Q-Tip (Kamaal Ibn John Fareed), rapper Phife Dawg (Malik Taylor), and DJ/producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad formed the core of ’80s rap and hip-hop pioneer A Tribe Called Quest.
Their infusion of jazz and hip-hop opened the door to a wider audience, not to mention a slew of artists that followed them in what became the Golden Age of Hip Hop.
Yes, the genre is deserving of a golden age for its influence on music.
Actor/director Michael Rapaport sensed the moment and began work in 2008 on a documentary about the group.
The first trailer for the highly-anticipated “Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest” has been released and it promises to give the influential group its long-awaited and well-deserved due.
A number of top stars pay tribute.
The two-and-a-half-minute clip features snippets of interviews with some of the biggest names in rap, as well as Tribe emcees Q-Tip and Phife Dawg.
“Myself, Kanye — we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Tribe” says Pharrell Williams.
“Everything about that was magic” says Roots drummer ?uestlove.
“They completely mastered the form and culture of what hip-hop is supposed to be” says Ludacris.
Many of their songs, such as “Bonita Applebum”, “Can I Kick It?,” “I Left My Wallet in El Segundo,” “Scenario,” “Check the Rhime,” “Jazz (We’ve Got),” “Award Tour” and “Electric Relaxation” are classics.
They released five albums between 1990 and 1998. The first three were highly acclaimed.
The group disbanded in 1998, but reunited in 2006. A fourth member, rapper Jarobi White, left the group after their first album but rejoined in 2006 when the band went on tour.
The film debuts on July 8 in New York City and Los Angeles.
“I’ll be all over the place wherever they want to send me,” says Rapaport, a first-time director who is known for such films as “True Romance,” “Mighty Aphrodite” and the TV series “Prison Break.”
Check out the clip below.