The rapper Q-Tip is going to be taking on the daunting role of jazz legend Miles Davis onstage in a production called My Funny Valentine. It kind of goes without saying that Q-Tip has had a busy year so far since he’s been announced as the leader of the Hip Hop Culture Council and he released a song with Kendrick Lamar just last month. The guy’s been going off this year so far and now he gets to play the iconic role of Miles Davis, something that a person would have to have a lot of moxie to do in the first place.
After all, Miles Davis was the kind of guy that not just anyone could play. Even if he was a regular person on the inside there was something about him that projected an aura of cool that a lot of people couldn’t fully understand. Q-Tip was actually pretty nervous about playing such a role but when he did a table reading Miles’ nephew and a few good friends were present and said that the writers had nailed Miles’ character extremely well. Now it’s just a matter of Q-Tip nailing his lines just as well when he’s onstage. There’s no need to doubt the man but the fact is that Miles Davis was a legend in his own time and remains so today. Anyone playing him has got to have the right kind of attitude and be able to express it at any given moment. That aura of cool has to be something that people can almost feel and the projection of his character has got to be something that permeates the room as it did when he was still doing his thing.
There was a kind of mystique surrounding Miles Davis in the media for a long time since he seemed like someone that was virtually untouchable and couldn’t be held at fault for anything no matter what it might be. He wasn’t perfect by any means but he was cool, and that was what people expected of him. Q-Tip has shown that he has the poise and the ability to perform but it’s going to come down to whether or not he can really bring that talent to bear for this role in a way that convinces people that the role was in fact perfect for him.
This production is going to detail one day in Davis’ life back in the early 80’s and will show what kind of events happened that altered the man’s life in ways that weren’t expected. The play will be coming out fairly soon and is expected to be a hit, but at this point it might be reasonable to assume a more neutral stance just in case anything untoward does happen. There’s no reason to expect that it will, but raising one’s expectations too high for anything tends to dim the moment before it ever gets there.