Aidin Vaziri | After nine years of getting shuffled around various labels, making albums and shelving them, rapper Q-Tip is back with an appropriately titled new album, “The Renaissance.” The sometime A Tribe Called Quest front man not only served as a major source of inspiration for artists such as Kanye West and Pharrell Williams, but he’s also appeared on songs by everyone from R.E.M. and the Beastie Boys to Janet Jackson and Deee-Lite. Q-Tip’s new album entered the Billboard charts at No. 11 and includes guests Norah Jones, D’Angelo and Raphael Saadiq. We caught up with him when he made a tour stop in San Francisco earlier this month.
Q: You went through five record labels in six years. You also made a movie with Nicole Kidman, and your scene was cut. Did you ever feel unwanted?
A: No. You know, the strong survive, brother. It just shapes us. So when it comes, I deal with it and keep going. I believe in what I have. I believe in what I’ve done. And I believe I still haven’t even peaked yet.
Q: So now that the cork has popped, are you going to be putting out a new album every two weeks?
A: Yeah, I’m going to crank them out. I’m going to get in my Stevie Wonder-Prince-James Brown-Parliament phase and release two albums a year.
Q: Your house burned down a few years ago. Did that put all your other setbacks in perspective?
A: It just made me appreciative of life. I’m just thankful, man. It made me really humble. Continue reading.