IT'S THE MONEY SHOT!!

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domingo, octubre 21, 2007

videoblogging cmj 2007: q-tip @ gramercy.

Welcome to my first and only attempt at video-blogging CMJ. I know I'm a week late, but deadlines don't exist when you work for yourself. And when I say work...let me clarify-- I ain't gettin' paid for shit!

This post focuses on the October 16, 2007 Q-Tip show at the Gramercy Theatre, divided into four parts in chronological order. The last one is the best, so don't sleep.
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FEVER (SOMETHING NEW)

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I've been jamming (and geo-targeting) to "Work It Out" in my cubicle from the moment it was made available as a free download on myspace, so I was a bit surprised by it's curious absence from last Tuesday's set. Given that it is the lead single off of his upcoming album The Renaissance, you'd think he'd be promoting* it, eh?

Instead, we got the alleged second single "Fever", which led into "Higher" from the solo album Amplified (more on that later). If I were more familiar with the entire Q-Tip repertoire, I might have been able to distinguish whether there was more new shit. Color me Lupe...

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EXCURSIONS

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Q-Tip made it a point to reach out to the older fans in the audience, bringing out bits and pieces of early songs by A Tribe Called Quest. We got a little bit of-- "Can I Kick It?" + "Bonita Applebum" off of People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm, "Scenario" + "Excursions" + "Check the Rhime" off of The Low End Theory.

The closing number was "Award Tour" off of Midnight Marauders, speaking of which...I also saw this white dude jamming out to "Sucka N***a". Problematic!

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LET'S RIDE

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Now this show was all about the fans, but not in the sense that it isolated those of us who have a heavy appreciation for Q-Tip's work circa 1997-1999. As you can see above, the 1999 solo album Amplified was not forgotten, as Kamaal jumped into a performance of the album's unappreciated, less commercial single "Let's Ride". Knowing very well that younger fans would be present, the album's other two singles "Breathe and Stop" and "Vivrant Thing" also made an appearance in the encore.

He even did us the favor of including his guest verse from Janet Jackson's "Got Til It's Gone". The line "Now why you wanna go and do that love, huh?" led straight into "Find A Way", the lead single off of the Tribe's 1998 album The Love Movement. I anticipated this transition and immediately gushed at the moment it was made. I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only one.

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CHECK THE RHIME


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"Q-Tip knew what he was doing when he entrusted half the lyrics on “Check the Rime”** – the half that was once the jurisdiction of his partner Phife Dawg – to an enthusiastic woman near the foot of the stage. Thankfully she also knew what she was doing: she nailed it, and was rewarded with the biggest cheers of the night. It was a feel-good moment, a reminder that someone out there – a fan, one of us – felt the fever for something, after all." -- Nate Chinen, NYTimes

And hell yes. Michelle Cooper, the enthusiastic woman mentioned above, was probably the highlight of the show. Four rules were given to the fan who'd rap Phife Dawg's parts. If my memory serves me correctly, they were...
  1. You got to be on beat.
  2. No freestyling.
  3. No shout-outs to your crew.
  4. And DJ Scratch then chimes in..."Don't fuck up like Lupe." You got to know the words.
I was giggling like a little school girl at the reference to Fiascogate, which I got my scoop on thanks to Nah Right and Idolator. For those who aren't in the know*** is a reference to rapper Lupe Fiasco's lyrical fuck-up of "Electric Relaxation" at the VH1 Hip-Hop Honors.

I was waiting for someone on stage to reference this the entire night. God bless DJ Scratch.

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* Well if he ain't gonna promote it, I will!...Go buy it on iTunes. ::End promotion::

** It should be noted that Nate Chinen didn't use the right spelling here. Honest mistake? Or is this the makings of NATEGATE???

*** Or for those who didn't just click either of those links...

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