I became excited about hip hop for the first time in a long time when I learned that Q-Tip, of A Tribe Called fame, had a new album coming out. Artfully dubbed “The Renaissance,” the album is the first offering from The Abstract since “Amplified” in ’99 and as reported on npr.org, it was well worth the wait. I gave the album, which dropped November 4th, a listen at work on Friday, again Friday night after having a few Great American Lagers and Sunday night before sitting down to punch something up. With each listen I appreciated the album’s simplicity more and more.
In the spirit of keeping reviews of anything that is a quality product brief and to the point, I’ll say this: take notice hip-hop industry, over understated production Q Tip has made a big statement without resorting to overwhelming, in your face studio tricks. “The Renaisance,” highlights Q Tip’s strengths; quality lyricism, soulful vocals and catchy hooks. The album plays like a breath of fresh air for a genre that is struggling to find someone to grab the torch and take hip hop into the 21st century. More throwback than innovation “The Renaissance,” is a solid album with no filler that left me wondering about the possibility of a new album form A Tribe Called Quest. Examiner.com reported that Phife took the stage with Tip on November 14th at The Mezzanine in San Francisco to perform “Find a Way,” “Electronic Relaxation” and “Scenario,” much to the crowd’s approval. I’m not sure if the rumor mill has started up on this one yet, but I don’t think I’m alone in saying that a new Tribe album would a treat for hip hop fans that have felt like the last ten years have been lackluster. Get “The Renaissance,” and join me in keeping my fingers crossed for more from an MC whose absence has been missed.