Photo by Eddie Rosenstock
Q-Tip with The Cool Kids
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Revolution, Fort Lauderdale
Better Than: Watching Q-Tip live on Letterman.
The Review: Rap shows normally feature an MC accompanied by a tour DJ and a laptop, but when an artist such as Q-Tip brings a tight band with him onstage alongside the legendary DJ Scratch, it takes the concert to another dimension. Last night The Abstract smashed Revolution going into his deep Tribe Called Quest catalog while featuring tracks off his fresh new record, The Renaissance, fittingly released this past Election Day.
Hearing classics like "Electric Relaxation" with an improvised bass-line and the melodic keys of the album's first single "Gettin' Up" re-interpreted live, really took the vibe of a dimly-lit downtown New York City BB King's to Fort Lauderdale's hype, packed house at Revolution.
Before the Tipster got on, the young fitted hat crowd was treated to an
energetic show from Chi-town representers The Cool Kids and the New
Orleans-bred Knux. Both, considered to be the new breed of rapsters
(rappin' hipsters, yes we coined that one!), combine bass and
blog-content into their music while getting the shawty's in the crowd
to shake a lil' somethin'. Inviting a couple of Broward females up on
stage, The Cool Kids, Mikey Rocks and Chuck English, turned the venue
into a "Bassment Party" before going into the MTV2 favorite "Delivery
Man" and riding out with the boostin' "Black Mags" accompanied by some
nice backdrop footage.
Combining the new acts of The Knux and Cool Kids with a draw like
Q-Tip was a good marketing move by the concert promoter at 2K Sports,
as was their ploy to setup video game consoles at the side of the stage
where ballers could test their skills on the latest hoops release, NBA
2K8. The graphics are ill and D.Wade is still unstoppable.
After waiting close to an hour with just a roots reggae CD spinning,
Q-Tip rose to the stage playing the vocals of a Barak Obama speech with
the Democratic logo shining behind him over turntable imagery. The
president elect gave way to the heavy guitar riff intro of "Shaka"
where Tip lyrically eulogized his brother and fallen brethren,
including fists in the air for the one and only, producer J-Dilla.
Once he got warm, the show didn't stop for close to two hours as The
Abstract moved skillfully in between tracks off The Renaissance and
Tribe material backed by the aforementioned four-piece band, DJ Scratch
and Tip on singing duties.
Dilla got his own tribute as Q jumped from Slum Village's Detroit City
anthem "Get Dis Money" [which saw our local editor from the D with a
fist in the air], to the buzzin' "Fever" and latest single "Move"
complete with Michael Jackson highlights.
A Tribe Called Quest has so many hits that when Tip performs it could
really be an all-nighter, as he teased the crowd with cuts like this
writers jam "Verses from the Abstract" and "Sucka Nigga" channeling
Freddie Hubbard, while leaving smashes like "Scenario" and "Award Tour"
for an evening ending, speaker standing medley.
DJ Scratch bum rushed the show as he party rocked in between band
solos, duplicating his "pick it up" routine but disappointingly left
home. Tip then turned the venue into a park jam as he re-created the wood
pecking snares on the classic "Mt. Airy Groove" breakbeat with his MPC1000
as Scratch cut the bass, before his keyboard player did his best T-Pain
moving octaves on the chorus to "Find My Way".
Underrated as a singer, Q left the backup vocalists on the bus covering
Raphael Saadiq on the thought provoking "Fight/ Love" and made sure all
the fans knew that I do this music for ya'll on "You".
Ending off with a Rick James-esque version of "Vivrant Thing", Tip
rocked the crowd to a loud ovation in front of three of his band
players on electric piano/ guitar who looked and played like they were
moonlighting for Prince's Revolution.
Evident of the show last night and the new record, Q-Tip is just reaching his Renaissance.
Personal Bias: Revolution needs to get a DJ or local act to keep the
crowd hype in between acts. You can't keep just a reggae CD on for an
hour before the headliner hits the stage.
Random Detail: During Q-Tip's performance, footage from old Tribe
videos and silhouetted images of the band/crowd were being shown behind
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him on a silk screen. Nice move.
By The Way: Tip has made three tight videos so far for his album,
including the latest for "Renaissance Rap." Search 'em out.
-- Bernard Hacker