Q-Tip is a hip hop legend, and since his emergence as an MC and producer in the 1990s, the iconic Q-Tip has gone on to achieve amazing things. Having released three solo albums as well as six collaborative albums with his crew, Tribe Called Quest. The rapper (real name Jonathan Davis) even has a filmography to his name and is well-respected in the industry.
Q-Tip rose to prominence in the mid-1990s with Tribe Called Quest. As an MC and producer in the crew, Q-Tip was integral in developing their jazz-hop sound and is often credited with popularising the jazz-hop sound. As well as working with Tribe Called Quest, in order to branch out an experiment, Q-Tip founded a collective of jazz fusion artists and rappers operating under the pseudonym The Ummah. He formed the collective on the heels of his 1999 debut album Amplified.
Acquiring the nickname ‘Abstract’ in 2015, Q-Tip secured his own Apple Music radio show Abstract Radio. He has also become an artistic director at the Kennedy Center and a jazz teacher at New York University’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music.
Davis’ 2008 album, The Renaissance, was nominated for a Grammy award, and his third album Kamaal the Abstract, was also nominated. As well as being an MC and producer within hip hop, Davis has also had a fair amount of success as an actor.
With regard to his filmography, Davis has made strides in films and on television. Some of his appearances include, Who’s the Man?, Poetic Justice, Love Goggles, Prison Song, and She Hate Me.
Since the beginning of his career, Davis has changed immensely with regard to his personal life. Upon converting to Islam, the rapper changed his name to Kamaal Ibn John Fareed and, in one interview, even spoke on how he now practices transcendental meditation.
However, as a rapper and producer, he still loves music, and in one interview, he was asked to name his top three rappers of all time. In response, the rapper said, “it’s really hard to say, but I’d have to say, Rakim, Slick Rick and Biggie Smalls.” You can watch the full interview in the video below.
Q-Tip favourite rappers:
- Slick Rick
- Biggie Smalls