Q-Tip sat down with Complex to speak on beats, rhymes and life as a member of the Kanye West-helmed aspiring super-crew…
What is your situation with the label?
It’s a long journey, but I’ve basically been signed to Universal in some way shape or form or incarnation for about 10 years. So I’ve just kind of been through the system. I still had an obligation to fill and they didn’t necessarily want to discard me for whatever reasons so I kind of had my pick of the litter. Dreamworks, Interscope, Motown, and then Def Jam.
I met Kanye years ago at a show. I was working with Kanye during Watch The Throne. I was playing him beats that I was doing and he was like, “Yo, what label are you on?” And I was like, “Def Jam.” And he was like, “Damn you need to be on G.O.O.D.” And we were rocking, and I was like, let’s do it. It’s that simple.
Anything specific you’ve learned from them?
One thing I got from Pusha from watching him and his description of things, his approach is really interesting because he really immerses himself in his music. We all do, but his way of doing it is beyond words. It’s amazing to watch and see how he does it.
Watching Jay do lyrics and watching ‘Ye do beats, you see similarities in yourself to them. Sometimes when that happens you are like, “Phew. I’m not the only crazy one. They do the same shit I do.” That’s a learning point as well.
When I’ve seen Jay do lyrics, he’ll sit back and spit the rhymes himself, he’ll leave a bar or two, he’ll come back to it another day and fill it in. He’ll go away and think about and come back two days later and fill it in. I’m a person who will fill that in. And I’ve seen ‘Ye do it too. It’s a technique thing.
You can read his interview here.