IRON SHARPENS IRON
Written by Nate Matthews on October 14, 2021
The game is real, freeing your mind and breathing life into your empire, these dudes made moves on a groove.
Between them, Q-Tip, Ol’ Dirty Bastard and RZA helped birth two of the greatest Hip Hop groups of all time: A Tribe Called Quest and Wu-Tang Clan. Rewind 30-something years, though, and the three of them were just scrappy kids running around New York sharpening their skills in rap battles.
During a recent appearance on Math Hoffa’s My Expert Opinion podcast, Q-Tip recalled the time he was in high school and battled a young Ol’ Dirty Bastard and RZA, back when he went by the name J-Nice. It was also the first time the future Tribe and Wu-Tang legends met each other.
“I must have been in 11th grade … At this time, I was pretty much known in [the battle circuit] … so n-ggas knew what time it was with me,” he remembered. “So my man from my school said, ‘Yo, this n-gga’s gonna get you.’ So, my man Rob, we was in the lunch room, it was seventh period, he was outside … He was like, ‘Where’s J-Nice?’
“We go outside, right in the front, and it’s Ason, it’s Ol’ Dirty Bastard. ‘Where’s J-Nice at?!’ RZA was there. That’s when I first met them.”
Bustard, Andy. “Q-Tip Recalls Losing to Ol’ Dirty Bastard & RZA in High School Rap Battle.” HipHopDX, HipHopDX, 7 Oct. 2021, https://hiphopdx.com/news/id.65032/title.q-tip-ol-dirty-bastard-rza-rap-battle.