Monday evening, at the release party for Q-Tip‘s new album Renaissance at the Bowery Hotel, the guest of honor brought along his friends Nas and RZA to recreate an old-school freestyle session. “Y’all don’t have stare, turn those lights down,” the former Tribe Called Quest member said, squinting into the crowd. “Big up to my man Nile Rogers,” he said, referring to the influential musician and co-founder of the band Chic. “If you see that legend, salute him!” Mysteriously, a cadre of Secret Service men looked on; they were mum about whom they were guarding.
Q-Tip—famous for his Afrocentric take on boho chic—was sporting a black tux, black shirt, grey bow-tie and fuschia pocket square. “I’m blasting out my song with Barack November 5,” Q-Tip had told the assembled red carpet scrum earlier. The Daily Transom asked about David Dinkins, whom Tribe Called Quest rapped about on “Can I Kick It-” in 1988.
“This isn’t going to be a bad question, is it?” Q-Tip interjected. No! The Daily Transom just wanted to hear how he would update his famous rhymed support of New York’s first black nominee for mayor. He thought for a moment and gave it a shot. “Mr. Barack Obama, will you please be our president/you’ll be doing us a really…” The legendary verbal acrobat shrugged.
Wu-Tang’s RZA was in full camouflage. “I’m supporting Barack, of course. I’m not in a position to vote, you know what I’m saying, but yeah, I’m supporting him.” We wondered what the Brooklyn-bred musician thought of New York’s current mayor. “Williamsburg is nice, but Bed Stuy’s not. Take it inland, Bloomberg,” he said.
The Daily Transom mentioned Ol’ Dirty Bastard, RZA’s late band mate. “I miss ODB, man,” he said, sighing. He watched a couple middle-aged women with Michelle Obama badges saunter by. Referring to ODB, he added, “That was a good mayor of New York.”