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Q-Tip “The [Abstract] Best” Mixtape

Published in Blog Archive, Culture Bully. Tags: .

One of the most exciting aspects of J. Period & Q-Tip’s The [Abstract] Best mixtape is how fresh tracks from The Renaissance sound when contrasted against songs from Tip’s back-catalog. One of my favorites, “Move,” is considerably more vivid when cast between a pair of lackluster singles from 1999’s Amplified, “Vivrant Thing” and “Breath & Stop.” But the mix doesn’t stop at Tip’s solo material, it goes back to the beginning, covering his time with A Tribe Called Quest and many of the cameos he’s made along the way.

Amongst Busta Rhymes shout outs and personal commentary from Mr. Jonathan Davis himself, The Best is a solid excerpt from his entire career. But at its core, the mix is simply an introduction. Its 49(!) tracks are all chopped up and remixed, prepared to best serve the people who have casually been introduced to the MC by recent appearances on the Ellen Degeneres Show or the like. In under an hour and a half you get a feel for who Q-Tip is, no matter how much you knew about the man and his music prior to listening. And while there are some classics missing, the very last sounds on the mix are cuts of dialog sampled from a vintage recording, “It is time to turn the page to volume two.” Hopefully they do drop a second volume, so we can once again look back at a man who has been vital to the history and future of hip hop.