM
10 Comments
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The film opens next week, but Q-Tip has thus far continued to stand by his decision to not support it, and hasn't done any publicity for it either, leaving that up to his partners in crime, Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Jarobi White, who have all gotten behind director Michael Rapaport's directorial debut, an homage to the group that he loves so much, A Tribe Called Quest.

As already publicly documented, Q-Tip's reasons for his indignation stem from creative differences in the film's making, between himself and director Rapaport.

To his credit, Rapaport spent part of the last 6 months since the film's debut at the Sundance Film Festival, where I saw it, trying to woo Q-Tip, but has been unsuccessful. And to that end, the director has given up! But he hasn't just given up his attempts, he's actually now getting on the offense, challenging not only Q-Tip, but the rest of ATCQ (who, at one point, threatened him with legal action) to a war of words.

Or is it all just a publicity stunt, with the film just one week away from release...

Here's what's being reported this morning, that came from Rapaport's mouth:

"I'm not reaching out to him anymore about this... The movie version Q-Tip thinks should be coming out would be going straight to DVD... Spike Lee would have told A Tribe Called Quest to kiss his f-ing ass and take a f-ing walk... I appeased them, worked with them, tried to hear their point of view on things... You're not Jay-Z, you're not Kanye West... I intended to make an independently produced documentary about my favorite group, and that's what I did. The reason I made the movie was out of a good place. And I was fair."

Well, damn! Hah! Somebody's ticked. Or, once again, is it all just a publicity stunt, with the film just one week away from release...

No comment from Q-Tip, and the rest of the group thus far.

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10 Comments

  • Remhova | July 8, 2011 4:24 AMReply

    Kunle Adekolo... I'm pretty sure you're retarded.

  • other song | July 1, 2011 6:37 AMReply

    @Kunle, wtf are you talking about?

    Where do u think Mos/Com/Kweli got their vibes from? I respect those guys but it makes no sense to diss Tribe and love Blackstar. lmao.

    If anything, I'd argue that Tribe's material has held up much better than Mos's catalogue (especially stuff he released after Black on Both Sides) and Kweli (after Reflection Eternal).

  • Jug | June 30, 2011 10:58 AMReply

    @Kunle-My question is, if you're from the 90s, what or whom do you consider to be the major & defining acts of that time? I can get with the fact that not everybody liked Tribe or Native Tongue. Some folks only liked N2Deep or Too Short, Luke or Young MC. But I'm interested to know your thoughts, since the people you reference were HEAVILY influenced by these people & put them among the greats of hip-hop.

    Because I was born in the 70s but I'm reeeally a child of the late 80s-early 90s...when I came into my own & experienced the world. I find people my age often say "I'm a child of the 80s" but if you didn't have your first kiss or lose your virginity then, get busted for staying out late or sneaking out of the house, & other ridiculous kid hijinks set to the songs of that era, then you're really not of that era. You may have been alive then or remember your parents or older bros/sisters listening to it, but if it didn't truly influence or impact you ("I remember my first whatever whatever"), then you "grew up" at another time.

    I know cats who scream "I'm a 90s kid" but say things like "I don't know who Public Enemy is, I just like Bussa Bus (Busta Rhymes). Nah, you're pretty much a child of the new millennium with that one. Just sayin'...

    Oh and saying Mos Def & Blackstar are greatly overlooked has me question your ideas of exposure & recognition. Mos Def, Talib & Common are considered the gold standard of hip-hop over the last decade ESPECIALLY when it comes to crossover artists or "conscious" hip-hop (even though they'd probably reject the term). Stints on REAL TIME with Bill Maher, Chappelle Show which was a huge crossover hit, 2 of the 3 doing huge studio films with even Talib critiquing movies-not sure how much they've been "overlooked". Sounds like they're just what you like, versus, by consensus, what may or may not have artistic merit.

  • cruz777 | June 30, 2011 9:18 AMReply

    what? hipster/nerd music? you don't have to like their music but failing to acknowledge how influential they were in the sound of the 90's, especially with the low end theory is mind boggling

    i won't bother get into the music and it's impact (funny how you mention blackstarr without recognizing how much they were influenced by atcq) but how the hell did "the scenario", "check the rhime", and "we got the jazz/buggin' out" show how uncool they were?

  • Kunle Adekolo | June 30, 2011 6:59 AMReply

    Ahhhh, the 90's. I'm from this era everyone keeps speaking so fondly of, yet I don't remember their music being that memorable. Yeah, they had a couple joints that would come on the radio. But their videos showed just how un-cool they were. Theirs is "nerd music", "square-music", or "so-called hipster music". It's dated, the beats are 'blah', and they don't seem to like one another. This film sounds like a snoozefest to me. Wake me when someone does a film about the creation of that Mos Def & Talib Kweli "Blackstar" album. That was a seminal period in hip-hop history that is greatly overlooked and underrated. It didn't last as long as the time ATCQ was doing music, but it will be remembered one day for the great period that it was.

  • verite | June 30, 2011 6:12 AMReply

    It could all be hype to promote the film. I saw it in LA as well, it doesn't make anyone look bad, it makes both Tip and Phife look human. Regardless of the drama, any fan of hip hop should see this film in theaters. It takes you back to an era of hip hop that I unfortunately took for granted. Looking at the current state of hip hop it makes you realize just how special this group is, not to mention the fact that they did all of this right out of high school!

    Low End Theory - Best Hip Hop album ever!!!!!!

  • Monique | June 30, 2011 5:18 AMReply

    Well Q-tip does seem to have an ego on him but that could be said about many in Hollywood -- including Rappaport (I've heard things). Either way, I am really excited to see the documentary because I'm a big fan of the group too. I remember when I first heard Bonita Applebum, it was at a WAKE! It was ovah from then on in.

  • Cynthia | June 30, 2011 4:56 AMReply

    "Or is it all just a publicity stunt"

    BAM! I've been suspicious of this from day one. One minute, Q-tip is on the bandwagon. The next minute, he's not. Also, you're correct on the timing...these "flare ups" seem to coincidentally happen when media HYPE is needed.

    Finally, let's be real. If Q-tip really didn't want folks to support it he would have BLASTED Michael and his team. The film would have been held in all types of litigation preventing it from being released this early. I'm not buying that bullshit about them signing over their rights. I'm totally convinced they had final say so on it.

    In the end, I'm not mad about this "created" hype. After all, it's a documentary and you have to create interest beyond their fan base.

  • Jug | June 30, 2011 4:49 AMReply

    Saw it at a screening here in L.A. Maaan it took me back to my headphones, backpacks & hoodies! A good documentary, not Oscar and all that, but fun & quite a nice ride down memory lane. More than anything it offers a look at the origins of East Coast bohemian style hip-hop, Native Tongue & such.

    For real, it was nowhere near as foul as it could've been. Clearly because Rappaport loves the group so much he didn't take sides. But like reality tv, folks get mad when they see themselves on screen. Editing is one thing, but those scenes, especially in high stress situations-that'sYou. You did that, suck it up. That's why Tip is mad, because he heard some things people thought or felt about him that he didn't know, even from his closest pals, and he saw himself acting like a jerk. But it was definitely tempered with "he's an artist" which, when it's all said & done, is NOT an excuse. And that is what his problem is-Ego. He won't own up to the fact he can be a dick sometimes. And Phife has to own up to a bit of jealousy & selfishness on his part. Tribe is all he has & Tip wanting to break the group up would leave him a short, non-gangster, not the greatest looking over 40 rapper from Queens. Not really a great resume builder for the "card board" cut-out/mass produced/bird-chested world of hip hop right now.

    Every one else in the group was cool with the group breaking up because they had other talents, other passions. That's the primary "beef" in the doc-two lifelong friends who want their friendship to remain a certain way but they & the world have changed.

    Tip needs to relax & Phife needs to produce or write for other people. It's the natural progression for them both.

  • JMac | June 30, 2011 4:15 AMReply

    Or maybe if Spike Lee was behind it everything would be rose petals and chocolate candy.

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