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Interview with Q-Tip
By Rame

It's rare that you catch an interview with Q-Tip, but it seems movie web site was able to do just that as he was making the rounds promoting the new Spike Lee Film, She Hate Me. The interview gores into Q-Tip's role in the film and what to expect from his upcoming album. I've posted a portion of the interview below.

Q: You have a new album coming out this fall, right? What can we expect?

Q-Tip: What I'm attempting to do with this record is to still maintain the elements of hip hop, i.e., the drum sounds, whatever, but to utilize the technology so that I can have the musicians express those sounds onstage live, but still have the virtuosity to be able to be expressive in a solo and have it make sense to the song or the show. So that hip hop is not subjugated or challenged but at the same time it's stretching out and people are able to see musicians - young musicians - solo and express and interact, to bring that back. It's boring to see - although I dig Ludacris - I don't want to sit there and see him for an hour just go back and forth and his boys come in on the punchline, with the DAT playing. He's great, I love him, but we have to come up with new ways to push it, to do something. That's my little humble, senseless attempt to do that.

Anthony Mackie and Q-tip in a scene from Spike Lee's new She Hate me

Q: What do you feel like your character’s importance is in the movie?

Q-Tip: I think clearly he’s the antithesis of the main character. Whereas the main character is this traditionally studly, cut African-American smart young man and he’s studding up all these girls, my character’s kind of like the feeble, knock-kneed, low sperm count, wishful thinking geek. So I guess my purpose is to – it’s kind of actually sad. But the thing is that more people are like me than like him.

Q: How was it playing that kind of a character?

Q-Tip: It’s cool. As an actor you have to find your place in the characters given to you, and this was no different. No big deal.

Q: You hear two things all the time on the internet. One is that, whenever a rapper is up for a role in a movie, people get up in arms about that casting. The other is when someone, like Jadakiss, speaks out, people say “Why should I listen to a rapper?” Hip hop has been around over twenty years. Why is it not getting the respect that rock n’ roll got?

Q-Tip: There’s a couple of reasons. I would be naïve to say that it had nothing to do with the fact that the rappers are African-American males and the majority of this country is white. If you can hear the music and not see the face, if you can just hear the message you can have empathy, but sometimes if you see the face it becomes a different thing. We all unfortunately have a bit of racism in us, I think the other part of is the things we endow ourselves with. Jay Z is quick to call himself a pimp. Tupac was quick to call himself a thug. L’il Kim is quick to call herself a bitch. When you start saying these things about yourself that are clearly negative, it’s going to be like a magnet. You attract those things to you. You’re going to bring all that commentary to you and what you do. Being that those images are probably the most prevalent in the form – the hustler, the pimp – it’s going to bring all the commentary. What’s going to happen is that when cats don’t get to first base, they’re going to be disgruntled. “Why is motherfuckers hatin’ on us? Knowhuyahmean? You just lucky I ain’t out robbin’ you all.” I speak on that because I’m from the same situation. I grew up right in it, watching my uncle and them squeeze off and mainline and shit, seeing hypodermic needles and hearing gunshots. I grew up in the same New York City that a lot of us did, but I just knew that I was better than all of that. I didn’t want to project any of that. I think that those things are relevant, and they are important, but there’s a tact, and there’s a creative way that you approach it.

Click here for the entire Q-Tip Interview

View the She Hate Me trailer




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