The "Godsend" Email That Turned Q-Tip Against Filmmaker Michael Rapaport

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

For the decade that A Tribe Called Quest transformed the hip hop industry, Q-Tip (aka Kamaal Ibn John Fareed, or Jonathan Davis) was the face of the group. The New York Times describes him as “dapper, handsome, business savvy,” whereas Phife Dawg (aka Malik Taylor) was “short, scrappy, astringent .. Phife brought the street; Q-Tip, in Phife’s words, ‘the paper.'”It’s no surprise that the tension between the two ultimately led to the group’s demise in 1998. 

With the recent release of the documentary, “Beats, Rhymes & Life,” not only are the two forced to re-confront the past, but Q-Tip has officially pulled his support from the film. He says that its creator, Michael Rapaport, makes him “look like the bad guy.” 

It’s been no small matter. After a Twitter rant in December, Q-Tip went on national television to reveal the “godsend” email that was accidentally sent to him from one of the film’s producers, which read: 

“First off, let’s close the billing block and put it on the poster so they can’t get on that. Then we’ll [***] them on everything else.” 

Though Rapaport says he reached out to all the former Tribe members for creative guidance, he told the Times it’s only been a “bloodbath” leading up to the official release of the film this month. After spending years documenting warring egos, though, it should have been no surprise that Rapaport would knock heads with one of them. 

Meanwhile, Q-Tip is staying busy with his solo career; this weekend he headlined at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival




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