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Q-Tip Biography


Home > Music > Q > Q-Tip > Biography


Birth Name: Jonathan Davis
Born: 1970/04/10
Birth Place: Queens, New York, United States
Years Active: 1988 - present
Genres: Alternative Hip Hop, Golden Age Hip Hop, Jazz Rap


Kamaal Ibn John Fareed was born April 10, 1970 in Harlem, New York and is a hip-hop artist and rapper better known by his stage name Q-Tip. He rose to fame as the frontman of the critically acclaimed group A Tribe Called Quest. Q-Tip converted to Islam in the mid-1990s, and changed his name to Kamaal Ibn John Fareed (born Jonathan Davis). Q-Tip grew up in Queens, New York and connected to the music he heard on the streets in the mid-1980s and early 1990s.

In 1985, Q-Tip and his high school friends, Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Jarobi White formed the group A Tribe Called Quest and signed with Jive Records shortly thereafter. The group released their debut for the label, “People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm” in 1990 and went on to produce four more studio albums and gain international success and acclaim. 1990 also saw Q-Tip provide the rap vocals on Deee-Lite's smash hit, “Groove Is in the Heart.” 1994 marked Q-Tip's collaboration with the Beastie Boys on the track “Get It Together.” However, by 1998 A Tribe Called Quest went their separate ways after the release of their final album, “The Love Movement.”

Q-Tip went on to pursued a solo career, with his first two singles: “Vivrant Thing” and “Breathe & Stop” showcasing more of a pop-oriented feel than the standard hip-hop/rap feel that A Tribe Called Quest produced. Q-Tip's solo debut album, “Amplified,” arrived in 1999 on Arista Records. He followed with a collaboration in 2004 with R.E.M. on the album, “Around the Sun” on the track, “The Outsiders.” In 2005 Q-Tip worked with The Chemical Brothers on “Galvanize.” 2006 saw A Tribe Called Quest reunite and play a limited number of dates. This reincarnation was composed of the original line-up.

2007 brought a new solo record deal Q-Tip's way in the form of Motown/Universal Records. A year later marked the arrival of Q-Tips second solo album, “The Renaissance.” The album garnered Q-Tip a Grammy Award nomination for Best Rap Album.

His next album, “Kamaal/The Abstract,” appeared in 2009 on Battery Records. This was followed by a producing credit on Kanye West's fifth album, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” which led to producing “That's My Bitch,” on the Kanye West and Jay-Z collaboration, “Watch The Throne.” 2011 Saw Q-Tip headline the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival performing alongside Monie Love, Black Thought, Busta Rhymes and Kanye West.