We reported last week that Q-Tip did not approve of the A Tribe Called Quest documentary being made by Michael Rapaport called Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest. We now have clarification from the man himself of what he meant.
In case you missed it, we first reported that the documentary will debut at the Sundance Film Festival in January and posted a leaked trailer. Then, Q-Tip tweeted his disapproval of the film, saying:
“I am not in support of the a tribe called quest documentary. The filmmaker should respect the band to the point of honoring the few requests that’s was made abt the piece. The filmmaker shld respect the band enough to honor our request regarding the film.“
Q-Tip popped by Shade 45 to clarify what he meant exactly. A lot of fans thought it was the portrayal of Q-Tip and Phife Dawg’s friendship in turmoil but Tip explains that’s not quite the case.
“As producers, there’s just different things that need to be done edit-wise. The sentiment of the film is there. We feel it’s like 80% there but it’s just not done…It’s not that we don’t agree with the film, just as a film it’s just not finished. There’s some holes in it.“
Tip explains that the group and Michael Rapaport had an agreement from the beginning that the group would be involved with the final cut and while Rapaport thinks it’s done, Tip and the group are not satisfied with the final product. He also clarifies the tense situation that was shown in the leaked trailer with Phife Dawg and clears up the suspicion that his disapproval with the film was with the portrayal of the two friends:
“Everybody knows there’s been issues between Phife and I…those things are included in the film. We’re not by any means trying to sweeten it or take any of that out. What happened happened. And we’re still brothers, I’ve known the nigga since we were three, four years old, you gonna have that type of shit. But that’s not the issue. The issue is just as a film, we just need to fix it.”
He continues and talks about the importance of the film and why this is such a big issue for the culture.
“A Tribe Called Quest in this film is easily analogous to N.W.A., Public Enemy, Run DMC, Jay-Z, Grandmaster Flash. This is probably the first extensive cinematic documentary done about a hip hop group so there’s so much riding on this. It’s not only Tribe’s story, it’s all of our stories. So we got to make sure that shit is done right, we can’t just brush over it.“
Lastly, Tip talks about the leaked trailer. He says that the trailer was one that was made very early in the stage and was leaked (every video of the trailer has since been taken down by the request of the filmmakers, sorry). He then corrects the host YN and states that while Rapaport was shown in the trailer introducing the film as “Beats, Rhymes & Fights”, which also displays at the end, this was actually just a joke. The real title of the film is Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest.
You can listen to the full interview over on Rap Radar.