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The Renaissance (UK Version)

The Renaissance (UK Version)

1 Jan 2008
4.9 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 1 Jan. 2008
  • Release Date: 3 Nov. 2008
  • Label: Universal-Island Records Ltd.
  • Copyright: ℗© 2008 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 46:59
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001KWBEKM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 15,457 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)
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Customer Reviews

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Format: Audio CD
Now I haven't written a review on here in a long time but I really felt like people need to know how good this album really is. Two shelved albums & almost a decade after the release of "Amplified", Q-Tip is back with "The Renaissance". Amplified was an unusual album. Pure Hip-Hop songs such as "Let's Ride" were mixed in with more commercial sounding tunes such as "Breathe & Stop", which were clearly aimed at attracting a broader audience. The results were mixed. Whilst his first solo LP boasts some excellent individual tracks, the album itself feels forced & does not work. This is not a problem, however, on Tip's latest effort. Here you really get the sense that he was free to pursue whatever musical direction he wanted & the result is one of the finest Hip-Hop albums in years.

The album is almost entirely produced by Q-Tip himself. The exceptions are "Won't Trade", which is produced by Mark Ronson, & "Move", produced by the late, great J Dilla (Dilla also produced the UK bonus track "Feva"). It is worth noting that 4 of the 13 tracks - "Johnny Is Dead", "Official", "I Believe" & "Feva" - are re-workings from one of Tip's earlier shelved albums. All four tracks can be heard in there original form on his "Abstract Innovations" mixtape.

The Renaissance has an old school Hip-Hop, dare I say Tribe-esque feel to it. Best songs on the album are the first single "Gettin' Up", "Won't Trade", "Official" & the excellent "Move". But honestly the whole album is good - there are no weak tracks.

Overall, The Renaissance is a true Hip-Hop album for Hip-Hop fans. It highlights just how talented Q-Tip is, not only as an MC but also as a producer. Unfortunately it also serves as a reminder as to just how disappointing it is that this is only his second album (which was released) in almost 10 years. Support Q-Tip, support Hip-Hop & buy "The Renaissance" - you won't be disappointed! Let's hope there is a new Tribe album to come...
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Format: Audio CD
Q-Tip is a really cool guy. While most hip-hop at the moment seems to be about waving your success in people's faces and the animosity between the various cliched thugs on MTV, still talking about their guns and money like we're perpetually trapped in the 1990s, Q-Tip delivers something truly special.

Hip-Hop is not DEAD, as Nas suggested with his rather mediocre album in the last few years, but alive and well and just as exciting as it always has been. Q-Tip is not bitter, tired, out of ideas or under any pressure to conform to the mainstream view of 'what hip-hop is' and his attitude is what does it.

Mainstream artists today are trying DESPERATELY to 'be hip-hop' and Q-Tip does it effortlessly, unconciously and excellently. He doesn't wear the uniform, promote violence or sexism and he's ahead of the curve by miles. What does that tell you?

Hip-Hop was never dead...just cliched gangster rap. Big wup.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Abstract Poet is back for sure! My brother got me this for xmas and I have almost worn the CD out. Excellent, old school hip hop, heavily reminiscent of a Tribe called Quest in the early 90s. Q-tip is a master lyricist/MC/producer without a doubt and this, in my opinion, is his best solo effort. Each track glides effortlessly into the next - my faves are "We fight/we love", "Johnny is dead", "Believe" and "Dance on glass", the latter of which opens with about 60 seconds of 'Tip rapping without any beat or music to speak of then the beat breaks in suddenly and unexpectedly with classic "Tribesque" jazzy sampling/undertones - outstanding! Buy it, buy it, buy it - you will not regret it :-)
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Format: Audio CD
He's only gone and done it! This album is not just worth the wait, its worthy of all the praise that is getting lavished on it from reviewers all over the globe. This is a real masterclass that demonstrates to all the would-be rappers out there that even though the world and its dog are bored stiff of the gerne, with artists that don't just cater to the marketing exec's by knocking out music by numbers (you all know who I'm talking about) great hip-hop albums can still be produced.

What we have here is a mature yet fresh hip-hop/nu-soul fusion that works on so many levels its frightening! Some of the tracks are so tasty its hard to describe.

From 'Getting Up' and 'Official' to 'You' and 'Life Is Better' the residing unescapable word that comes to mind is "Class"! In a funny sort of way this is more of a follow-up to Foreign Exchange's seminal 'Connected' than even their 2008 release 'Leave It All Behind'... praise indeed!

I'm positive this album will last ages... but lets just hope we won't have to wait so long for the next installment.
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Format: Audio CD
Nowadays it seems that every new rapper is touted as 'the one' to save hip hop, and take it back to it's golden years. Well, I doubt that will ever happen and one can argue whether the genre (at it's core, a product of urban angst) wants or needs saving at all. That is a debate that should take place elsewhere and I won't rest it upon the shoulders of this 2008 offering by the former A Tribe Called Quest frontman. Of course any release from said artist is likely to spark a debate about the overall state of hip hop music, simply because of that group's place in the pantheon of the genre. They were titans in their time. And that was a time (roughly 1985-1995) of general excellence, and artistic growth in hip hop coupled with some commercial breakthroughs that were arguably unintended but very welcome (Wu-Tang anyone?).

Tribe's (and in-turn Tip's) accomplishments will always precede him regardless of what direction he chooses to head in. Hence why so many were surprised to find him indulging in the fashionable trends of the day on his debut album Amplified (1999). That gold-selling album, while massively enjoyable and well-produced (who can deny songs like "Higher", "Let's Ride" and "Vivrant Thing"?), lacked the feel of a true Tribe album. Even Tribe man Phife spoke words to that effect on his Ventilation LP, which itself did not display much of that Tribe quirkiness or audaciousness, but at the very least remained straightforward and grounded.

Tip re-christened himself as Kamaal (his actual birth name), grew a Marvin Gaye-circa 1976 beard, and indirectly renounced that flashy persona he'd flirted with.
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