Q-Tip Will Teach College Students The Low End Theory & Other Hip-Hop Lessons
In March, A Tribe Called Quest released its final music video, “The Space Program.” Currently an exclusive at Apple Music, the single from 2016’s We Got It from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service closes the visual book on one of Hip-Hop’s most beloved groups, according to a recent Sway In The Morning interview with Ali Shaheed Muhammad and longtime A.T.C.Q. affiliate Consequence. Last September, Q-Tip announced that the Queens, New York collective had performed its final concert in an extended media run following the #1 album recorded ahead of Phife Dawg’s 2016 death.
Although it seems that the Tribe chapter is closed, Tip is especially busy during a transitional period of his career. For more than a year, the MC/producer has brought Hip-Hop to Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center as Artistic Director. He recent assembled an all-star team of cultural giants around him. Last month, The Abstract portrayed Miles Davis in a live-reading of a play written by Nelson George. He also collaborated with Pop starlet Demi Lovato in a video single covering Elton John and Kiki Dee’s 1976 #1 hit “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.”
Q-Tip adds something else to his 2018 resume. In September, Tip will begin teaching a seven-course class at New York University’s Clive Davis Institute Of Recorded Music that explores the intersecting relationship between Hip-Hop and Jazz. He will be teaching alongside journalist and Miles Davis/John Coltrane biographer Ashley Kahn.
With Tribe, Q-Tip was instrumental in bringing a Jazz renaissance found through Hip-Hop. The group’s 1991 album The Low End Theory was demonstrative in vocal themes, as well as its use of upright bass, vibraphones, and other instruments from the genre.
“I couldn’t be more excited to share with the students what I know and I look forward to them also teaching me. Teaching is an exchange of sharing and receiving for all involved,” Q-Tip said in a statement to NYU.
The university details the Tisch School Of Music program, “Each class session is divided into two: students will complete focused readings and undertake listening and viewing assignments to investigate the social, cultural, musical, and business aspects of the relationships between Jazz and Hip-Hop. The second half of each class focuses on musicianship, performance, composition, and production with students completing in-class and out-of-class assignments under Q-Tip’s mentorship, investigating compositional and studio choices at the nexus of Hip-Hop and Jazz, and working collaboratively to create, refine, and produce their own original musical works.”
As a gold-selling solo artist in the late ’90s, Q-Tip worked closely with school namesake Clive Davis (an NYU alumnus) and his Arista Records.
Previously, Q-Tip collaborator Questlove of The Roots has taught at NYU, including a 2014 class on Prince. Tribe’s longtime engineer, Bob Power joined then-Artist In Residence Pharrell Williams in a 2016 masterclass. Tip’s collaborators, the Beastie Boys, have also made their multimedia Oscilloscope studios available to New York University students.
#BonusBeat: The non-exclusive trailer to “The Space Program” music video:
It is unknown when this video will be available in full on other platforms.