Pop & Hiss

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Q-Tip talks new album and Nicole Kidman at listening party

October 17, 2008 |  2:10 pm


Will a new album by A Tribe Called Quest ever see the light of day? Did frontman Q-Tip actually date Nicole Kidman?

While lines were forming to get into the re-opened Palladium to see Jay-Z on Wednesday night, fellow rap idol Q-Tip answered those questions and more during a short listening party at Turntable Lab promoting his new album "The Renaissance."

Sliding behind turntables and a laptop, he grabbed the microphone and quipped about the presidential debate, pointing out a need for change in hip-hop culture and in the whole country.

Regarding Kanye West's arty “808s & Heartbreak” album listening party earlier this week, he said that instead of actually listening to the tracks -- Q-Tip considers West as one of the few “bright lights” on today's hip-hop scene -- most people were engaged in their own conversations. But, hey, that's Hollywood, right?

Still, that wasn't the case for the several dozen people piled into the small music and hipster media store to hear Q-Tip preview about half the tracks from his album. There, it was less about being seen than to see and hear. 

So, will A Tribe Called Quest record again?

“No more Tribe. We all good,” said the Abstract Poetic. “People have a serious affinity for the group. We didn't want to spoil it” by making an album that may not meet fan expectations.

Group member Phife Dawg, Q-Tip mentioned, was recently released from the hospital after a successful kidney transplant.

Of course, this being star central, you couldn't only ask Q-Tip about music. One question almost ended his impromptu Q&A session. Did he really date Nicole Kidman? The puzzled rapper gave an “aw, come on” look and said, “I know this is Hollywood, and y'all got a penchant for [those kinds of questions]. Yes, I did. So what?" 

A tour will follow the Nov. 4 release of "The Renaissance" with Universal Motown labelmates, Pac Div, a fast-rising rap trio originally from Palmdale. There's also an album combining the talents of Common and Q-Tip, the rapper said, slated to begin production soon, as well as a film he's working on to accompany his Nigel Godrich-produced album.

In the meantime, you can find details about all new things Q-Tip, as well as information on a Friday night DJ monthly he plans to stream live out of a New York night club -- and bring to L.A. in January, at his social networking site (who says backpackers don't change with the times?).

--Camilo Smith

Photo by i-contra.com