It’s ok to stick this q-tip in your ear.

9 11 2008



The last time we heard from Q-Tip was 1999….at least that was the last time the record label let us hear from him. He was trying to transition from the brilliance that was hip hop at it’s best, A Tribe Called Quest, to a morphing, flashy and occasionally gangsta, type of aural fodder. His hits from “Amplified” included “Vivrant thing” and “Breathe, stop”. The latter is what a lot of people thought he did. Actually he tried a jazz, soul fusion album “Kamaal The Abstract”  in 2002 that the label shelved.

Flash forward six year. In rap time that is forever. Nov 4th was the release of his highly anticipated disc “The Renaissance”. ATCQ and Q-Tip fans will be relieved to hear him go back to his roots. “Hip hop is dead,” per Nas, who had a brilliant disc earlier this year, but after hearing this, one might disagree. The album cover has Mr. Tip holding a sample machine over his face. He takes snippets from old soul and jazz records and makes great hooks. A Floetry song says it perfectly. “i see you nodding your head like it’s a q-tip flick”.

I personally am not a huge fan of Q-Tip’s nasal delivery, but appreciate the music and the lyrics on occasion. He has a lot of guests on the disc including: Norah Jones, Raphael Saadiq and D’Angelo. And one other important contributor, the only outside force to produce one of the tracks,  J Dilla, who passed away in 2006. (Jay Dee, Jaylib are some of his other monikers and to be honest he makes Timbaland beats seem remedial, but like always, I digress.)

Those of you that were excited about our historical election, Q-Tip sampled Barack before hologramific, Will.I.Am. Check out “Shaka” a tribute to J Dilla with outtakes from our president elect’s early campaign speeches. Other stand out tracks are “Gettin Up”,  “Move” , the J Dilla track and “Believe” with D’Angelo. So the question remains “Can he still kick it?” Yes he can! Q-tip like the fans that adore him is maturing, but still wants to hold onto the music and the passion that hip hop has at its core. For true fans, this is a must have.




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