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Song of the day is Q-Tip's Gettin' Up

Updated on February 2, 2015
Q-Tip who is also known as The Abstract.  His real name is Jonathan Davis but he later changed it to Kamaal Ibn John Fareed after he converted to Islam.
Q-Tip who is also known as The Abstract. His real name is Jonathan Davis but he later changed it to Kamaal Ibn John Fareed after he converted to Islam.

Gettin' Up is the first single off Q-Tip's second solo album The Renaissance

My song of the day is Gettin' Up by Q-Tip. First time I heard this song I knew I liked it within 2 seconds. The piano riff that starts with the intro and loops throughout the song, is so melodic. I knew it was a sample, but wasn’t sure what it was from or how I knew it. After checking the liner notes, I discovered the riff is from the song You and I by Black Ivory. You and I sounds pretty good. It’s an R&B love song from the 70s. I had never heard it before listening to Gettin' Up. I much prefer Gettin' Up to You and I, but I’m aware that without You and I the song wouldn’t exist. It just amazes me that this cool song was built around that small riff.

Black Ivory consisted of Leroy Burgess, Stuart Bascombe, and Russell Patterson.
Black Ivory consisted of Leroy Burgess, Stuart Bascombe, and Russell Patterson.

Sampling of You and I by Black Ivory

Fans of Black Ivory will say he stole that from them or he ripped it off. No, he didn’t. This isn’t 1984 when rappers were sampling everything under the sun and not clearing them or paying royalties. All those events would lead up to lawsuits and bitter artists. I always understood why those artists were angry. They worked so hard to create a song. A song that the record label is collecting the majority of the money from. Then another artist comes along uses it, gets famous and rich and they get nothing. Now it’s virtually impossible to steal from someone. It’s just funny that even today people still say that something was stolen or discredit songs that use samples. Mainly people discredit hip hop songs. Rock musicians sample as well, but their fans will have you believe they never do it. Led Zeppelin allegedly stole from many artists. They have settled quite a few plagiarism lawsuits and are still held in high regard. I’m a fan of theirs, yet I’ve never heard anyone scream that they are thieves. John Lennon while he was in The Beatles was sued by Chuck Berry for plagiarism, which he later settled. No one considers Lennon a thief. Musicians borrow from each other, its just annoying when it's not acknowledged and compensated. I think some hip hop artists are sloppy in their use of samples. Diddy’s samples are downright lazy. It’s like cut and paste. Delete the vocals of a hit song and replace it with a rap. Q-Tip has never been one that I would accuse of doing that. You have to dig to find out what samples he uses.

Zoning Out to Gettin' Up

There is nothing deep or even moving about this song. Which makes it sound like I’m trashing it, but I’m just being honest. It’s just purely melodic to me. Q-Tip’s lyrical flow on the song is solid. It’s just one of those songs that I can always hear and never get tired of. It is a hypnotic song with a catchy hook that you can get lost in for a long drive. It’s safe to say when I got the album, I listened to Gettin' Up about 7 times in a row. It would be a good song to play at a cookout, relaxing day at home, or just chilling with friends. Gettin' Up isn’t even the best song on the album. There is something about it that hits me just right. If you are a Seinfeld fan its like my Desperado. I hear it and just zone out and get lost in the song. I love so many other songs more on the album, but I’ll always start by listening to Gettin' Up. I can’t really explain it. It just makes me happy. I love sharing my music interests with others. Right now Gettin' Up is in my daily rotation. I hope if you have never heard of this song that you may have found a new exciting discovery. If you are a fan of Tribe or Q-Tip you already know how talented he is.

A Tribe Called Quest consisted of Q-Tip(left), Phife Dawg(middle) and Ali Shaheed Muhammad(right).
A Tribe Called Quest consisted of Q-Tip(left), Phife Dawg(middle) and Ali Shaheed Muhammad(right).

Q-Tip's time in the rap group A Tribe Called Quest

The song is from Q-Tip’s second solo album called The Renaissance. For those of you who don’t know much about Q-Tip, he started out in a rap group called A Tribe called Quest. They are a legendary group in hip hop music. They were my favorite hip hop group. They released their first album Peoples Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm in 1990. A Tribe Called Quest called it quits shortly after their 5th and final album in the late 90s. All 5 of those albums are considered classics in the hip hop community. Universal appeal always eluded A Tribe Called Quest. Only 3 of the 5 albums went platinum. Only one went to number one on the charts, Beats Rhyme and Life. Even though I love the album it’s my least favorite of the 5. Heat from the previous album entitled Midnight Marauders, helped propel Beats Rhyme and Life to charting at Number 1. Midnight Maurauders is the Tribe’s best album and one of the best hip hop albums of all time in my opinion. I feel like the success of that album help build anticipation for Beats Rhyme and Life.

The Renaissance was released in 2008.  It was a commercial flop but a critical success.  It received a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album in 2009.
The Renaissance was released in 2008. It was a commercial flop but a critical success. It received a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album in 2009.

The Renaissance

Shortly after A Tribe Called Quest broke up, Q-Tip released Amplified. At first I didn’t like it. I was bitter my favorite group had broke up and it was different from the previous A Tribe Called Quest albums. It felt like Q-Tip was trying to put out an album that had mass appeal. Fans didn’t flock to Amplified. A few years went by and I gave Amplified another chance. When I gave it a listen a few years later, I really liked it. It’s a solid album. Years went by and a smattering of guest appearances and production credits before we’d get another Q-Tip album release. The Renaissance came out in 2008. It was released 9 years after Amplifed. It’s Q-Tip’s second solo album and technically its his third album. Kamaal The Abstract was recorded as a follow up to Amplified. It was originally recorded in 2002 but shelved by the record label, then released in 2009 after the The Renaissance. So after having Kamaal The Abstract shelved, Q-Tip went back in the studio and hammered out The Renaissance and it’s my favorite solo album of his.

Burn After Rolling Mixtape by rapper Wiz Khalifa.
Burn After Rolling Mixtape by rapper Wiz Khalifa.

Wiz Khalifa samples Gettin' Up

Wiz Khalifa sampled the beat from Gettin' Up on his mixtape called Burn After Rolling. He even called his song Gettin' Up. It sounds like he’s freestyling but then he eventually sings the hook similar to Q-Tip. His flow of the song isn’t bad, but I can’t stand this song. I’m not a fan of his and just think it's lazy like a Diddy sample. I’m sure Wiz Khalifa fans would disagree. Until next time folks.

What's your choice?

What do you think of Gettin' Up? Do you prefer Gettin' Up (Q-Tip), You and I or Gettin' Up (Wiz Khalifa)? What is your song of the day?

© 2014 Randal Bruce

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