Q-Tip continues to push the boundaries of what embodies a hip-hop icon as he moves into the next phase of his career. The Tribe Called Quest leader has been cast as legendary trumpeter Miles Davis for a theatrical production portraying a day in the life of the Illinois native from 1981.
My Funny Valentine is written by cultural critic George Nelson, and the play is scheduled for a single sold-out reading at NYC’s famed Joe’s Pub on Monday (March 26). Describing the production’s plot, The Public Theater summarizes, “[The script] imagines a fateful day in the life of the late great Miles Davis in the early ’80s. By responding to a fan’s letter the trumpeter ignites a chain of life-altering events.”
Tip actually spoke about the daunting task of playing Davis to XXL back in 2010. “I relate to him, but I was a [little] nervous at first. But we’ve already done some table readings and Miles’ nephew, and some of his really close friends that he knew for many years — a girlfriend or two — and some of his old bandmates have checked out the table reading like, ‘Oh, shit, they nailed it.’ So that made it easier for me,” he admitted. “It let me know my instincts are right.”
The 47-year-old has kept busy after the Kennedy Center honored Q-Tip on March 7 by naming him as one of their founding members of the Hip-Hop Culture Council. The Harlem native also teamed up with Demi Lovato last week for their own rendition of Elton John‘s classic “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.”