Renaissance

The Renaissance

4.7 4
by Q-Tip
     
 

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When the best rapper/producer in hip-hop history spends almost a decade without a record on the shelves (despite his best efforts), it has to be considered a crime -- if not a tragedy. Difficult to tell, though, is why Q-Tip was bounced to five different labels within six years. He never pronounced himself angry about the situation, saying only that he continued to

Overview

When the best rapper/producer in hip-hop history spends almost a decade without a record on the shelves (despite his best efforts), it has to be considered a crime -- if not a tragedy. Difficult to tell, though, is why Q-Tip was bounced to five different labels within six years. He never pronounced himself angry about the situation, saying only that he continued to work, reportedly recording three full albums that were never released. (At least one of those, 2003's Kamaal the Abstract, was a reality, since it was only denied a release after promos were sent out.) His long-awaited return on The Renaissance is no disappointment, offering more of the same understated, aqueous grooves and fluid rapping that the Abstract Poetic has built his peerless career on. Although it has a few more message songs than his dance-heavy debut from 1999 (Amplified), many of these tracks are club grooves painted with the same production touches as ten years earlier; his work is still excellent 20 years after his career began, but he seems less interested in spinning four minutes of fluent rap for each track. (Granted, he's carrying this show alone, with no Phife Dawg to take every other verse.) Some of the songs are built with a live group (including guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel), although they usually sound programmed. One thing is for sure: Q-Tip is still a master of pacing and atmosphere, structuring the first half of the record so smoothly that listeners may not notice a transition until the sixth track, "We Fight/We Love," which contrasts the perspective of a man in the middle of war with a woman left alone. The closer, "Shaka," got the most attention leading up to release, since an early version sampled Barack Obama (perhaps coincidentally, The Renaissance was originally scheduled to be released on Election Day). Sounding like a latter-day Midnight Marauders and The Love Movement, and very similar to the unreleased Kamaal the Abstract, The Renaissance is a worthy comeback for the man who's arguably done more to make hip-hop enjoyable than any other figure.

Editorial Reviews

Entertainment Weekly - Simon Vozick-Levinson
...insightful yet playful rhymes unspool over jazzy sound collages on Renaissance. [A]
Blender
The Renaissance hints at newness, but its cushy boom-bap grooves, airy soulfulness and rhymes about struggle and redemption recall rap’s Edenic ‘golden age.
Los Angeles Times
A casually complex, brilliantly executed work of neo-soul made for the street philosopher. It's a renaissance with redemption and humility but maybe also, if the adage about success is true, a touch of sweet revenge.
People Magazine
He shows us exactly what kind of dope aural stimulation we’ve been missing. With chilled-out grooves and cool guests... Q-Tip is a rapper reborn.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/04/2008
Label:
Motown
UPC:
0602517892750
catalogNumber:
001221301
Rank:
28241

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Q-Tip   Primary Artist,Bass,Bass Guitar,Keyboards
Marc Cary   Keyboards
Kurt Rosenwinkel   Guitar
Raphael Saadiq   Bass,Bass Guitar,Background Vocals
Kamaal Fareed   Bass,Drums,Bass Guitar,Keyboards
Derrick Hodge   Bass,Bass Guitar
Norah Jones   Background Vocals
Mike Moreno   Guitar
James A. Hunt   Keyboards
Robert Glasper   Keyboards
Robert Glasper Trio   Keyboards
Amanda Diva   Background Vocals
Antuan Barrett   Bass
Chris Shola   Guitar
Antuan Barrett   Bass Guitar
Marc Colenberg   Drums,Keyboards
Chris Shola   Guitar
Kurt Rosenberg   Guitar
James Hunt   Keyboards
Mark Colenburg   Drums,Keyboards

Technical Credits

Irmin Schmidt   Composer
Holger Czukay   Composer
Michael Karoli   Composer
Q-Tip   Programming,Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Kurt Rosenwinkel   Composer
Jaki Liebezeit   Composer
Rob Gee   Composer
Blair Wells   Engineer
Kamaal Fareed   Composer,Programming,Engineer
Robert Glasper   Composer
Tatia Fox   Marketing
J Dilla   Audio Production
Ben Eaton   Composer
Phylicia Fant   Publicity
S. Bascombe   Composer
R. Glasper   Composer
W. Parks   Composer
M. Karoli   Composer
I. Schmidt   Composer
R. Knight   Composer
K. Fareed   Composer
D. Fletcher   Composer
H. Davis   Composer
F. Bridges   Composer
L. Burgess   Composer

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The Renaissance 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
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