Fans of A Tribe Called Quest rejoiced when a trailer of the long-awaited documentary on the group, directed by actor Michael Rapaport, hit the Internet. However, Q-Tip pumped everyone breaks when he shortly relayed via Twitter that he was not in support of the film.
The Abstract spoke further on his issues with the pending documentary this morning on Shade 45 with Elliott Wilson of RapRadar.com.
“I can’t really, ya know, go to much into it, but what I will say is that a lot of people when they look at that they automatically assume that I’m speaking just as the subject,” said Q-Tip. “I’m a producer on this film. [A Tribe Called Quest] is a producer on [this film]. When I speak, I’m speaking for the whole group. A lot of people think that I’m speaking individually, even though I addressed it as I’m not supporting it.”
Q-Tip explained that he felt the film is simply incomplete.
“In reality as producers, there’s just different things that need to be done edit wise. The sentiment of the film is there. We feel it’s 80% there, it’s just not done.”
Ironically, Q-Tip’s angst against the documentary has probably made people want to see it even more. Rapaport has submitted the film for competition in the Sundance Film Festival. However, according to Q-Tip, he may have jumped the gun.
“There’s some holes in it,” said Q-Tip. “Ya know, it’s tough when you’re an up and coming director and you’re working on something out of your pocket, and you’ve been working on it a long time, you kind of want to see it. Okay here it is let’s go! And you start speeding a little. Not saying that this is the case, but one can connect the dots.”
In the nearly five minute long trailer artists like ?uestlove and the Large Professor are seen given their praises about ATCQ. Another prominent storyline in the clip is that of Q-Tip versus Phife Dawg. Q-Tip insisted that this is not the cause of his concern.
“Everybody knows that there’s been issues between Phife and I. Like I said in the Spin magazine [interview], I never really had problems with Phife, Phife just had issues with me. Those things are included in the film and we’re not by any means trying to sweeten it or take any of that out. What happened happened. We’re still brothers. I’ve known the nigga since we three, four years old. You’re gonna have that shit.”
Perhaps the biggest problem with documentary not being ready for prime time is that it needs to correlate with the impact and influence of A Tribe Called Quest, and their peers, on Hip Hop culture.
“A Tribe Called Quest in this film is easily analogous to N.W.A, Public Enemy, Run-DMC, Jay-Z, Grandmaster Flash…this is probably the first extensive cinematic documentary done of a Hip Hop group,” said Q-Tip. “So it’s so much riding on this. It’s not only Tribe’s story, it’s all of our stories. So we got to make sure that shit is done right. We can’t just brush over it.”
Q-Tip expressed confidence that the issues would be resolved. Another point of contention that came to light during the interview was the proposed title of the doc.
“It’s not Beats, Rhymes & Fights, that’s Mike Rapaport being funny,” said Q-Tip. “We shut him down with that. But that’s a very old trailer that he put together and it got leaked for some reason.”
Q-Tip continues, “I’m going to get in trouble for this, ya know that right? They were like, Don’t say anything, and now I just said everything. Our goal is to let this come out ‘cause it’s landmark and it’s great. But, we’re not going to just let it come out any old way. That’s not going to happen.”
Q-Tip and Wilson went on to discuss the book the emcee has coming out with author dream hampton, Industry Rules on Random House, and the title of his next project, a concept album called The Last Zulu.