“Leo — that’s one of my best friends and I’m one of his,” can you guess who said that? And no, this isn’t from Jonah Hill’s press tour for The Wolf Of Wall Street.

In fact, it’s from rapper/producer Q-Tip, most well known for being part of the seminal rap group A Tribe Called Quest. The quote, from a 2008 interview, is the missing puzzle piece to a news story that sounds more like a hipster mad libs than actual news.

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That story: Tip & Leo are joining creative forces, along with, yes, you guessed it, Jonah Hill, to develop a scripted TV series. That series, of course, is to be based on what is known in hip hop as the Native Tongues era, the formative moments for A Tribe Called Quest.

It might as well be titled, A TV Show Called Questionable Narration & Hollywood BFFs.

It all seems a bit too odd, maybe because we mostly see Leonardo DiCaprio cavorting with his neverending roster of model girlfriends. That doesn’t mean he can’t have regular friends.

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Q-Tip, a polarizing figure to most Tribe fans, seems to be as firmly rooted in Hollywood as he is in hip-hop. Tobey Maguire is another friend of Tip, someone he sees as no different from any of his other friends, he told the LA Times in the same interview, “That’s just my boy. Tobey’s my boy. We all love sports. We’re all into politics. We all have a stake in the artistic community. We all have a lot of similar interests. I [fraternize] with Slick Rick in the same way.”

Anyone who has seen the documemtary about the history of ATCQ, Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest, though, might want to ask Tip to stand down from this project. Any other member of the group, Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammad or Jarobi White, would be a more reliable narrator than Q-Tip. Hell, even the woman who recorded the ”Midnight Marauders Tour Guide” intro would be preferable. But I’m guessing none of those people have Leo’s cell phone number in their contacts list.

Henry T. Casey tweets @henrytcasey


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