Tyler, the Creator Calls Q-Tip the ‘Yoda of the Pocket I Exist In,’ Explains How He Inspired ‘CMIYGL’

Tyler, the Creator explained how the Harlem-born rapper and producer inspired 'Call Me If You Get Lost.'


Tyler, the Creator is giving Q-Tip his flowers.

During the Season 2 premiere of Rap Radar, the Grammy-winning rapper praised Q-Tip’s music evolution and the indelible mark he left on hip-hop. Tyler said he was especially inspired by Q-Tip’s solo work, which polarized many fans who believed it strayed too far from A Tribe Called Quest’s established style.

“I wouldn’t exist without — come on, Q-Tip is truly the Yoda of the pocket I exist it,” Tyler said, before referencing Q-Tip’s 1999 debut album, Amplified. “You had Native Tongues and all this stuff, and you had, like Wu-Tang, and you had NWA, and then you had the intellectual [rap] that KRS-One was… so at that time, you’re 18, you’re finding the pocket that you’re gonna live in. And Q-Tip and them — backpack dudes, fuckin’ tie-dye shirts and stuff, wearin’ beads and shit — it’s really important.”

Tyler said Q-Tip’s lyricism began changing as he became increasingly successful — a transition that left some fans confused and upset.

“Q-Tip is making some money. He’s traveling the world, he’s able to buy nice things, he’s able to probably be around beautiful women and just do awesome things,” Tyler continued. “And him hanging out at a club in Paris or Capris or Atlanta or a different part of New York with these beautiful women, and he leaves and gets inside of his awesome car, listening to fuckin’ Marvin Gaye or whatever, that’s his true lifestyle that he lives.”

Tyler went on to highlight “Vivrant Thing” and “Let’s Ride,” two standout tracks from Q-Tip’s Amplified. The former is an infectious song about a special girl in his life, while the latter is about the joys of owning a fancy vehicle. Though some fans were disappointed in the lyrical shift, Tyler was inspired by it.

“I’m like, ‘Oh, Q-Tip is making an album [about] an environment that’s really his life,” he said. “And I believe when that came out a lot of backpacker dudes were like, ‘What the fuck is he doing?’ But it’s like, you like the version of Q-Tip you think you know, but this is actually him now at his most honest, and Call Me If You Get Lost that mirrors the way that I truly lived … and Q-Tip made the blueprint for that to happen. I just want to pay my respects to Q-Tip for laying that blueprint now.”

Tyler’s Call Me If You Get Lost dropped in 2021 and introduced fans to Tyler’s alter ego Tyler Baudelaire, a well-off jet-setter who enjoys the finer things in life.

“It’s all context,” he explained. “Bro, I’ve been super financially turnt since I was 19 years old … [Fans] like Tyler talking about the Beemer, but when Tyler talks about the Rolls Royce, it’s like, ‘OK, you’re a hypocrite.’ They’re both vehicles. You can’t pick and choose. But, you know, some kids think it’s inspirational … For some people, they're like, ‘This is vapid, this is superficial, you’re just like all the other rappers.’ … So it’s really interesting. 'White kids said I brag too much and the Black kids say it’s inspiring, the duality is tiring.'”

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You can check out Tyler’s full Rap Radar podcast here.

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