When Ali, Jarobi and Q-Tip had that infamous interview with MTV in which they spoke about their dissatisfaction with the ‘Beats, Rhymes and Life’ documentary and of course that email, Phife was notably absent. Phife seems to have been behind the movie the entire time, from being the sole Tribe member to show at Sundance, to remarking in a recent MTV interview that “the film is dope” and that the group was blessed to be chosen as the subject of the docu:

“How many groups got documentaries — hip-hop — being done about themselves? Run-DMC should definitely have a documentary. They’re the reason why I wanted to [be a rapper]. Same goes for EPMD, Slick Rick. … They came to Tribe Called Quest and asked us; we’re supposed to count our blessings and embrace this joint right here.”

Seeing as he is now used to being the only Tribe member behind the movie, Phife was understandably more than surprised when Ali Shaheed Muhammad  showed up for the film’s screening at the Tribeca Film Festival yesterday evening: “I really didn’t know that he was coming…That makes me really happy.” For his part, Ali stated that he was there to “support and represent” in addition to demonstrating that the not-so-behind-the-scenes-squabbles had finally come to an end. He also confirmed that the film now had the group’s total approval:

“Just because Q-Tip is not here does not mean he’s not in support of the film…I’m here, and I’m representing Q-Tip. We’re happy with the finished version. If none of us were fine with this, no one would be seeing the film.”

Michael Rappaport admitted that his initial goal when making the documentary was to reunite the group. Ali commented that “If the stars align…and we feel like we have a purpose in recording, then it can happen”, whilst Phife said that:

“Jarobi’s in Atlanta, I’m in California, Q-Tip’s in Jersey, and Ali’s in Brooklyn. So it’s a matter of us getting in one place at one time, and hammering this thing out. Doing a soundtrack for the movie wouldn’t count [towards the contract]. And even if it did, we’d be killing our fans. They already know those songs. I would want new music out there, wouldn’t you?”

However I wouldn’t advise fans to hold their breath. Phife also spouted about his relationship with Tip in the aforementioned MTV interview:

“I think we’ll get along more if we just dealt with each other on the normal more so than the actual business, because we definitely be at each other’s throats”

When asked if there was still tension between him and Q-Tip, Phife replied with an ‘emphatic’ “absolutely”. The movie is due for release on July 8th in NY and L.A. Spotted at RS.

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