Q-Tip Biography

Jonathan Davis, 10 April 1970, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA. Q-Tip made his name as MC with late 80s/early 90s hip-hop pioneers A Tribe Called Quest, one of the finest acts to emerge from New York’s Native Tongues Posse. Their fluid jazz influenced grooves and Afrocentric, socially conscious lyrics helped up new possibilities in rap music, and was also highly commercial. The trio disbanded following the release of 1998’s The Love Movement, with all of the members starting work on solo projects.

Davis, now known as Kamaal Fareed following his conversion to Islam, released his debut album in November 1999. Recorded with the Ummah production crew (former colleague DJ Ali Shaheed Muhammed and Jay Dee of Slum Village), Amplified mined a rich groove musically but Q-Tip’s reinvention as a salacious mack figure left a lot to be desired. Q-Tip has also maintained a low-key acting career, and in 2001 he co-wrote and starred in the sociological drama, Prison Song. He completed a second album for Arista, Kamaal The Abstract, but the release was eventually put on permanent hold. Q-Tip signed a new recording contract with DreamWorks Records but left the label before he had completed work on his new album. He relocated to Motown Records in 2005. During the same period he guested on new tracks by R.E.M. and the Chemical Brothers.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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