"I tear up because I just wish physically that he was here."
More than any other recent project, hip-hop needed A Tribe Called Quest's We Got It from Here... Thank You 4 Your Service, the group's first album in almost 20 years. Arriving at the end of a tough year, with frightening political strife and with the deaths of a few musical icons -- Prince, David Bowie, and of course, ATCQ's own Phife Dawg, the album serves a special remedial purpose, in addition to providing a lasting testament to the group's legacy. The three living group members performed and paid tribute to Phife on a memorable episode of SNL, hosted by Dave Chappelle, last night, and the day before, Q-Tip and Jarobi White guested on Ebro's Beats 1 radio show to discuss the album and its special collaborations, including those with Elton John, Andre 3000, and Kendrick Lamar.
Toward the end of the nearly 30-minute interview, Q-Tip shared some heartfelt words on Phife, who died in March of diabetes-related complications at age 44. As he begins talking about what it's like to hear his fallen groupmate on their new record, one can hear him start to choke up. "You hear the brother's voice," says Tip, "I hear his voice and it's like real talk."
"It's just wild because you know, not only was he like my first friend really, but we were able to build something together that we dreamt about as boys," Tip continues. "Coming up in the neighborhood with Run and L and [Salt-N-Pepa's] Sheryl and Sandy...I tear up because I just wish physically that he was here." He would go on to call the release of the new album "bittersweet," saying, "I just wish my brother was here to enjoy these fruits."
Listen to the whole interview below, via Apple Music.
Head here to stream We Got It from Here... Thank You 4 Your Service.