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Q-Tip “The Renaissance” Review

Published in Blog, Culture Bully. Tags: , .

I like Q-Tip. Even at what many considered his worst (his “Vivrant Thing“-era), I liked him. So it’s without shock that I think The Renaissance is fantastic. Prior to the album’s release, with the videos for “Gettin’ Up” and “Move,” it was easy to hear that Tip was falling back on what made him relevant in the first place; not necessarily on level with A Tribe Called Quest, but solid all the same. “Move,” in particular, pumps a beat ready to be bit on by a hundred mixtape MCs. Last month Q-Tip joined a legendary cast of artists in celebrating De La Soul for VH1’s Hip Hop Honors. During his multiple performances, Tip put out a fantastic energy, one that made me feel like he was “back,” and that energy effortlessly transfers to the album. “Dance on Glass” has a beat that revisits “Find a Way,” and “Won’t Trade” blends Tip’s casual style with a blistering lyrical pace. Even while I didn’t think Amplified was too bad, songs like these make me scratch my head, thinking “where has this Q-Tip been for the past decade?” I guess that somewhere along the way, the MC apparently reconsidered why people loved him 20 years ago. The Renaissance isn’t a rebirth, or a reinvention of self, but rather just a statement saying that Tip remembered what separated him from other MCs in the first place.

[This post was first published by Culture Bully.]