Gumsole Beatdowns #2: Verses From The Abstract

This edition of Gumsole Beatdowns had actually been in the works for a long minute. But, my partner in musical beatdowns broke out (Best of luck Pistol Paine, sincerely), while others on the Internets quickly dropped appreciative ATCQ posts in lieu of the whole Lupe acting Flaco in the mental drama. Thus, it seemed a bit too transparent to offer a take on Q-Tip's grooves. Oh well, no sense in waiting. Nevertheless, this entire sham that is the Loop Foolery situation can be considered a positive. Maybe more heads scared to admit their musical delinquency at not having yet appreciated Midnight Marauders will purchase or borrow—but please don’t download—a copy of Tribe’s landmark album and catch up. ‘Til then here's a gaggle of the former Jonathan Davis’ choicest collabos. Say what you will, his career has technically been in idle mode of late [Amplified dropped in 1999, Kamaal The Abstract got deaded and the pending The Renaissance has been in the works for at least a couple of years], The Abstract’s energy stays kinetic. Jungle Brothers f/ Q-Tip “The Promo” (Warners Bros., 1988)“Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest, on the Jungle Brothers album, oh yes/So get the ducats, it’s coming out soon/A month after March, two before June.” If you dig wax “The Promo” was the “Straight Out The Jungle” B-side and another song on that same flip is “In Time.” Same beat, more verses. You should find it. Jungle Brothers f/ Q-Tip “On the Road Again (My Jimmy Weighs a Ton) (Q-Tip Remix)” (Warners Bros., 1993)No big deal if you missed the original. The remix added a fresh new pep to a track from JB’s only diehard fans have heard. If anyone has the video, sans the Q-Tip verse version heard here, do share.

Busta Rhymes f/ Q-Tip & Chauncey Black “You Can’t Hold The Torch” (Aftermath, 2006)Yes, most of you sucka rappers still ain’t worthy. Busta’s The Big Bang really is better than you think.

Busta Rhymes f/ Q-Tip “Ill Vibe” (Elektra, 1996)Come to think of it, Common is cool and all, but Q-Tip and Busta Rhymes album might be a good look. Maybe a bonus EP, or something? So long as Busta leaves the neo-Tony Montana gun talk ish back in 2006.

Mobb Deep f/ Q-Tip “Drink Away The Pain (Situations)” (Loud, 1995)Here’s to hoping Cell Block P gets early parole. Though many a commentator feels his skills have eroded, another Black man in jail is not the best of looks. Anyway, Tip gets busy on this joint, the mean sax is probably his doing too.

Raphael Saadiq f/ Q-Tip “Get Involved” (Hollywood, 1999)Thanks to the New Jack Swing, Hip-Hop and R&B formed a bond that, when done wrong, leads to some of the painful, in De La speak, rap and bullsh*t toxifying airwaves to this day. But when done with savvy, it has lead to many a jam, this one included.

The Roots “Ital (The Universe Side)” (Geffen, 1996) The Bad Lieutenant and The Abstract trading bars. Come on.

A Tribe Called Quest “Vibes & Stuff” (Jive, 1991)Yeah yeah, it’s not really a Tip collabo but hey, Phife sticks a mean verse in there so let's call it a technicality. In fact, Loco Fugazi ought to go back to The Low End Theory to start his ATCQ education (taking it back to People’s Instinctive… is just asking for too much). Bets are The Cool won’t be this fresh.

Chemical Brothers “Galvanize” (Astralwerks, 2005)This was used in a Budweiser commercial and won a Grammy in 2006. Bet that’s a nice royalty check.

Mad Skillz f/ Q-Tip & Large Professor “Extra Abstract Skills” (Big Beat, 1995)Skillz has reason not to be mad, he's got some joints in the catalog besides those year-end rap-ups. The then rookie holds his own alongside two NYC vets, but Tip handles his business and steals the show on some Incredible Hulk ish (the Banner, not the booze).

Nope, didn’t forget Black Sheep’s “La Menage,” Large Pro’s “The Sun,” or that hook and beat on Nas’ “One Love,” but you knew those, right? One. Native is the tongue…