As the lead MC and co-founder of the rap group A Tribe Called Quest, rapper Q-Tip helped shape an alternative style of hip-hop. Formed in New York during the mid-1980s, A Tribe Called Quest infused rap with jazz, funk and World beats that formed the backdrop for the group's platinum-selling albums The Low End Theory (1991) and Beats, Rhymes and Life (1996). With Q-Tip taking the reigns as lead songwriter, A Tribe Called Quest delivered timeless hip-hop jams such as "Scenario" (1992) and "Award Tour" (1993) that influenced everyone from The Fugees to Kanye West. In 1999, Q-Tip launched his solo career with Amplified (1999), which ushered the rapper to pop and neo-soul territory with mainstream hits "Vivrant Thing" and "Breathe and Stop." The iconoclastic and hardworking Q-Tip delivered even when he was not producing his own records, from appearing as a guest vocalist to producing other talent, yet his influential work with A Tribe Called Quest remained his crowning achievement as a hip-hop maverick.