In a video extra for Ice T’s The Art Of Rap documentary, Queens rapper Q-Tip took a brief trip down memory lane as he reminisced on his early days of rapping. The A Tribe Called Quest emcee first spoke on the popularity of memorizing records like Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” and Jimmy Spicer’s “Adventure Of Super Rhymes” and how one’s street cred received a slight boost if on top of memorizing records they could rhyme as well.
“When you heard the first joint which was ‘Rapper’s Delight’ automatically you had to memorize the joint,” Q-Tip explained. “You know what I’m saying? Then it became memorizing everybody else’s joint whether it’s Jimmy Spicer with ‘Super Rhymes’ or all of that…You just had to memorize raps. So the thing was when you come around the hood when you come around the way and you can recite the rhyme, that was good enough. But then it became kinda like a legend throughout the neighborhood in New York like, ‘Yo dude can rhyme. Yo he can rhyme. You heard of such [and such]?’ And then it became a neighborhood thing.”
Later in the interview, Q-Tip went on to reveal that his first time rapping was likely as a youngster during a family gathering.
“When you a shorty too growing up as an African American you have the family, you have the family gatherings,” said the rapper. “When one of the kids has a special talent the mother usually puts the child up for entertainment. ‘Go on baby show ‘em you can do that there’ or whatever. So then for me first time I had an audience was my family…I forget what it was, one drunken weekend with some BBQ.”
The Art Of Rap was released in theaters in June and will be available for purchase beginning on September 18th.