Q-Tip talks concept album for 2014 ("It's gonna be traditional, like, Zulu beats") and production work with Mariah Carey, D'Angelo, John Legend
A Tribe Called Quest has been a presence on stage since reuniting in 2006. Now the group's Q-Tip hopes to reunite the original group on record -- albeit his own.
Minutes after opening for Prince's special Samsung Galaxy-sponsored show Saturday at South By Southwest, the rapper, sitting next to his group-mates, told Billboard that he's slated his next solo album, "The Last Zulu," for 2014 and said that "hopefully Phife Dog and Ali Shaheed Muhammed will make an appearance on it, and Jarobi (White)."
Q-Tip added that he's "excited about it. It's a concept album, kinda... The beats are gonna be hard. It's gonna be traditional, like, Zulu beats... old school Africa Islam tapes, with the drum breaks and shit like that. It's just got a good drive to it. I'm really excited about it."
So was White, noting that, "I heard some of the tracks, and they are f-i-i-i-i-ne!"
Q-Tip, meanwhile, added that he's also been "doing a lot of production, working with Mariah Carey, I have a couple songs with her and D'Angelo and John Legend. So those are coming." Leaning into Muhammed, Q-Tip also said that, "I'm gonna DJ with my partner here, hopefully, if I can coerce him, 'cause he's doing joints over there in Brooklyn and I'm doing the city, so hopefully we can collide and do some stuff."
ATCQ has been dormant on the recording front since 1998's "The Love Movement," and it seems like the group is in no hurry to change that. But, according to Phife Dawg, the Tribe is more than willing to convene on stage, whether it's part of a tour such as Rock The Bells or a one-off like the Prince show.
"We make fun out of any situation," he said. "We love performing, and you can call us say you need us in Johannesburg tomorrow, and we'll do it. White added that, "For me it's kinda hard to perform sometimes, 'cause I get wrapped up in, like, watching these guys...I'm a fan of our music, too, just hearing our music and the songs on the big speakers. It's just a rush."
The group did poke a little fun at its current status during Saturday's performance in Austin.
"Let's quit again... for the third time," Q-Tip cracked at one point of the show. "This quitting thing works for us." Afterwards he just laughed about the remark, joking that "we'll quit and cause, like, a shitstorm and say, 'We're comin' back now.' (But) We good."