Q-Tip - The Renaissance (Cover Artwork)


Q-Tip: The RenaissanceThe Renaissance (2008)
Universal Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 4

Contributed by: fallingupwards84fallingupwards84
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Jonathan Davis, known as Q-Tip and, most importantly, as the key member of the legendary group A Tribe Called Quest, has had one hell of a rocky solo career. When A Tribe Called Quest disbanded in 1998, Q-Tip immediately pursued a solo career, releasing Amplified in 1999 and selling over half a m.
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Jonathan Davis, known as Q-Tip and, most importantly, as the key member of the legendary group A Tribe Called Quest, has had one hell of a rocky solo career.

When A Tribe Called Quest disbanded in 1998, Q-Tip immediately pursued a solo career, releasing Amplified in 1999 and selling over half a million records. In 2002, Q-Tip completely finished his experimental followup titled Kamaal the Abstract when the record label decided to shelve the album because it was too "uncommercial." The tracks leaked and are available on file-sharing networks, but the label retains the rights to the music and Q-Tip has still been unable to release the music. Fast-forward a few years and Q-Tip finally releases his second solo album, titled The Renaissance.

For those of you unfamiliar with A Tribe Called Quest, they were a critically acclaimed and successful hip-hop group in the 1990s. Heavily influenced by jazz and, later, electronic beats, A Tribe Called Quest offered an alternative to the G-funk gangsta rap of the era that was introduced by the likes of Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg.

On The Renaissance, Q-Tip carries on with this spirit of positive hip-hop music. The lyrics on this album are not political, and they're not "socially conscious" (one of the most over-used terms in hip hop). Most of the songs are uplifting love songs. Q-Tip is older now; he's been rapping since 1988 and 20 years later, he's released a relaxing, soothing record that he can relate to as a rapper nearing age 40.

The beats on the record -- all of which were produced by Q-Tip, with the exception of a track by the late J Dilla -- are atmospheric, silky and polished. Q-Tip's fluid and smooth rapping style matches the aqueous grooves of the album perfectly, offering the listener a relaxing record. The highlight of the album is the J Dilla song "Move," which unexpectedly switches beats halfway through the song. Q-Tip's collaboration with Norah Jones in "Life Is Better" also adds to the overall depth of the album.

Clocking in at only 43 minutes, The Renaissance is a very tight and consistent record, with no filler. This is not the kind of music you will want to listen to on your way to the club on Saturday night, but it is the kind of music you will want to listen to when you're sitting in a dark room or in your car on a rainy day. But why not a higher score than four stars? Because there's nothing revolutionary on this album -- just Q-Tip offering us his best rhymes over simple beats. Nothing that will change the game of hip-hop, yet very refreshing nonetheless.


People who liked this also liked:
The Framed - Angels and the Knives They CarryALL - Allroy's Revenge.MxPx - Let's RockConverge - No HeroesGreg Graffin - Cold as the ClayRise Against - The Sufferer & the WitnessUnderoath - Define the Great LineNOFX - Never Trust a HippyThe Loved Ones - Keep Your HeartMxPx - Let It Happen [Deluxe Edition] [CD/DVD]

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
cyborgfrance (December 20, 2008)

Hank McCoy: if busta was ever punk in any way, he did away with all cred upon recording "arab money"

cyborgfrance (December 20, 2008)

Good review. Caught the listener up with Q-Tip's career, didn't verge on hyperbole, all that good stuff.

I'm still trying to get 100% into the first Tribe record though. I mean, it's good - I know it's good - but I just switch off every couple of tracks once "Luck of Lucien" is over or one of those skits appears. Skits need not happen on hiphop albums ever again.

fallingupwards84 (December 19, 2008)

yea i absolutely love "Move" - although the second beat is better than the first

TROOF (December 18, 2008)

Good record. "Move" is definitely the hightlight of the album. Imo I do think there are a few filler tracks on here but overall this is solid. 7/10.

fallingupwards84 (December 18, 2008)

lol, Chris... you have AFI in your name... you have no room to talk about anything

chrisafi (December 18, 2008)

'you will want to listen to when you're sitting in a dark room or in your car on a rainy day.'

I thought people who listened to hip hop were supposed to be cool?

Grue (December 18, 2008)

Isn't it funny that I'm detesting hiphop more and more since it started being reviewed on punknews?

DrHankMcCoy (December 18, 2008)

fun review to read.
for everyone missing ATCQ era, remember Leaders of the New School? Busta put out a free mixtape on that tip called Dillagence wit beats from the late great J Dilla. you can check out a cut with him and q tip and talib called Lightworks if you wanna get the feel for it.
busta and tip are punk rock for sure. scenario, anyone?

jah bless

NotPatriotic (December 17, 2008)

The new video is great as well as the song. I haven't heard the album, but it is probably good.

SydBarrett420 (December 17, 2008)

Actually the only two hip hop albums that have made it into my CD player recently are

Beastie Boys - Check Your Head
Dr. Dooom - Dr. Dooom 2

I have nothing against hip hop, just hate seeing it on this site

Bring on the Taylor Swift reviews losers.

joemomma420666 (December 17, 2008)


Anchors (December 17, 2008)

Posted by SydBarrett420 on 2008-12-17 14:35:41
Fuck Anchors and FallingUpwards, yes I said it.

Hahaha who let tough guy here in?

mikexdude (December 17, 2008)

Fallingupwards... don't waste your breath on Syd; you know the only hip hop he likes is when it's stuffed between trite nu-metal guitars and obnoxious upstrokes.

Yeah, 311 sucks.

fallingupwards84 (December 17, 2008)

Syd, get a life, you take this site way too seriously.

SydBarrett420 (December 17, 2008)

20% of this weeks reviews are hip hop, fuckin lame. If I want this I go to XXL or The Source.

Fuck Anchors and FallingUpwards, yes I said it.

crackpotdemagogue (December 17, 2008)

score is for oldpunker

SydBarrett420 (December 17, 2008)

It's obvious to me now that these reviews are being posted for the trolling factor.

Cos (December 17, 2008)

saw Q-Tip at Rock The Bells do a nice chunk of this album before the Tribe reunion set. It sounded pretty nice and he had Mos Def as his hype man. I liked his set, but I think its pretty much because I like anything Mos Def does (even The Italian Job).

Mos and Q should do an album together--that shit would rule.

Anchors (December 17, 2008)

Awesome album. I wish this would have come out in like, June because it's got a feel-good summer vibe to it but I'm glad to get any new shit I can from Q-Tip.

briancampbell (December 17, 2008)

Stellar album. If there was any justice in the world OJ would be free and Tip would be more popular than Kanye West.

Quibbles really.

GlamBalam (December 17, 2008)

Hip Hop sucks

Bipedcasserole (December 17, 2008)

are you and Anchors gonna have beef now?

good review. I always thought he was the best part of Tribe.

JaredK (December 17, 2008)

This is the kind of hip-hop I'm allright with being reviewed on this site...Ludacris and Kanye West? Nope, that shit does not belong here in any regard.

genebuonaccorsi (December 17, 2008)

For those of you unfamiliar with A Tribe Called Quest

..... you need to get your shit together

oldpunkerforever (December 17, 2008)

"I would not give this 4 stars", um this guy is a legend in hip hop, first of all and second, YES, its that good, great job-oldpunker-

SloaneDaley (December 17, 2008)

has anyone checked out his unreleased album, Kamaal The Abstract? It had a few really great songs, "Even If It's So" springs to mind, it was a fairly insteresting joint. I'm willing to give this a shot.

beaarthur (December 17, 2008)

So how long until this Johnathan Davis and the one from Korn release a duets album? Amiriteoramirite?

damnitsderek (December 17, 2008)

I've never really dug into Q-Tip's solo library, though I love ATCQ to death. I'll have to get to work on this.

mikexdude (December 16, 2008)

Don't know much about hip hop, but I wouldn't give this 4 stars.

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