Legendary hip-hop innovator and Grammy award winner Q-Tip first rose to prominence in 1988 as one of the founders of the trailblazing hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest, whose cerebral wordplay, socially conscious themes, and intricate fusion of jazz and other genre-bending influences changed hip-hop’s lexicon forever.
Q-Tip continued to evolve and expand his profile as a solo artist with such critically acclaimed solo projects as 1999’s Amplified and 2008’s The Renaissance. Outside of his production work with A Tribe Called Quest, he has also produced for a range of artists across genres including Mariah Carey, Busta Rhymes, Whitney Houston, Mark Ronson, Kanye West, John Legend and more.
Malik Taylor aka Phife Dawg is one third of the dynamic hip-hop group, A Tribe Called Quest. ATCQ was one of the first groups in the 90’s to achieve worldwide success with their classic punch lines, rhymes and jazzy drum heavy beats. They became role models to groups like The Roots, The Fugees, Slum Village, and many others.
Phife was the battle hungry emcee who had witty punch lines and an uncanny knowledge of sports. Sports played a major role in Phife’s career. He was the first to wear throwback jerseys in the early 90’s, a trend that would catch on 11 years later. Phife not only rapped about sports, he lived it. He considers himself the one person who was truly able to bridge the gap between music and sports.
In the late 90’s, even with multi-platinum success ATCQ decided to disband but Phife continued his musical journey and debuted his solo LP ‘Ventilation’ with production from music’s greats; Hi-Tek, Pete Rock, and Jay Dee. Phife rhymed about his groups’ unexpectedly breakup, speculation as to why they broke up and how things could have been different. This album, for Phife, was his “breath of fresh air”.
Phife’s solo projects include, appearing on the 2003 ESPY Awards theme song and video titled, ‘Let’s Get Loud’ with Busta Rhymez, MC Lyte, Chuck D and Aerosmith. He has appeared on shows such as ‘Rome is Burning’, ‘ESPN 2: The Block Party’, NBA ‘Ballout’, Midway Games and NBA Ballers video game. He was personally commissioned by Mark Cuban to construct the Dallas Mavericks’ theme song titled, ‘Mavericks Phire’ and for the 2004 Superbowl in Houston, Phife hosted the NFL Players Association Party, which featured performances by 50 Cent and The Roots.
Ali Shaheed Muhammad
was born and raised in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. At an early age Ali became fascinated with music. His earliest memory of this fascination was toting around a yellow Mickey Mouse transistor radio he received as a gift. “I brought that with me everywhere; I was comforted by the sounds that came from that little box,” he says. Other memories lead to house parties his mother would throw where his Uncle Mike would deejay. It was at one of these parties that the then eight-year-old Ali took control of the mixer and turntables and began his life long musical journey. Ali went from local neighborhood deejay to a world-renowned producer and musician, forming not one but two popular bands.
The first group, A Tribe Called Quest, was where “Mr. Muhammad” partnered up with band mates Q-Tip and Phife. The hip-hop trio recorded five albums. The three stand incontestable as hip-hop classics. Their innovation changed the sound of hip-hop and R & B with jazzy, melodic beats. Tribe exited the world via the same stage as The Beatles and The Police, but their influence still lives with artists like D’Angelo, Common, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, The Roots and Musiq.
After Tribe, Ali co-founded a new super trio named Lucy Pearl. Here with band members Dawn Robinson and Raphael Saadiq, he was able to explore more of his music abilities. Lucy Pearl fused funk, rock, R & B and hip-hop bringing a new energy and sound which remains to be duplicated.
born in St. Albans, Queens met future group member Phife Dawg in the early 1980s. The two went on to collaborate with Q-Tip and eventually Ali Shaheed Muhamad to form, A Tribe Called Quest. Jarobi became a member of the group acting as host on the first album, People’s Instinctive Travels. He continued to provide inspiration and input for many of Tribe’s albums throughout the groups history. In 2007, Jarobi was also honored with A Tribe Called Quest at VH1’s fourth annual Hip Hop Honors ceremony.
At the pinnacle of the group’s success, White made the decision to leave Tribe to pursue his true passion in culinary arts. His talent has taken him to Washington D.C., South Carolina and Atlanta where he has made a name for himself as an executive chef and restaurant manager. In 2012, Hip Hop’s prodigal son returned to New York to team with fellow Native Tongue’s member Dres to form Evitan. The duo released their first album, “Speed of Life” while Jarobi simultaneously took on a chef position in a restaurant in the West Village, helping catapult it to a Michelin rating.
His appearance in The Tribe Called Quest documentary, “Beats, Rhymes and Life” rekindled the love affair fans have for the mysterious fourth member of their favorite group.