Q-Tip Q-Tip is an American hip hop artist, singer, and occasional actor from Queens, New York City. He was the leader of the critically acclaimed group A Tribe Called Quest. The Q in Q-Tip's stage name stands for Queens, the borough of New York City from which he hails. It is also said to be a name that represents his ability to get into one’s ears (as the Q-Tip cotton swab). He also refers to himself as the Abstract' (originally the Abstract Poetic) and Kamaal the Abstract.