Since making his affiliation with Kanye West‘s G.O.O.D. Music label official back in April, Q-Tip has remained relatively lowkey. He’s said to be working on his fourth solo album, The Last Zulu, set for a release in 2013 under the imprint, and, like many other artists, his contributions to the G.O.O.D. Music album, Cruel Summer, were unknown.
But in a recent interview with Complex, the A Tribe Called Quest frontman helped to shed light on his situation as part of Kanye’s crew. Much to the delight of fans, Q-Tip says that he has been working on Cruel Summer.
“I’ve done beats. I’ve done rhymes. We’ll see. I didn’t mix. I’m just contributing,” he said, before later adding, “This is [Kanye's] compilation album. We all are a part of it, it’s all our thing, but he made kind of the decision [to manage] it. I think we all make each other better. Everyone is going to push one another. It’s good because it brings out the best in everybody.”
That’s as much detail as ‘Tip gave on the forthcoming record, but the producer-emcee did speak more in-depth on how he linked up with G.O.O.D. Music in the first place, and his experiences of working with the crew now.
“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,” he explained.
“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.”
Despite being perceived as an “asshole perfectionist” (the Beats, Rhymes & Life documentary didn’t really help), Q-Tip says that the dynamic with his new label mates is on point.
“The thing about the compilation, you’re just a team of dope dudes,” he said. “Like everybody is dope. Everybody is nice. It’s just a great environment. You can bold print that. You take that experience with you. You stick to the music, you rely on the music, you can’t go wrong. I’ve said it a million times.”
He continued, “Everybody from Kanye to Pusha to Chainz, everybody to myself to Common, everyone has their foot like this. Mashed down to the floor. We on the Autobahn though. We ain’t mashed down on the floor on 2nd Avenue running lights. Everbody’s in they lane, in they space. Everyone is moving with passion.”
After multiple delays, G.O.O.D. Music’s Cruel Summer is now due out September 18th.