Posdnuos Talks A Tribe Called Quest Break Up, Documentary

With Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest, the documentary on the seminal hip-hop group hitting theaters this Friday (July 8), XXLMag.com caught up with fellow Native Tongues member, De La Soul’s own Posdnuos to give his thoughts on the film.

While Tribe frontman Q-Tip has expressed mixed feelings about the movie, Pos—who also appears in the flick—says it is an accurate depiction of the pioneering collective, though he is still disappointed about Tribe’s split.

“At the end of the day, I just feel like the camera caught what was goin’ on in their lives,” Pos told XXL. “I just feel like it’s really sad for me because outside of … being a brother of those guys, I’m actually a Tribe fan. There’s music that they never released that no one will probably ever hear … that I can enjoy and go, ‘That was even doper than what they put on the album.’ That’s how talented those guys were.”

Pos recalled hip-hop’s “golden age,” when both De La Soul and ATCQ enjoyed considerable success and multiple styles of rap could co-exist. “When we came out it was De La then, but you could have N.W.A, and you could have Naughty [by Nature] and you could have PE [Public Enemy] and you could have Digital Underground,” he said. “You could have all these people, different people, Geto Boys, and we all loved each other, Too $hort. But it was all different pieces of a pie represented.”

He said that Tribe was a perfect representation of the diversity within hip-hop, and laments that the group hasn’t continued on with a recording career, though there have been short-lived reunions for various shows and Rock the Bells festivals.

“The fact that they couldn’t get it together as friends is a little sad, it’s really sad to me,” he said. “But I mean at end of the day … if you ain’t gonna be together, why do it just to be doin’ it? Cuz it’ll show. You know, certain people can’t act on ‘we don’t like each other, but it’s about the business.’ They were friends from kindergarten and what have you, so if that ingredient isn’t correct, then maybe it shows in everything else they do. And if that’s what it’s gonna be, maybe they shouldn’t be together.”

The documentary, directed by Michael Rapaport, premieres in New York and Los Angeles this Friday (July 8), rolling out to 32 more cities throughout the summer. —Lauren Carter with additional reporting by Carl Chery