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Q-Tip at the Commonwealth in Washington, D.C. in 2008.
Background information
Birth name Jonathan Davis
Also known as Q-Tip, Kamaal Ibn John Fareed
Born April 10, 1970 (1970-04-10) (age 39)
Origin Queens, New York, United States
Genres Alternative hip hop, Golden age hip hop, jazz rap
Occupations Rapper, producer, singer, actor
Years active 1988 - present
Labels Jive, Arista, Violator, Universal Motown
Associated acts A Tribe Called Quest, Kanye West, The Ummah, Soulquarians, Busta Rhymes, Common, J Dilla, Consequence, Mobb Deep, Nas, Black Eyed Peas, The Roots, Blakroc, Bun B

Kamaal Ibn John Fareed (born 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.


Personal life

Q-Tip was born Jonathan Davis on April 10, 1970 in Queens, New York. His father was from Montserrat, a British territory in the eastern Caribbean.[1] His mother is an African-American woman from Alabama. He attended Murry Bergtraum High School in Manhattan, New York. He converted to Islam in the mid-1990s, and changed his name to Kamaal Ibn John Fareed.[2] The Q in Q-Tip's stage name stands for Queens, the borough of New York City from which he hails.[citation needed] In an interview with Martha Stewart he revealed that he got his nickname Q-tip during his childhood because he was skinny and had big hair.

Q-Tip is a resident of Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.[3] He is the cousin of both Consequence and Dres from the hip hop group Black Sheep.


Besides performing with his popular and successful jazz-influenced hip hop group, 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) for artists such as Nas ("One Love", from Illmatic, 1994), Mobb Deep (co-producer on "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.

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. The long awaited follow-up to Amplified was finally released on September 15, 2009 on Battery Records.

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.[4]

As a DJ

Fareed regularly acts as a disc jockey, most notably at Santos Party House where he hosts a weekly residency called OPEN.[5] At Paper Magazine's 2008 Nightlife Awards, OPEN was named "Best DJ Night."[6]






  1. ^
  2. ^ Hip-Hop's Next Wave - TIME
  3. ^ Colman, David. "Flat-Panel TVs Sure Look Cool, But They Pose Design Dilemmas", The Wall Street Journal, August 27, 1999. Accessed December 27, 2007. "The rapper Q-Tip has been at the cutting edge of the music world for the past decade. So it was only natural that he'd want the latest for his Englewood Cliffs, N.J., living room: a sleek, flat-panel TV set."
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External links

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