Kamaal Ibn John Fareed (born Jonathan Davis; April
10, 1970), better known by his stage name Q-Tip, is an American hip
hop artist, producer, singer, and actor
from Queens, New York City, part of the critically acclaimed group
A Tribe Called Quest.
Born Jonathan Davis on April 10, 1970 in Harlem, New York, he converted
to Islam in the mid-1990s, and changed his name to Kamaal Ibn John
Fareed. He moved to Queens as a child. As referenced in the song "Check
the Rhime", he mostly resided at Linden Boulevard. His father
was from Montserrat, a British territory in the eastern Caribbean.
His mother is an African-American from Alabama. His sister, Gwen,
is eight years older than he is. He attended Murry Bergtraum High
School in Manhattan, New York. According to Fareed, he was given
his stage name by Afrika Baby Bam of Jungle Brothers who said his
voice was soft like a Q-tip. Fareed disliked the name but it stuck.
Later in his career, he began calling himself "The Abstract" due
to his dislike of his stage name. He said that one of the main
people in his life that inspired him was his childhood friend, Mohammed
Q-Tip is a resident of Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. He is the
cousin of both Consequence, Dres from the hip hop group Black Sheep,
Faith Evans (singer) and The Notorious B.I.G. due to marriage.
Q-Tip also did production work (under his production alias the Abstract
or often—along with fellow Tribe member Ali Shaheed Muhammad
and the late Slum Village member Jay Dee—as part of The Ummah),
as well as solo production work for such artists as Nas ("One
Love", from Illmatic, 1994), Mobb Deep ("Give up the Goods
(Just Step)", "Temperature's Rising", and "Drink
Away the Pain", from The Infamous, 1995) and R&B singers
Mariah Carey ("Honey", from Butterfly, 1997) and Whitney
Houston ("Fine", from Whitney: The Greatest Hits). He also
co-produced jazz guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel's 2003 release Heartcore.
Q-Tip also provided the rap element of the highly successful track "Groove
Is in the Heart" performed by Deee-Lite. Q-Tip is also involved
in the production of the Kanye West/Jay-Z forthcoming album, Watch
 Solo career
A Tribe Called Quest disbanded in 1998, after which Q-Tip pursued
a solo career. His first solo singles, "Vivrant Thing" and "Breathe & Stop",
were far more pop-oriented than anything he had done in A Tribe Called
Quest, as was his solo debut LP for Arista Records, Amplified[citation
needed]. His 2002 follow-up, Kamaal/The Abstract, although critically
acclaimed and issued a catalog number, wasn't released at that time
because the label believed that it did not have commercial appeal.
Q-Tip also featured on R.E.M.'s album Around The Sun during this
period, with a rap on "The Outsiders". Kamaal/The Abstract
was finally released on September 15, 2009 on Battery Records after
being shelved for seven years.
A Tribe Called Quest reunited in 2006 and played a limited number
of dates. The group was composed of its original lineup, including
Q-Tip and occasional member Jarobi White. Early the next year, Q-Tip
signed a new solo deal with Motown/Universal Records.
As of late, Q-Tip has been very active, once again happily reunited
with the full line-up of A Tribe Called Quest on the 2K7 NBA Bounce
Tour, Rock the Bells Tour '08, and regaining control of his previously
label-owned MySpace page. He has announced that he is negotiating
for the ownership of the masters of earlier material from his previous
labels and plans to release them independently. His latest album
The Renaissance was released on November 4, 2008 through Universal
Motown and was nominated for Best Rap Album at the 2010 Grammys.
Q-Tip is among a group of producers (also including RZA and Pete
Rock) who were brought in by Kanye West to work on his fifth album,
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. He is also set to appear on
Mark Ronson's latest album, Record Collection, with a song entitled
Bang Bang Bang with MNDR, for which a video was released.
He also appeared on Dj/Producer Statik Selektah's first album, Spell
My Name Right, on "Stop, Look, & Listen" with Styles
P & Termanology.
* Grammy Awards
o 2010, Best Rap Album: (The Renaissance), Nominee
o 2006, Best Dance Recording: "Galvanize", Winner
o 2000, Best Rap Solo Performance: "Vivrant Thing", Nominee
o 1999, Best R&B Song: "Honey", Nominee
* MTV Video Music Awards
o 2000, Best Hip-Hop Video: "Vivrant Thing", Nominee
 As a DJ
Fareed regularly acts as a disc jockey, most notably at Santos Party
House where he hosted a weekly residency called OPEN. At Paper
Magazine's 2008 Nightlife Awards, OPEN was named "Best DJ Night.".
He currently hosts a Friday Night Party at NYC's Ace Hotel.
Main article: Q-Tip discography
Main article: A Tribe Called Quest discography
* 1999: Amplified
* 2008: The Renaissance
* 2009: Kamaal/The Abstract
* 2011: The Last Zulu
* 1993: Poetic Justice
* 1999: Love Goggles
* 2000: Disappearing Acts
* 2001: Prison Song
* 2002: Brown Sugar
* 2004: She Hate Me
* 2008: Cadillac Records
* 2010: Holy Rollers