Q-Tip stopped by The Daily Show Thursday for a six-minute, one-question interview that featured the A Tribe Called Quest rapper tackling racism, the Electoral College and the political overtones of the group’s We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service.
“You felt it brewing in this country, felt it in the underbelly that disposable people, if you would. People who did not add to the true economic gains, right? And one of the things we have to remember is that in this society, capitalism, the bottom line is truly money,” Q-Tip said.
“And then you have all of us as citizens, here we are co-existing, in order for someone to truly capitalize on the situation, there has to be something that’s weak.”
Lyrics in tracks like “We the People…,” the rapper added, focus on the “true, deep, in-the-gut racism” percolating throughout the 2016 election. “It’s easy to float that and to cause this kind of dissension amongst all of us so that those who are the true aggregators of power and who have the true interest of high wealth can come in and subdue the citizens,” the rapper said.
“We wanted to try to pose the scenario, rather than be heavy-handed and straightforward of it, but within music and within song and within art, we’re able to present this tapestry that really shows the truth that we’re all kind of joined together, truly.”
Q-Tip also touched on the Electoral College, which has been under additional scrutiny this election after Donald Trump won the presidency despite garnering over a million less votes than Hillary Clinton.
“The history of the [Electoral] College is that it was brought about because the powers that be didn’t really feel they could trust their citizens to elect their leaders,” the rapper said. “Felt they were uneducated, didn’t really understand the true landscape of politics and where the country was going … Just to protect ourselves, we’ll have this [Electoral] College and it sits in sort of a mystery shop.”