A Tribe Called Quest – The Documentary & the MTV Interviews

Let’s discuss this snowballing Tribe documentary situation… The Sundance Film Festival premiered the documentary Beats Rhymes and Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest. Fans wondered why the group wasn’t promoting the film and it became controversial; they seemed to be disassociated from the project. Phife attended the Sundance festival, but he was not happy and openly expressed regret that his bandmates were not there to share the moment. More internet rumors and rumblings suggested that Tribe was not happy with their producers, or the end result. But differences of opinion are hardly unique obstacles in film production. So the extent of Tribe’s participation was called into question because the group was practically silent about it.

Finally, this week, MTV’s news reporter Sway interviewed Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed (with Jarobi on speaker phone) to “Break the Silence” about the documentary. The video above was released today – it’s only Part Two of the interview. The real shocking statements came in Part I of the interview, confirming rumors that it was a clusterf#ck of a project. [Watch Part 1] In Part I, Q-Tip shares some internal dialogue from the producers of the film, mainly Michael Rapaport, who has been very outspoken about the documentary since the Sundance Film Festival. It revolved around an email which was mistakenly sent to the group by one of the film’s producers (probably on autocopy, thank you technology!) Even though the entertainment industry has never been known for tact, honesty or good business, the email #fail was inflammatory and upsetting to the group and its real fans.

We have some Tribe action to look forward to now, including the rest of this MTV interview, the documentary (which will be featured soon at Tribeca Film Festival) plus a new album from Q-Tip, and a “director’s cut” from Michael Rapaport.

Update 3/18 – MTV has posted the full 7-part interview here.

Ty Releases Special Kind of Fool on BBE + Download

With a career spanning over a decade that includes three albums on Ninja Tune/Big Dada and a reputation for energetic performances the world over, Ty is no stranger to this music ‘ish. A native of London with Nigerian roots, his music speaks diversity as he shines on production, lyric content, and London-inflected hip-hop delivery. Ty continues this tradition on his latest effort Special Kind Of Fool with the help of some very special guests including Anthony Mills, Carroll Thompson, Corey Mwamba, D-Cross, Erik Rico, Finn Peters, Leo Ihenacho, Robin Mullarkey, Roses Gabor, Sarina Leah, Shaun Escoffery, Soweto Kinch, Sway, Terri Walker, Vula Malinga, and Wreh-Asha.

On this album, Ty transforms his emotions into a palatable listening experience that we all can feel, and reminds us “You can dumb down the music and make everybody dance but you can’t take the pain away.” In addition to offering his listeners glimpses into his personal motivations behind the music, Ty is also effective in articulating societal pressures as he speaks on contemporary culture, employment, race, class, youth, mortality and the desire and effort to overcome the harshness that can sometimes consume us.

Here he is explaining why it was important for him to make this album as well as where he was emotionally during the process:

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/-UOJ0H6Gohk" width="550" height="445" allowfullscreen="true" fvars="fs=1" /]

You may already be familiar with his production on “Supernova”, the single from Joy Jones’ debut album, Godchild, released on Future Soul Records (and a Giant Step favorite!). He continues to show his versatility on this latest project, with sample and synth driven tracks, polyrhythms, and even flips the time signature on the title track, proving this isn’t your standard backbeat 4/4 hip-hop. Highlights include: “Don’t Cry,” “Wait,” “Something Big,” “Emotions,” “Me,” “Falling,” and the beautiful instrumental “Endtro.”

Stay tuned for a 2010 tour.

Ty – “Me ft. Erik Rico” (from Special Kind of Fool) [mp3]
 

Buy Special Kind of Fool

-L.E is a lower east side native, dedicated to engaging in and contributing to the advancement of culture from an objective NewYorkerCentric perspective. Follow L.E at twitter.com/discjockeyle

Nas and Damien Marley Discuss Distant Relatives & the Politics of Hip Hop and Reggae

Tomorrow at 7pm, National Geographic Live presents a one-of-a-kind evening with some of hip-hop’s most legendary figures. The event will feature Nas and Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley in a discussion about the often under-appreciated evolution of and deep-rooted connections between reggae and hip-hop.

Hip-hop, now a multibillion-dollar industry, originated as a vital form of cultural expression in Africa that was translocated by the slave trade to the Caribbean and the American colonies. It blossomed a half century ago in the dance halls of Kingston, Jamaica, and soon migrated to the parks jams and recreational centers of New York City, where the culture became known as hip-hop. This evolution forms the basis of the Distant Relatives music project, a collaborative effort by Marley and Nas, which will comprise of an album set for release in early 2010, a documentary film, performances and a series of public discussions.

Joining Nas and Marley for this conversation, moderated by MTV VJ Sway, will be key players in the development of both musical genres, including Kool Herc, Rakim, Daddy U-Roy, King Jammy, Jeff Chang, Pat McKay, Waterflow and DJ Red Alert.

You can watch the event live streaming here.
Saturday 12, 7pm EST