A Tribe Called Quest was one of the greatest groups to exist in Hip-Hop. If you were like me in 1998, you were anxiously awaiting the release of “The Love Movement” LP. Slightly after “Find a Way” was well solidified on the radio charts, a small underground 12-inch single dropped by an artist named Lone Ranger. For those that don’t know, Lone Ranger was Q-Tip.
The story of Lone Ranger is never mentioned in the Tribe documentary or when speaking about Tip’s solo career. One can only assume that he knew the ATCQ breakup was inevitable and was exploring his options as a soloist. Why Lone Ranger and not Q-Tip? Most likely, releasing a solo effort might cause some record label issues, especially right before such a major group release. Also, the very name “Lone Ranger” points to Tip feeling alone himself or him being the sole savior of the Tribe sound.
The song itself is trademark ATCQ and covers the T La Rock classic “It’s Yours“. The hook and some of the scratches are borrowed from T La Rock’s version, but the rest is all Q-Tip. Other than this single and a white label bootleg, this track was never released.
If you purchased the bonus CD version of “Love Movement“, you were rewarded with some remixes and a solo effort by Q-Tip entitled “Moneymaker“. In the intro of the song, he references himself as “Lone Ranger“, sounding more like an alter-ego of Q-Tip. To my knowledge, the Long Ranger was never heard from again.