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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

The Renaissance

Q-Tip

2008

The Renaissance
Album Summary

The Renaissance is the second studio album by American hip hop artist Q-Tip, released November 4, 2008, on Universal Motown Records. The follow-up to his solo debut album, Amplified (1999), it was recorded after Q-Tip's Kamaal the Abstract (2009) was initially shelved in 2002 by his former label Arista Records and his proposed effort Open was shelved by Universal Motown, both deemed commercially inadequate by the labels. The Renaissance was produced primarily by Q-Tip and features guest contributions by D'Angelo, Norah Jones, Amanda Diva, and Raphael Saadiq. The album debuted at number 11 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, selling 34,219 copies in its first week. It produced three singles and has sold 131,200 copies in the United States. Upon its release, The Renaissance received universal acclaim from music critics, who praised Q-Tip's lyricism and production aesthetic, and earned him a Grammy Award nomination for Best Rap Album.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.25

Votes

11517

Genres

  • Hip Hop

Reviews

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Tue Jul 26 2022
5

I was initially planning to listen to the first few songs and then finish the rest later, but the album was so constantly engaging that I finished the whole thing in one sitting. I think that deserves 5 stars. I loved how Q-Tip's delivery felt precise but free, how the structure of the songs was loose and not rigidly determined, and how the songs were sequenced in such a way that there was a good mixture of continuity and contrast between songs, keeping up the album's momentum till the end.

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Wed Mar 31 2021
2

Still one of the sexiest voices in rap along with... hm... Heems? That requires further study. Anyway, while this is a leeeetle too smooth and low key for me, especially considering the heights he hit before and after, it has enough bounce to keep the dangers of easy listening at bay. And I appreciate that he always raps with a point plus one to prove.

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Sat Nov 06 2021
5

My first thought was, yuck, another hip hop album. Not my usual fare. About halfway through I was amazed how much I liked it. This is something I wouldn’t have listened to without this site, and I’m glad I did. This is my favorite album discovery this year.

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Mon May 29 2023
3

This is like the Yacht Rock of rap with a pleasant 70's soul slow jams vibe.

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Tue Jan 26 2021
5

One of the best hip-hop albums I've ever listened to. Smooth-- like a good bourbon with sick beats and lyrics to match. Q-Tip taking bodies.

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Tue Aug 09 2022
5

Q-Tip is just a boss! Excellent sampling and production from one of the best, no thug nonsense here, just mellow beats and rhymes to keep your body moving.

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Sun May 09 2021
2

decent hip hop album, can't say that any songs stood out much

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Tue Feb 15 2022
2

Was okay, mix of rap and electronic but didn't listen much to it

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Thu May 25 2023
2

idk what it is about him, but i just can never fully get with Q-Tip. Just like with most things I've experienced from him, there are a lot of good things, a lot to like. But it's never the whole thing. Just parts of this song, or this approach, but not the subject matter.

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Wed Dec 16 2020
1

Made it almost to the end of track 6. Really not my sort of music and I am unable to appreciate it at all. 1/5.

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Fri Mar 26 2021
1

Not the worst thing ever, but rap and hip-hop aren’t my thing. Sorry

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Sun May 09 2021
1

Very similar to other same genre music but worse, so why would you ever want to listen this?

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Thu Aug 19 2021
1

Some of the music tracks were okay. Rap just doesn't do it for me, and this entire album was monochromatic.

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Thu Jan 14 2021
5

This is a good album of music I typically do not listen to

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Wed Jan 20 2021
5

Good chill album. Best song "We Fight/We Love"

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Fri Mar 12 2021
5

Thoroughly enjoyable. Unheralded classic.

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Fri Jan 22 2021
5

Damn! This is exactly the kind of hip-hop I love.

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Sat Feb 20 2021
5

Excellent Rap Album. Great beats w Tip's flow is fantastic.

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Fri Feb 05 2021
5

Jazzy and groove-filled - excellent lyrics and flow to the entire production

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Wed Jan 20 2021
5

The nice foundation of rhythm.

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Thu May 27 2021
5

ipod worthy hip hop electro pop

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Fri Mar 12 2021
5

Deliciously tasty and laid back hip hop. Surprised I haven't heard of this one before.

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Sat Mar 06 2021
5

I adore Q-Tip... Another album I was already familiar with. That voice is like dripping honey...

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Mon Mar 29 2021
5

Good sounding music with rap. Sometimes drive, sometimes chill, great for listening.

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Thu Jun 10 2021
5

Really groovy and excellent.

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Mon May 24 2021
5

Qtip is one of the best rappers of all time. Love this album

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Sun Jul 25 2021
5

Fantastic mix of jazz, funk, soul, rock and hip hop. Q-Tip has a fantastic flow as well. The transitions are great and the use of samples is perfect

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Mon Sep 06 2021
5

Loved it. I've listened to it like 4 times already. No time to dig into the history but that's coming for sure!

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Mon Oct 04 2021
5

Great album. Huge fan of old TCQ and most Native Tongues stuff from back in the day and I didn't think an album like this was possible anymore. Love the samples, scratch, beats and old skool vibe of The Renaissance. Below are some great highlights that have occupied my ears for the past couple days: Gettin Up WeFight/WeLove ManWomanBoogie Move If this was a solo album it makes me wonder what the other four members of Tribe Called Quest were doing in the studio.

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Tue Nov 09 2021
5

Very cool hip-hop album. Q-Tip has a unique flow, very jazzy/R&B instrumentation. Highly recommend.

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Sat Nov 13 2021
5

Favorite of the series so far. Fantastic album really loved track 2 “Won’t Trade”

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Tue Dec 21 2021
5

1.Good intro 2.Super good song :) (ADD) this album is 5/5 im not doing more notes, this mans cadence is so good ok nvm the song you is bad imo dance on glass is FIRE

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Mon Feb 28 2022
5

Great stuff. Didn’t know it. Jived with the Tribe called Quest and Digable Planets stuff I enjoy.

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Mon Mar 07 2022
5

Wow, this was good. Best rap/hiphop album so far on the list. I only knew Q-Tip by way of A Tribe Called Quest, but having heard this, I should definitely check out his other solo albums as well.

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Mon Mar 07 2022
5

Had this album as a 4* album, liked it at the time, but of course it was difficult not to compare to A Tribe Called Quest. Now after so many years it actually turned out to be much better than I remembered. It is just a very strong album and I can see why it was included on the list.

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Thu Mar 10 2022
5

Really really liked this album. Felt like a 90s rap classic even tho it came out in 2008. Really liked the first track and move

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Thu Apr 21 2022
5

I like Q-Tip. This is a slay

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Fri May 06 2022
5

Really like his slow punchy style of rap, especially over the jazz like backing tracks. Every track after and including "Move" is really good.

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Mon May 09 2022
5

this was great! really good production, really good lyrics, enjoyed it a lot.

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Fri Jun 03 2022
5

Man, ya gotta love Q-Tip. A model of consistency.

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Sat Jul 09 2022
5

No dull songs in the whole album. Very consistent. The aesthetic throughout is amazing.

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Tue Jul 19 2022
5

Rating: 9/10 Best songs: Johny is dead, Won’t trade, You, Manwomanboogie, Life is better, Believe

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Tue Jul 26 2022
5

Fresh production, excellent lyrics, musically interesting samples. What's not to love. Favorites: Move, Believe, ManWomanBoogie. This one of the most fun albums suggested so far. A real pleasure to listen to.

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Thu Jul 28 2022
5

Приятный альбом Группу A tribe called quest я знаю, а вот сольник одного из их участников нет 🤓 Не знаю, насколько я права в своих ощущениях, но такой вот нью-йорк vibezzzzz Остается в моей медиатеке определенно 🏙

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Thu Jul 28 2022
5

АБСТРАКТ ЕДИНСТВЕННЫЙ МУЖЧИНА ЗАСЛУЖИВАЮЩИЙ ПРАВА

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Fri Aug 12 2022
5

10/10 from the album cover, I was expecting something new-wave but was pleasantly surprised to hear a really awesome, progressive, electronic hip-hop album honestly, those beats slapped like a mother fucker all around fantastic

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Mon Sep 19 2022
5

I wasn’t excited to put this in at first but it was a banger front to back. Would listen again.

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Mon Sep 19 2022
5

:pepejam: My bose ad began with the words 'when the world gets in the way of your music.' I would like to unsubscribe from self aware ads. Fantastic production. I'm not done but i'm feelin a 5/5 today Favorite songs: Johnny Is Dead and ManWomanBoogie

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Mon Sep 19 2022
5

Very nice. Normally not a genre I listen to. Pleasantly surprised

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Mon Oct 31 2022
5

Loved this album. Neo soul, hip hop, funk, experimental. Great lyrics.

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Sun Nov 27 2022
5

This just hit a perfect spot for me.

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Tue Dec 20 2022
5

Fantastic album by Q-Tip. I loved the melodies in the hooks, the laid back feel, and his flow is just so unique to him.

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Sat Dec 24 2022
5

This was one of my favorites on this list in a long time. Excellent alternate hip hop.

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Mon Jan 23 2023
5

Loved loved loved this album! I thought I had combed over most of the highlights of Tribe and the individual members, but this one must have totally passed me by. This was pure quality. The Norah Jones record was amazing!! D’Angelo feature at the end was so up my alley, like right in the center of my zone. I love q-tip’s delivery, I love the funkiness of the record, I love the BASS PARTS. WHO IS PLAYING THESE BASS PARTS. The sample selection is amazing, harmonically in a totally different zone if it’s own. This is really really great. Sad to have missed this album for so long.

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Mon Jan 30 2023
5

The kind of hip-hop i really like

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Sun Feb 26 2023
5

Side one is pitch-perfect, and side two is still very good, even though I had high hopes Q-Tip would preserve the momentum until the end, (which is not exactly what happened here). Overall, *The Renaissance* doesn't exactly have that insanely *high* level of quality the first three A Tribe Called Quest albums had. But it's still often brilliant and groovy. I should have listened to that one earlier. Thanks to this app, I just did. 4,5/5, rounded up to 5 here. Because this thing deserves to have a higher overall score. And also, I'm pushing for the maximum grade because I'm sick and tired of weirdoes in here who go to the bottom of the reviews, where the 1/5 assessments are, so as to select unoriginal ones, going "It looks OK for fans of the genre, but I don't like rap" (a perfectly valid opinion per se), and then "like" those short uninteresting assessments so as to put them in the forefront of the review section. Tell me you have a problem with rap merely *existing* without telling me you have a problem with rap existing. Jeeze, I wonder why you can't see that happening with other genres like country or rock, huh? 🤔 Number of albums left to review: 643 Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory listens: 179 (including this one) Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: 84 Albums from the list I will certainly *not* include in mine (many others are more essential to me): 100

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Tue Mar 28 2023
5

My One Album A Day for today was Q-Tip's The Renaissance. The first couple of tracks didn't do much for me and was worried I wasn't going to love it but it really builds up and is a Good Album

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Mon Apr 24 2023
5

Thought this was absolutely excellent

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Tue May 02 2023
5

This my first time listening to any standalone Q-Tip tracks, my only knowledge of him being from his collabs with The Chemical Brothers on "Galvanize" and "Go". Wasn't really sure to what to expect from a full Hip-Hop album of his, but I ended up really enjoying it. Really smooth and quite chill but never boring. Amazing lyricism and flow throughout. Pure vibes. Favourite: Move

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Fri May 05 2023
5

simply amazing. the fact that he can flow for an entire minute before the beat kicks in just shows how he works a mic. i love how he went back to boom bap roots all the way in the late 00’s, yet the production still completely holds up. also the funk and jazz fusion UGH

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Wed May 17 2023
5

16th May 2023 Listened on the drive in to London. Stayed at Cox and Dan’s overnight on my own! I loved this. 90s rap and hip hop with a soulful, funky twist.

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Wed Aug 30 2023
5

Used to own on cd. Very cool still

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Sun Oct 01 2023
5

Anyone who doesn't write this a five is an idiot

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Mon Oct 02 2023
5

Lyrics, flow and beats all flawless. Everyone since he started has borrowed from him, some more heavily or obviously than others. Even the younger rappers who maybe aren't ripping him off directly, they are influenced by artists influenced by Tip. He is the Prince of hip hop for me - a genius who had success but has also inspired a generation (or two) of a movement.

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Thu Oct 05 2023
5

The fact that this is literally my 50th album and I am just now listening to a hip hop album is horrendous. Ironic but also shameful. However I’ll let that slide since THIS was the first rap album that was given. Q-Tip is already a legend and an icon within music culture due to his pivotal role as 1/3 of the ATCQ. And it was always a bummer that I didn’t get a chance to explore his artistry outside of that…… UNTIL NOW. This is a bonafide classic. Hip hop at its core is the epitome of spoken soul music and Tip took that fact to the absolute maximum with this one. As a rap fan, if you’re reading this and haven’t heard this then you, my friend, are doing yourself a disservice. NECESSARY HIP HOP LISTENING. 6 stars.

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Fri Oct 20 2023
5

Great hip hop album by an artist ive never heard of. Kanye like

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Wed Oct 25 2023
5

Fantastic, sexy, fun, interesting, a great listen and my first new discovery

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Fri Oct 27 2023
5

Great surprise. Listened twice.

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Sun Dec 10 2023
5

The production on this is so funky and cool. Reminded me of Nujabes at times. Loved it honestly, gonna be coming back to this one.

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Sun Dec 10 2023
5

This is good hip hop! It’s a solid album.

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Fri Dec 29 2023
5

Went into this not expecting a ton but wow this was really great. Strong from start to finish. What makes it great: Q-Tip is the only artist on the large majority of the album (something I like seeing, particularly in hip hop, where artists feature other artists on the album so to help fill their album) and no interludes. 9/10.

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Thu Jan 11 2024
5

Life Is Better, w Norah Jones! Can’t believe I’d never given this a full listen. Vibey rap

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Sun Jan 14 2024
5

Really loved this album! A whole vibe. Classic feel...mmm.

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Thu Jan 18 2024
5

Makes me wish I listened to more Tribe Called Quest back in the day...

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Sun Jan 21 2024
5

I’ve always said that Q-Tip has one of my favorite voices in rap music. He also happens to be a fantastic producer. And the dynamic he had with the other members of A Tribe Called Quest was second to none. So I was intrigued to hear what he would be capable of by himself. Safe to say I was not expecting something to this level of quality. But why should I really be surprised? This man has been one of the most talented MCs since the groups inception. This was released in 2008, just about in the middle of Tribe’s extended hiatus period, and there is a clear evolution of his sound. Although he was 38 here, he somehow manages to sound younger than he did on his earlier work. Even ten years after The Love Movement, age has not affected this man. And with this semblance of youth comes a new kind of production style. A cleaner one. A kind that is more adjacent to soul than jazz. And while I love the jazz rap work they did with albums like The Low End Theory, I welcome this new sound. And it pays off. Because every beat is amazing. I’m really fond of the bass lines and synth patterns here. It definitely feels like it’s taking inspiration from newer modern pop rap beats. Almost all songs are produced by Fareed, and he even samples great artists like Can, Jackson 5, and Steve Howe from Yes. I do have to give a shoutout to the song Move, especially the first part, since it’s produced by the late but great J Dilla. Even with age, Fareed’s lyricism, writing capabilities, and wittiness hasn’t changed at all. And every feature is stellar, especially the ones from Raphael Saadiq and Norah Jones. They provide a beautifully melodic twist to the slick instrumentals. Fareed even provides some singing himself, like with his vocal harmonies on Gettin Up. I was really blown away by how good this is. There is not one bad song. And although it might be blasphemy that I like this more than something like The Low End Theory, doesn’t change that those are still amazing records. This just happened to go above and beyond for me. Rating: 10/10!

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Wed Jan 31 2024
5

Oh man. This is really good. This generator has gotten me to listen to a lot of great hip hop records. God bless. Highlights: Johnny Is Dead, Gettin' Up, You, ManWomanBoogie, Life Is Better

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Fri Feb 02 2024
5

funky fresh hip hop for funky fresh individuals. big beats, vinyl flips and luscious lines from q-tip all meld together to create nothing short of a hip-hop masterpiece. the album's title makes perfect sense, this album does feel like a renaissance period when it comes to this kind of material.

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Tue Feb 06 2024
5

The boost I needed on a crappy Monday. Prince-like funky soul with a shot of hip-hop and a slick electronica layer of polish.

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