By Simon Vozick-Levinson
Updated December 08, 2009 at 10:55 PM EST
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Q-Tip has been logging studio hours lately making beats, not only for himself, but others. There’s one project in particular that the sometime Tribe Called Quest leader would like to work on as a producer: Eminem’s upcoming Relapse 2. “I submitted some tracks to Eminem,” he tells the Music Mix. “They’re very hard, very rhythmic. I’m just hoping that he likes them enough to use them.” Most know Q-Tip best as a rapper, of course, but given his strong beatmaking résumé — he produced Nas’s classic “One Love” and Mobb Deep’s “Give Up the Goods,” among others — it’s an intriguing idea. (Says an Eminem rep: “They haven’t done anything together yet, but Em is still working.”)

After all the years of label drama it took to get The Renaissance on shelves, Q-Tip was happy to see his acclaimed 2008 album receive a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album last week. Still, he’s not losing any sleep thinking about his chances to win a trophy. “I’m not itching — if it happens, it would be nice, definitely,” he says. “But hey, man, I don’t pay too much attention to these things, because if you do, you wind up going crazy. I’m just honored to be recognized.”

He’s also starting to think about a follow-up to The Renaissance, which he hopes will be out this coming August. Though he’s tight-lipped about plans for the album — “I don’t want to let too much out, because I don’t want somebody to take the idea!” he laughs — Q-Tip revealed some of the music he’s been enjoying recently. “I’m listening to The Blueprint 3, of course. I’ve been listening to a lot of Sly Stone, Fresh. Like everybody else, I like Grizzly Bear.” No arguments there!

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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