Meanwhile, the Nineties saw him match his ongoing high-profile as lead rapper with A Tribe Called Quest (whose biggest international hit remains 1991âs enduring radio favourite âCan I Kick It?
â) with successful production work for big-selling acts ranging from East Coast rappers Nas and Mobb Deep to chart-topping R&B/pop diva Mariah Carey.
With Tribe eventually disbanding in 1998, meanwhile, Tip then launched a solo career, with the more commercial flavours of his aforementioned debut set âAmplifiedâ in 2000 spawning the UK pop hits âBreathe & Stopâ and âVivrant Thingâ.
Having additionally enjoyed occasional success as an actor (roles range from 1993âs Janet Jackson-starring âPoetic Justiceâ to Spike Leeâs 2004 movie âShe Hate Meâ) the now-New Jersey-based Q-Tip nevertheless predictably regards his work with A Tribe Called Quest as his most significant artistic contribution to date: âI see the Tribe legacy as one of the strongest in modern musicâ, he concedes: âYou know, from us have come so many artists - like Common, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, The Fugees, DâAngelo, Kanye West...
And all of that ultimately connected with people like (Erykah) Badu and The Fugees, who actually used some of our samples and were able to become successful following our initial breakthrough.â Nevertheless, despite rumours to the contrary sparked by their reunion shows on the recent Rock The Bells tour Stateside, Tip insists that âA Tribe Called Quest is no moreâ: âWhile we still love each other very much and very dearly, for us thatâs it right now. Basically, in terms of recording, we feel weâve done everything that we could musically.
So weâve decided to kinda leave it where itâs at, because we donât wanna desecrate the legacy.â The single âGettinâ Upâ is released December 1.
So I just wanted to make a statement that I think itâs time for a rebirth and refocusing of energy, to try and bring it back to an artistic height where itâs also parallel to where weâre at in a socio-political sense right now.
Because I think that, once you get a group of players in a room working with a strong artistic element and under correct supervision, it definitely can breed good things.
Produced primarily by Q-Tip himself and boasting its fair share of live instrumentation, âThe Renaissanceâ has heralded the US Top Ten return of one of the most recognisable voices and individualist figures in all of hip hop, as his signature flow delivers clever thought-provoking lyrics alongside big-name guests like chart-topping country-jazz songstress Norah Jones and iconic contemporary soul men Raphael Saadiq and DâAngelo.
Musical moods meanwhile range from the keyboard-driven groove of the head-nodding single âGettinâ Upâ; to the irrepressibly-infectious, Jackson 5-sampling âMoveâ (one of two tracks produced by Tipâs one-time regular studio collaborator, the late Detroit beatmaker J. âIâve titled this album âThe Renaissanceâ because of where I feel music - and, in particular, hip hop - is at right nowâ, begins the Queens, New York-raised rhymesmith (who also at times refers to himself as both âThe Abstractâ and âKamaal The Abstractâ): âI mean, while there are a few exceptions, overall itâs been devoid of musicality and harmony and those kind of ideas for the best part of a decade.
album Roy Hargrove dives headfirst into the soul pool.
RH Factor blends a core band of two saxophonists, three keyboard players, two bassists and drummers, and two guitarists (including legendary soul session ace Cornell Dupree) with the best and brightest from the soul and R&B 'new schools' including D'Angelo, Badu, Meshell Ndegeocello, Steve Coleman, Karl Denson, Marc Cary, and two hip-hop MCs: Common and Q-Tip.