ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Q Tip The Renaissance Album Review

Updated on May 2, 2009

Who is Q-TIP?

Welcome back, Kamaal Ibn John Fareed.

We’ve missed you.


Fareed, better known as Q-Tip, the visionary leader of the pioneering collective A Tribe Called Quest, is back to save hip-hop from itself and spice up parties everywhere, with his newest slice of old-school heaven called The Renaissance.

The Renaissance is Q-Tip’s first solo release since his gold-selling debut album Amplified hit the streets back in 1999, a year after ATCQ folded its tent and its members headed in different directions.

Why so long between solo releases for the mighty Tip?

First, there are his considerable production skills that seem to keep his Blackberry constantly on blow-up mode. Then there’s his acting gig which has him on the move when Hollywood calls.

And when A Tribe Called Quest got back together in 2006, Tip was right there front and center with his old homies from the Native Tongues Posse, another reason why nearly a decade has passed between his solo outings.

Then there’s also the little matter of the so-called brain-trust at his record label that canned the release of his 2002 album, Kamaal The Abstract, along with at least one other disc he recorded. According to rumors, his label may have squashed a total of three of Tips’ albums.

And if any of those other detained discs are half as good as The Renaissance, shame on the record label for depriving us.

Here’s hoping those “lost discs” too, will see the light of day sometime soon.

Because The Renaissance is the kind of blockbuster than true hip-hop fans have been waiting for since the dawn of the new millennium.

The kind of disc that fits perfectly in a dark room with a pair of headphones, or just as well on a spectacular sunny afternoon on a crowded beach.


Q-TIP - Deeper


Mature beyond its years, The Renaissance is a concise classic, one that moves through its 43-plus minutes much too quickly. It’s an album that can hold one’s attention from start to finish, unlike a lot of today’s hip-hop discs that, at best, might feature one or two strong cuts, the rest stuffed with filler.

Less pop-sounding than Amplified, The Renaissance moves and grooves along, guided by the rich sounds of Fender Rhodes and vintage-sounding keyboards.

Just what you’d expect from Tip, who recorded his first album way back at the tender age of 19.

Love is the central theme that binds the 12 tracks on this disc together, although Tip has not totally forgotten the politics that and cultural awareness that made ATCQ such a force back in the day.

A great example of this is “We fight-Love” with guest star Raphael Saadiq. Against a backdrop of love lost in a wave of constant fighting, where everyday life gets in the way, a soldier in Iraq looks to find out who he really is, amidst the bombs and guns in a place where he is not wanted.

Saadiq was an excellent choice for this track and gives the chorus a blast of warm soul that offers a solution to stop the fighting, at home and across the sea, by taking the time to stop and chat about our problems.

Tip never was one to dabble in the same old beats that dominate most hip-hop and that doesn’t change one bit on The Renaissance.

Preferring a jazz-like canvas to paint on instead of the standard funk commonly used, Tip fires strong from the outset with the album opener “Johnny is Dead.” Rattling along with a bed of pulsating bass with some tasty guitar licks woven throughout, “Johnny is Dead” gets the seamless disc off to flowing start.

In addition to Saadiq, D'Angelo makes an appearance on “Believe,” and one of the bright new lights on the jazz scene, Norah Jones, lends her husky vocals to “Life is Better.”

But make no mistake, Q-Tip is the star of this show.

“Move,” which comes to life with a Jackson 5 cut-and-paste in the back, gives Tip a platform to channel a rave about his early days in the game, back in his old Queens’ stomping grounds.

But Tip has come a long ways from those days back in the borough.

Coincidence or not, The Renaissance was released the exact day that the United States elected its first black president in this county’s long history.

So by chance or by charm, Nov. 4, 2008 now can claim doubly-special meaning.

Though with the way Kamaal Ibn John Fareed operates, there’s little chance that anything is left to mere coincidence.

Should you have another album you have in mind to be reviewed, please leave me some feedback and I will add that on my list.



    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)