Q-Tip - The RenaissanceUniversal Motown
It’s hard to believe that it’s been nine years since Q-Tip’s last full length release. That would be an eternity for most rappers but it feels as though Q-Tip hasn’t gone anywhere. He’s had opportunities to record but chose to wait for the right project to come along. “The Renaissance” feels like the right project at the right time. Q-Tip has always demonstrated that he knows a hot beat when he hears one and “The Renaissance” unleashes one hot track after another. Among the highlights are “Gettin’ Up”, a bangin’ track that finds Q-Tip praising his girl and the bond that exists between them. The track makes great use of a sample of old school soul group Black Ivory’s “You And I”. “We Fight, Love” is a warm soulful track gets production and vocal assistance from Raphael Saadiq. “Move” is another boom bap banger that features production by the Late J-Dilla and features a sample of the Jackson Five’s “Dancin’ Machine”. “I Believe, Featuring D’Angelo” was actually released a few years ago and receives an alternative take here. The original version was an up-tempo party song but this version has more of a mid-tempo soul groove. “Life Is Better” is another satisfying track with a mid-tempo groove and the blissful vocals of Norah Jones. Infectious beats and thought provoking rhymes, “The Renaissance” is a triumphant return for Q-Tip. Let’s hope that he’s here to stay for awhile.
Reg Dancy, 11/08