Right now I'm taking a break from hip-hop documentaries. But I would do it if things lined up.
Only a genius can play a fool.
To make independent films, you can't think about them too much, ponder on them too much, get overwhelmed by the enormity of it.
So to compare the Beatles, obviously the Beatles are the Beatles, but in hip-hop terms, Tribe is the Beatles. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five are the Beatles. Big Daddy Kane is Jimi Hendrix. It means that much to people that grew up with it.
The effect hip-hop had on me was enormous. I was exposed to it by happenstance. My father worked at a radio station in New York called WKTU Disco 92. It was the first radio station in New York City to play disco in the late '70s.
I grew up in New York City in the '80s, and it was the epicenter of hip-hop. There was no Internet. Cable television wasn't as broad. I would listen to the radio, hear cars pass by playing a song, or tape songs off of the radio. At that time, there was such an excitement around hip-hop music.
I heard Q-Tip on the Jungle Brothers' song 'The Promo.' It was very exciting. It was very new. The music and the culture around hip-hop was evolving. I think there's an emotional quality to their music and there's a vulnerability to the music. For me, A Tribe Called Quest was my Beatles.
I love my kids, and the moments I have with them, and it's kind of weird, it's such an age old cliche, but the way that my sons, the way they make me feel when I look at them, the way they say things, no one else would probably react to them, but it's a special thing for me.
In any relationship that comes to an end, there's never just a baseline reason why. You say, 'Oh, I broke up with my girlfriend.' Someone says, 'Why?' You say, 'Well, you got three hours? And then maybe after I tell you my version, you've got to talk to her.'
A Tribe Called Quest music was so inclusive, so conscious, it brought such a community together.
When I was a kid, my first favorite song was probably Lou Reed's 'Walk on the Wild Side.'
Being No. 1. It's talked about all of the time in hip-hop. 'I'm still No. 1! I'm the best! I'm the greatest of all time!' It's the same mentality in sports.
But it all came, and for me, hip-hop has done more for racial divide and racial sort of bringing together than anything in the last 30 years. Seeing people like Eminem sounding like somebody like Jay-Z and just the racial aspects of it all.
Like any family, like any group - the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, EPMD, Public Enemy - they've had bumps in the road. I just think that because A Tribe Called Quest is so precious to fans, they were concerned about unveiling some of those things.
Listen, I'm 41 years old. I've got two kids. I've got a career. The last thing I need to be doing is having a beef with A Tribe Called Quest. It's silly and it was unnecessary. It ain't the first time that a director hasn't seen eye to eye with a subject and it ain't going to be the last time.
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