I’m finally sitting down to write here on a Monday morning, after a great time in NYC. I arrived on Friday at the Ace shortly before my scheduled set time. Originally, I had assumed that I was going to be DJing in the lobby of the hotel, as I had done previously. However, upon arrival (with a completely packed lobby of guests and others drinking, hanging, and waiting for tables at the Breslin), I was escorted to the new Liberty Room downstairs. It’s a smaller venue, but with great decor, enough space to dance, or just sit and hang in the vintage furniture scattered throughout the room. The staff at the venue is really great (shout out to the Sound Guy Alan, Kate, Rachel and all the others for really taking good care of me!), and in no time after a little while of sound difficulties, we were able to get under way. I am leaving a small part out. I knew I was playing from 7PM to 11PM, and that there was a DJ after me, but I had no idea who. That person was Q-Tip. It was definitely a surprise. From the early De La Soul singles to last year’s Kamal the Abstract, I’ve always been a fan. In all of my sets, there is always a bunch of A Tribe Called Quest records as well as original samples they may have used. Q-tip knew how to pick those samples (whether it be Billy Brooks, Roy Ayers, Lou Reed, etc.) for the back beats, and has always been known as a great record collector. Even after losing part of his collection ( I had heard it was somewhere in the neighborhood of 30,000 records) in a house fire a bunch of years back, the guy still brought the heat. My set went well, but as you can imagine, an all 45 set for over four hours is not always the easiest. I finished up with some Disco Soul, and couldn’t find my Barbara St. Clair record (next time!) to end out my set with, so I ended with Bobby Byrd.
Q-Tip’s set was quite eclectic: Starting off with Led Zeppelin’s Wanton Song (and over this massive sound system it shook your ribs) and running through everything from the Bee Gees to Brass Construction to James Brown cuts (off The Payback) to Big Daddy Kane and Pete Rock and CL Smooth joints to some Disco stuff and beyond, the crowd responded well. He’s a great DJ, and what was really cool, was when he talked over some records, his cadence and rhythm in his voice (I mean it’s unmistakable) , with a little reverb added, fit in perfectly. He was a surprise guest and I can’t even begin to tell you how many people came up to me saying…”Is that Q-Tip?” All in all it was a top night, and I want to shout out my friends who came out to see me from NJ and the City. You got an extra treat because I had no idea he was going to be a DJ. He’s a really nice guy, and if you are interested in checking him out live, he’s headlining a DJ night at the Nokia Theater in NYC with Jazzy Jeff (Philly represent) and Peanut Butter Wolf. The ticket details are here. Keep Diggin’!
That must have been very cool. I always thought ‘The Wanton Song’ would rock the house (that and ‘Trampled Underfoot’)…
Sounds like it was a night to remember, one for the books. Thanks for sharing your story & some of Q-Tip’s selections.
Exactly HOW did I MISS this, again? Hope all’s well, Prestige.