Q-Tip has stated that NWA’s 1988 release Straight Outta Compton was a direct influence on A Tribe Called Quest’s 1991 album The Low End Theory. In turn, Dre revealed that Tribe’s project greatly inspired the Compton rapper/producer’s 1992 classic, The Chronic.
In a recent interview on Shade 45’s “All Out Show,” Q-Tip spoke to Rude Jude and Lord Sear about the nature of his drawing inspiration from Dre for The Low End Theory. “Everybody deals with shit in a competitive way. But not in like an egregious way, how shit looks a little bit today,” explained Tip. “But more like one-upsmanship in the music. Tryin’ to stay fresh…just keeping your eye on that dude. And for me, personally, when I went in, that dude was Dre.”
“The group was NWA, and to me, that was the benchmark. And of course I was listening to everything else around…”
“The bar was set very high,” continued the ATCQ member. “Musically, my main thing was Dre. That was like, trying to make something he would like and appreciate in a way. Musically.”