Phife Dawg Says A Tribe Called Quest Hasn't Received Money For "Can I Kick It?"

The Five Foot Assassin also says that he's hopeful the group will record a reunion album.

A Tribe Called Quest scored one of its biggest singles with “Can I Kick It?” in 1991, but they still haven’t received royalties for the song. During a performance at London, England’s KOKO (via The Hip Hop Chronicle UK), Phife Dawg performed the cut and explained how rocker Lou Reed recouped all of the royalties from the group sampling “Walk on the Wild Side.”

“That was on our first album [People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm] and the sample is Lou Reed. Fuck Lou Reed, man! Fuck him. Because we didn’t see no money from that fuckin’ record yet. Really. Here’s what happened - and I take back saying ‘Fuck Lou Reed,’ because Lou Reed has every right to say ‘Give me my motherfucking money,’” he said. “So Lou Reed could have easily said, ‘Oh yeah, a rap group use my shit? Alright.’ No. Anita Baker don’t let nobody use her shit, period. […] So Lou Reed, instead of saying no altogether, he was like, ‘Yeah, nice! Give me the motherfucking money.’ Like Smokey in Friday.”

He also touched on the prospect of another A Tribe Called Quest album, referring to the recent documentary Beats, Rhymes and Life and stating that while he and Q-Tip are cool, they still can’t record together.

“What you have to realize with the movie is that we’re all human beings, number one. We’ve known each other since we were two years old. A lot of times, it seems like the people who are most close to you, you take for granted and do some crazy things, you say some crazy things,” he explained. “But at the end of the day, it’s all love. You have to also realize that this movie started filming in 2008 and it’s now 2011, almost 2012. Me and Q-Tip is fine. But as far as when is A Tribe Called Quest coming to London? I’m not exactly sure, because we can’t even be in the same room at the same time. It’s very difficult, but hopefully, there will be a new album.”




RELATED: A Tribe Called Quest Reflect On "The Low End Theory" In First Interview Since 1998


  • Micheal White

    No money for"Can I Kick It?"...not surprised at all,Jive Records gave those dudes ONE of the worst recording contracts ever.I remember Q-Tip telling the Source back in the mid '90's that Tribe had gold singles and platinum albums..AND HE STILL LIVED WITH HIS PARENTS,SLEEPING ON A COUCH IN THEIR BASEMENT!!! Some of y'all laugh at these artist getting jerked,saying they should have paid attention to their business,but what happens when your boy screws you over...(think: EAZY vs. DRE & CUBE) or your own father (THINK: LL COOL J)this SH*T IS REAL!!!

  • I'm At Work And Bored

    (The year is 1990 in Queens, NY) Q-Tip: Yo, Phife, my uncle Red Alert got ME, I mean us a record deal, oh it's on!!! Phife: Awesome! let's do this. How about we record 14 tracks where we all get equal Mic time. like, u can do the 1st verse, i can do the 2nd and Jarobi can do the 3rd verse and... Q-Tip: whoa, whoa easy there 5ft boy. Since I'm the leader of the group I'll just do all the verses and yall can be my back up singers. Phife: what? why are u the leader? Q-Tip: It's because I'm the tallest and obviously I'm the best looking. And I made all the beats and... Phife: You MADE all the beats? hey man, we all picked out the records together and all you did was jack all the beats from Jazz and funk musicians from the 70's and just looped it. You don't even know how to program the drums!!! Stop being an asshole! Q-Tip: okay fine, I'll let you rhyme on 3 of the 14 tracks aight? Phife: huh? what about Jarobi? why did you even agree to let him in the group if your not going to let him spit? Q-Tip: It's because I need someone to carry my bags during tour. I mean, i can't carry all my purple bandannas that matches my shorts all by myself. I'm too pretty for that. Q-Tip: Besides, Im gonna replace both of yall with Consequence anyways eventually. Phife: WHUT??? Q-Tip: oh shit, did i say that last part out loud?

  • baloogawhales

    Damn shame but they're not making more records. But I'm cool with listening to the tracks that they made back in the day cus it's still sounds fresh to me. Just wish they would go on tour so I could see them live for the first time.



  • Nkozi

    It seems like its cool to be negative these days... if you were born in 1990 shut the fuck up. If you can't remember Yo MTV Raps on Saturday morning, shut the fuck up. AND if you don't understand the rules of licensing in BUSINESS, not specific to music don't say nothing. If Tribe had permission to use the sample and are owed a share its FUCK YOU, PAY ME. You youngins ready to dis a pioneer who basically gave birth to Lupe, Kanye, Pharell, Cudi.. Hatin aint cool.

  • tubesteak

    random thought - u gonna listen to a rapper about business? Especially one that that is a teenager that has never had any real business experience. Some of these rappers (and im being general here) rap about robbing people, dropping out of school, hustling, doing dirt etc and then they wanna go bitch about what a label does like it's unfair. most of the time these rappers don't know what the f they talking about when it comes to music business. one more random thought, you gonna ask for advice from a movie star who plays a stock broker in the movies or you gonna ask someone who went to school for finance, works for a firm and has been doing it for 10-20 years. One knows much more than the other.

  • Tony Steward

    Can I kick it? That was Phife's spring board to the industry. For all I knew, Peoples Instinctive....was Q-tip solo debut, he held that shit down for the group. Nigga couldn't get on remixes for that album back then, "el segundo", "bonita applebaum", even "IF the Papes come" from the "mi vida loca" soundtrack (True Quester here fool). Phife should be happy that he is able to do show's without Tip and Shaheed, and it seem's like they all need a slice of humble pie to get back in the studio together.

    • I'm At Work And Bored

      ahahahahaha, Q-Tip held that shit down? yeah, because Tip was sucha monster lyricist on the 1st album? get the fock outta here. he was kicking nursery rhymes on that shit. It sounded like a Tips solo album because Tip was a egotistical selfish Mic hogging douche bag. yeah, Tip is so dope all his solo albums bombed?

  • damante

    not trying to diss phife but to put it in perspective...what if I came out with a track that was my lead single and I was/am an absolute nobody at the time that was a remake of Phife's most popular record he ever released. Let's pretend that Phife's record is even 10% as popular as the classic hit Wild Side by Lou Reed. Then let's approach Phife's label and say we wanna put this record out that is a remake of Phife's hit record as our lead single. The Record label isn't dumb. They gonna say ok, so our artists hit record is gonna propel your group in to popularity, give us all the publishing or we won't give you permission. They could have said no and if they did who knows how successful that groups popularity would have been without the ability to piggy back off of an already classic record. If it's been 20+ years since you released that song and you still haven't received a nickel then don't be upset with the label you agreed to a deal with 20 years back.

  • honest truth

    Industry rule 4080 record company people are shady-q-tip

  • mario

    well if yall still cant be in the same room yalls lost in the world and blinded by is a gift from God and yalls grown men now...your career was blessed and there is people out here starving and much bigger issues and yall cant get along ....thats called weak minds....i lost respect for Tribe Called quest..preaching love movement and positivity and they are negative hippocrites

    • Anonymous

      Taking context clues...I believe he was trying to say logistically they can't get in the same room; they can't seem to find a time for all them to get together.

    • R.Pgh

      In the documentary they mentioned it wasn't their idea to name their album the Love Movement. I see your point, just saying.

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