The members of the legendary group A Tribe Called Quest have always drawn from their African roots. Not only were they prime movers in Afrocentric movements – notably Zulu Nation and Native Tongues – but their lyrics and beats also referenced those that were (forcibly) ushered out of the ports of West, Central, and Southwest Africa – birthing such monumental movements as the blues, funk, jazz, rock, reggae and, of course, hip-hop along the way . And now we’ve come full circle.

With a simple and expertly-rolled cheek swab (a q-tip?) to collect DNA, watch Q-Tip (above) trace his maternal ancestry – back to the specific country, and, yes, TRIBE, that his peoples are really from – discovering that his interest in music and instrumentation is surely no accident.

If you haven’t yet seen our first episode in “The Root of…” series, check here to watch ?uesto and Black Thought discover theirs. And you too can discover the country and even tribe where it all began: to get your own DNA test, check out our partners over at African Ancestry.

Video by Native Resonance.


17 Replies to "Video: The Roots of Q-Tip – A Tribe Called Djola"
Spazz says:
January 24, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Now Q should sample what that dude played…lol

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  • Jericho Drumm says:
    January 24, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    That song he’s playing is amazing!!!

    Time to look into Mr. Sana Ndiaye.

      Suzi says:
      January 30, 2012 at 7:21 am

      I agree. Amazing.

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  • DJ Asante says:
    February 6, 2012 at 7:41 am

    It going to sound freaky but Q-Tip’s flow kinda sounds like that instrument. Is it just me?

    SEW says:
    February 26, 2012 at 7:21 am

    The drum is our heart beat reaching into the future to each new child born. It is the spirit of our ancestors carrying us through. When you look in your childs eyes know this; they are the rebirth of those that were taken long ago, so treat them well. Remember Roots well go further back. Remember Dr. Ben? go further back. Remember the Garden?! Go further back. Remember the story tellers as you sat at their feet? Remember JAH! SEW!

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  • Manneh says:
    May 21, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    The Diola, Djola, Jola a nation/tribe is in three West African countries: Guinea-Bissau,The Gambia and Senegal [Casamance, Southern Senegal].

    The different spellings are the result of the different European countries that colonised these three West African countries: France: Senegal, Portugal: Guinea Bissau, British: The Gambia.

    Jolas predominate in Casamance [Southern Senegal]. Incidentally the president of The Gambia is from The Jola tribe.

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