Last week, it was announced that Q-Tip has signed to Kanye West‘s G.O.O.D. Music label. And it seems like a snug fit, what with ‘Ye being a confirmed fanatic of Tip’s old group, A Tribe Called Quest, to the point where he once anointed himself That Guy Called West. But despite Kanye’s all-conquering solo career, his instincts as label chief haven’t always been so astute – as these artists churned up or left on the shelf by the G.O.O.D. Music machine testify. Will ‘Tip go down a similiar path? Lets reflect.
The Good: As Q-Tip’s cousin, and a recurring guest on Tribe’s Beats, Rhymes and Life album, Queens rapper ‘Quence seemed a natural early signing to Kanye’s stable. Guest spots on the Kanye album tracks “Starship” and “Gone” seemed to underscore the move.
The Bad: Cons-to-the-Quence’s mush-mouthed delivery isn’t the easiest to warm to at times, and his solo album for the label, Don’t Quit Your Day Job, pretty much dissolved upon release. Cue Cons leaving G.O.O.D. Music.
Where’s ‘Quence now? Well, he pops up on the blogs every three months to release a track dissing his old paymasters. At least he’s consistent.
2. Pusha T
The Good: With his excellent turns on the G.O.O.D. Friday series of tracks, the non-repenting half of the Clipse brothers seemed to add an unadulterated top notch rhymer to the G.O.O.D. Music ranks.
The Bad: Last year’s Fear Of God II: Let Us Pray was a somewhat downsized project and released in conjunction with indie label Decon; large parts of the effort had also previously been included on the first Fear Of God mixtape.
Where’s Pusha now? Basking in the glow of ‘Ye’s success, and presumably living a lavish life, but perhaps yet to find the most bountiful home for his undoubted rap talents.
The Good: Loud and likable in personality, G.L.C. was part of Kanye’s early Chi-town group The Go-Getters. His signing showed that West was willing to go back and scoop up those from his formative days.
The Bad: No album on G.O.O.D. Music ever materialized.
Where’s G.L.C. now? The album Love, Life & Loyalty was released back in 2010 on Ylimit Records. This is probably news to you.
4. Sa-Ra Creative Partners
The Good: With a hip sound and an image that cloaked itself in the trappings of Sun-Ra’s philosophical musings, the Sa-Ra team were touted as marking Kanye’s move into the avant-rap realm. A solo and group production resume that included Jay-Z, Dr. Dre and Erykah Badu attested to their quality.
The Bad: Another familiar case of a much ballyhooed G.O.O.D. Music signing resulting in only a lack of an album release.
Where’s Sa-Ra now? Well, a few year’s ago group member Om’Mas appeared on Diddy’s Making The Band. So, YouTube?
5. Mos Def
The Good: Something of Kanye’s kindred spirit, Mos also endeared himself to the G.O.O.D. Music cause after an appearance on 2010’s “Lord, Lord, Lord.” He was initiated into Kanye’s clan quickly after.
The Bad: Mos is slated to appear on this year’s label compilation G.O.O.D. Music: The Album, but he generally releases albums very much at his own pace (and largely depending on whether he’s in one of his phases where he decides that he actually likes hip-hop). So, don’t watch this space.
Where’s Mos now? Being a grown-up actor!