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.