Last night, Q-Tip joked with audience members as he revealed the stories behind his music at an intimate VH1 Soul event atCedar Lake, a Manhattan performing arts space. He had already been rocking the mic for about 20 minutes bythe time my taxi pulled up outside, so I missed all but one of the newsongs he performed from his long-awaited upcoming CD, The Renaissance(out Nov. 4). But I arrived just in time to catch the best part: Backedby DJ Scratch and a three-piece band — bass, guitar, andkeys — Tip moved the crowd to its feet as he ran through a medley ofold-school favorites from A Tribe Called Quest’s catalog (“Check theRhyme,” “Bonita Applebaum,” “Electric Relaxation”). It was all tapedfor a TV special called VH1 Soul “Soul Stage” Presents Q-Tip that will air on Nov. 4 at 8 p.m.
After the concert, I went backstage to congratulate Tip ondelivering a fantastic show. Then I joined his inner circle, UniversalMotown president Sylvia Rhone, and several execs from the label for alate-night dinner at Buddakan that stretched until the early morning.That’s why I overslept and missed Billboard‘s Women in Musicbreakfast at the St. Regis Hotel, where Ciara, Deborah Harry, andColbie Caillat received artist awards, and Atlantic Records president JulieGreenwald topped its fourth annual Women in Music list. It certainlywould’ve been nice to be there, but if you had to choose between seeingCaillat perform at 9 a.m. on a Friday morning versus watching Q-Tipkick it like it’s 1990, which one would you pick?