Pharrell, Eminem and Kanye West aren’t the only Hip Hop deities Tyler, The Creator worships. During his latest interview with Nardwuar that premiered on Monday (May 2), the two-time Grammy Award-winner heaped high praise on Q-Tip.
After interrogating the former Odd Future frontman about his nautical stage design, workout regimen and auditioning for a Cheerios commercial as a kid, Nardwuar accompanied Tyler as he explored the many treasures that Beat Street Records in Vancouver has to offer — including an extensive collection of ’90s and 2000s rap magazines.
While flicking through the stash, Tyler stumbled on a November 1999 issue of The Source covered by Q-Tip (around the time his debut solo album Amplified dropped) and shared his unfettered admiration for the A Tribe Called Quest visionary.
“Man, the God,” he said as he pulled out the magazine and studied Q-Tip’s black-and-white cover. “This is the God. The Godfather. The real Godfather, man.”
Tyler, The Creator later spoke about his love for Tribe’s 1998 album The Love Movement — particularly the song “Find a Way” — while revealing Q-Tip attended his recent CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST Tour stop at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
“He’s so ill,” Tyler added. “He came to the show in New York. I was so hyped that he got to see that.”
In April, Tyler, The Creator touched on Q-Tip’s influence on his music during a concert in Portland, crediting his aforementioned Amplified LP for setting the blueprint for his Grammy-winning, chart-topping album CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST.
“[Q-Tip] was the weird backpack n-gga that put this album out where he was like, ‘Hey y’all, don’t get it twisted. I’m fucking whoever, I’m driving whatever, I’m doing whatever,’” he told the crowd. “And without that album, CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST wouldn’t exist, so thank you Q-Tip for setting the blueprint.”
Tyler also saluted Q-Tip while accepting the Rock The Bells Cultural Award at the 2021 BET Hip Hop Awards last October.
“I wouldn’t be here or up on this stage or have this silly hat or anything without the Q-Tips, the André 3000s, the Chad Hugos, the Pharrells, the Kanye Wests, the Missy Elliotts — who no one ever brings up — Busta Rhymes and the Hype Williams, who just took it to this different world,” he said.
Q-Tip and A Tribe Called Quest also made a huge impression on Tyler, The Creator’s idol, Pharrell. The Neptunes hitmaker waxed poetic about The Abstract during a 2016 episode of his Beats 1 radio show i am OTHER, which, coincidentally, featured Tyler as the special guest.
“I don’t know who Chad [Hugo] would say influenced him to slam those elements together, but for me it was Q-Tip and Tribe. That Low End Theory, man,” Pharrell said. “When I heard ‘Bonita [Applebum]’ and the song just continued to make me feel like Stevie Wonder bridges would make me feel, I just thought that was crazy.
“To me, Q-Tip was the first guy to, like, make the crazy, big-sounding production, but meanwhile the chords were super clear and colorful. That’s what did it for me.”
“That’s literally my whole career,” Tyler added after joking, “It’s so crazy how much he loves Q-Tip.”