Do The Knowledge: Q-Tip & Black Ivory

JLBarrow • September 11, 2008 • 1 Comment

Ahh, so the new Q-tip video for “Gettin’ Up” debuted on Nahright today. (Damn, the days of debuting on TV are  really a wrap, huh?) So I’m listening to it and think “this is hot.”

While most people are probably distracted by the crazy ass outfits Tip is wearing I’m all in this BEAT like, “what is that sample?” and “it sounds vaguely familair…” So I do some homework and find out that it’s Black Ivory’s “You and I.”

What I’m about to say will strike some of you as odd, but I don’t know that much about Black Ivory. Unlike some people, I’m not afraid to say when I don’t know something. So I went looking and found this on Wikipedia:

Black Ivory is the name of an R&B group from Harlem, which had a number of hits in the 1970s, including “Don’t Turn Around”, “You and I” (which featured Larry Blackmon from Cameo on drums), “I’ll Find a Way (The Loneliest Man in Town)”, “Spinning Around”, “What Goes Around (Comes Around)”, “Will We Ever Come Together”, and “Mainline”. The group featured songwriter and prolific disco producer Leroy Burgess, Stuart Bascombe, and Russell Patterson. They were managed by Patrick Adams, an executive at the Today/Perception record company. Burgess was the lead voice of the majority of their hits in the early ’70’s. With Today/Perception being a small label, the promotion of Black Ivory’s singles scarcely got beyond the East Coast. This lack of exposure, coupled with the rise of disco and the fact Adams was beginning to branch out into other projects, caused Black Ivory to lose steam.

Turns out 9th Wonder and Brother Ali have touched that wax as well.

Now, after some more snooping around I see that some of you in cyberspace recognize  this sample from Madlib’s Beat Konducta collection. For those of you who haven’t heard it or might have missed it (like me) here it is:

This is why I love hip-hop. Very different usage of the same sample. But now the question I’m trying to answer is, “Who produced it?” and at first I read conflicting reports. Some said Mark Ronson,(probably because he debuted it on his radio show over the summer) others said  J-Dilla (just cuz, hey, it’s dope and it’s Q-Tip, right?)  but Tip’s management says that the Abstract twisted the nobs on this one. Shout out to FWMJ at Rappersiknow for the investigative reporting.

Now I hope this means Tip will actually be dropping The Renaissance in November.

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