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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

3.31

Votes

4203

Genres

  • Hip Hop
Reviews
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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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2

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

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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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1

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

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1

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

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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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5

This is amazing.

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5

pleasant surprise

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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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5

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

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5

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

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5

Great hooks and beat.

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5

Thoroughly enjoyable. Unheralded classic.

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5

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

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5

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

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5

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

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5

The nice foundation of rhythm.

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5

ipod worthy hip hop electro pop

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5

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

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5

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

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5

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

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5

Really groovy and excellent.

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5

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

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5

Great Classic

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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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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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5

yes yes

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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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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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5

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

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5

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

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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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5

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

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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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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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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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5

Excellent!

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5

I like Q-Tip. This is a slay

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5

Already a fan !

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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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5

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

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5

Really solid hip hop.

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5

Hip Hop ISN'T dead

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5

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

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5

Would buy

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5

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

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5

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

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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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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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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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5

АБСТРАКТ ЕДИНСТВЕННЫЙ МУЖЧИНА ЗАСЛУЖИВАЮЩИЙ ПРАВА

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5

Really influential. 4.7⭐

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5

Fishy~

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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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4

Hi quality vintage hip hop

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4

Was dope

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4

feels older than it is, probly becuase hes a 90s hip hop dude and the recording apparently started in fuckin 2002. how the hell did this take so long to make?? like its pretty good but its not THAT good. solid tunes, was a good time.

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4

Really great album, heard it before

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4

great album, never listened prior some real gems here, you & we fight/we love, so good

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4

2008: Won't Trade, Gettin' Up

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4

Q-Tip is still one of the best MCs to ever grace the mic. It's a solid record with some good beats and bars. Call it a 3.5. Favorite tracks: "Gettin Up", "WeFight/WeLove", "Shaka"

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4

Groovy, smooth, 00’er hiphop vibe

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4

I'm an unabashed fan of experimental hiphop and this fits the bill. The lyricism is clever, the content is (for the most part) interesting and, at times, real heavy. I like that. The biggest issue with it that the tracks start to sort of blend together about a third of the way through. There are a few that break the mold but, for the most part, it's a pretty one-note album. No bangers, very little fire. Still real good, though. Just not 5-star fare.

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4

vibes

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4

Good beats. Nice collaborations.

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4

Super chill and easy to listen to. Really enjoyed it. Kind of jazzy, feels positive, but a little old school style. Like a more upbeat Tribe Called Quest.

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4

This is incredible. Funky and melodic. Will def revisit.

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4

Mmm det e bra! Oldschool, men ändå modern rap. Man rycks med! Lite hissmusik för coola personer.

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4

Like the sound of this with the combination of live instrumentation and samples. Really natural and organic feel and flow. Also like that it's simply Q Tip as the MC and not bogged down in too many guest MCs. He brings in singers to sing but not to rap. Bonus points with me: he covers/samples Can on "Manwomanboogie"

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4

Super funky hip-hop album by an artist I'd never encountered before. I really, really enjoyed it. I was a bit hesitant at first as I'm not a huge fan of a lot of post 90s hip-hop, but every song felt like some banger that I'd known all along. Outstanding album with some really introspective and interesting themes & lyrics.

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4

Instrumentals pretty fun. Definitely going to come back to this

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4

Guenísimo muajá!

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4

First few times I heard Q-Tip was randomly on the radio, and each time I would be like WHO IS THIS?? It was not like anything else I had heard. Something about the combination of his unique voice and the jazz and funkiness of the samples keep his sound really tight and fresh, and is showcased well on this album.

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4

Really dope

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4

Solid rap

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4

Excellent album

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4

Gooood stuff erinnert mich an Anderson paak lol

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4

So smooth, so funky - sounds great whether you're tuning into the lyrics or not. Fave track - "Move", for the awesomely funky sample usage. Apparently that track was produced by J Dilla, who I know has an amazing reputation, but I've never really got what the fuss was about...

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4

Pretty chill

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4

Jazz funk fused with Hip-hop, very cool sound. Lyrics are well thought out as well.

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4

Like this one

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4

Luvverly stuff, jazzy hip hop is my bag

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4

De echte hip hop.

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4

Really enjoyed my listen through to this never heard of the act but it was great.

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4

punchy

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4

Solid album with cool, jazzy vibes. Q-Tip is a GOAT an dproved it here. Not all the songs were super interesting though.

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4

pretty cool - I like the sound here! didnt QTip die recently :(

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4

Had never heard this album before. Hovering between 3 and 4 stars. Going with a 4. Unrelated to this album, feeling bad my reviews are so short lately. I'm just not finding time to jot down anything substantive these days.

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4

I’m a big Tribe/Q-Tip fan, but I’ve never heard this album, so this was a very pleasant surprise. I also realized the meaning/allusion of the name Q-Tip after hearing the line, “what good is a Q-Tip if it isn’t in your ear,” mind blown. Lots of cool synth-hooks, a pleasant departure from Tribe’s jazz based samples. Some of the songs have this funky, up tempo thing going and it is fire. Q-Tip’s flow, rhythm and rhyme is solid as usual and doesn’t disappoint. The one thing I struggle with on this album are the R&B style choruses, there’s a lot of them. For some reason I don’t jive with modern R&B, I think it’s generally over produced and sappy, sounds like it’s a church band, though I felt myself jiving with a few. Overall great album. A-. 4, maybe a 5 if I listen ten more times.

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4

This was released during an era where I wasn't paying any attention to hip hop. I liked it a lot. Great music to have on while I was getting things done at work.

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4

Ight

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4

Great album... I love funky rap

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4

Me gusta el funky y este disco Co ha estado mal. Me ha gustado mucho la colaboración con Norah Jones

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4

Better than expected. I liked that it only lasted 43 minutes.

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4

Still freeeeesssshhhhhhh

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4

Sehr schöner, funkiger HipHop

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4

Nisam mislio poslušati jer je takav dan, ali dobro da jesam. Zadovoljan sam sa albumom i to fino. Beatove je napravio odlično, flow dobar, trajanje albuma taman, ni predugačak, ni prekratak. Volim te jazz vibre na hip hop albumima. Mislim ovaj album nije kao ATCQ gdje se više osjeti jazz vibe, ovdje je mixed malo više groove/jazz i još koji soul ubačen zahvaljujući gostima. Fin album.

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4

muybueno

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4

Love this in “Johnny is Dead” “ But wait there's rain ahead, like Brit and Kevin Fed And magazine debris, is shit she gotta see it” This is a fun album with fantastic production. “Gettin Up” was great and “Official” had me checking my phone constantly to see “what song is this?” “You” also does great work with repetition. I think “Move” is my favorite track. “Dance on Glass” features some fire ass a cappella. “Shaka” was hella fun, and “Feva” is a synthy head bopper of a closing track.

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4

I enjoyed every moment of this - especially when Norah Jones showed up and started Norah Jones'ing.

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4

I’m a fan. Never heard of this artist but I will be in the future!

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4

I liked it, would listen again

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4

Enjoyed.

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4

Nice flow, funky beats. Will look into Q-Tip a bit more,.

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4

Hip Hop Today huh? Neat. Johnny is Dead-Snazzy. Hip hop is one of those genres that has the same beats to it executed really really well. The meoldies, if you can call them that, are short, repeat but hit just right to the beat with the right rap lyrics, this ones doin fine. Won't Trade-Damn. Good beats yo. If i knew how to hip hop dance id be busting a move out there. Gettin' Up-Yo, ,i am 3 tracks in and impressed at all the unique starts these tracks have. i appreciate that record scratch at the end. Official-Neat Loop leitmotif? I like the vibe You-I like the mellowness of the track We Fight/We Love-okay i didnt write anything till it was over but i enjoyed its beats and vibe. Manwomanbogie-jazzy dancy? liked it. Move-the beats be bumpin. the renaissance indeed. Dance on Glass-dance beat hip hop Life is Better-Its just the beats man. each song has its own repeating beat track that just works with the vibe and rhythm of the spoken word rap lyrics. its good shit is what im saying. In conclusion, Yeah HipHop pretty cool.

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4

Quite like Gettin Up, a love song which you don't hear much in hiphop You reminds of Kendrick Lamar, so this album is ahead of its time We Fight/We Love reminds of Stevie Wonder Norah Jones track is quite good Overall very breezy and slick, has a great sense of musicality and singing that prefaces the direction of hip hop in a few years

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4

Okay, I can get on this one. It's upbeat and has legit production chops going. I like it.

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4

this is the newest album i've gotten since lorde's melodrama (2017) about 80 albums ago, so that's exciting. really liked the first song. i kinda forgot to write here, i was vibing, i liked this record lot. i loved all the features. i didn't looove his voice but it works just fine here, and i disliked some lyrics.

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4

Enjoyed this. Didnt think I would because it being a 00's album and I think hip hop went to crap in the 00's. It sounded like an album from the 90's and I loved it. 4 stars.

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4

How can I not love the solo stuff of one my favorite rap groups? Q-Tip continues to show his eloquence for beats and bars on this project with its incredible loops, hooks, and flow from track to track. The Renaissance is incredibly cohesive, and there is a good variety of the more catchy and pop sounding rap to the more artsy side the genre. One thing that has kind of gone to the wayside, but is very present in more classical rap acts, is a booming bass sound that isn't overblown. And that is properly showcased in The Renaissance, along with a gradient of punch to dusty drums, and a multitude of keys to love. The one thing that seems to be holding this album back for me is that most of the songs are love focused, which is just boring to me for any genre. Highlights: 2, 5, 6, 9, and 10.

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4

I was very pleasantly surprised by this album. I loved it. An album I would put on and listen to the whole way through. The song We Fight/We Love is fantastic.

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4

When it’s good it’s really great but it almost feels directionless at times. Love it when qtip is flowing but it moves at weird angles at times.

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4

Kom á óvart, skemmtileg áhlustun.

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4

I really feel I should have paid more attention to Q-Tip, this album is an absolute classic. Great beats, melodies and rhythms!

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4

Another nice discovery from this experiment. Q-Tip’s lyrical flow is impressive. The lyrics are plentiful and refreshing in their lack of overt misogyny and violence typical of many hip hop albums. The sample in Won’t Trade is on point. There is something missing that I can’t quite point out. There are several times where the album falls flat for me, like the beginning of Dance On Glass and all of Shaka. There is a lot more to like here though. I look forward to circling back to Q-Tip.

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4

I'm surprised to find a Q-Tip solo album on the list. I've heard Q-Tip's work with the incomparable Tribe Called Quest, but had never heard his solo stuff. Following on the heels of the Haircut One Hundred this week, here's another album where jazz stylings elevate the work above others in its genre. "The Renaissance" is a little less hip-hop focused than Tribe albums - it's still there, but there is also plenty of soul and funk. (I don't know, on repeated listens maybe this isn't so true... I'll have to go back and listen to Tribe.) Q-Tip has this should-be-too-high-but-somehow-works kind of voice. His super smooth flow probably helps it work. The style is great - great flow, great lyricism. But I feel like there aren't great hooks or choruses that would make it really memorable for the most part. A great collection of chill alternative hip-hop songs, but as a result it fades into the background a bit too easily.

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4

A little like A Tribe Called Quest, felt like an east coast rap vibe to me, dug it.

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4

The first things I noticed on Renaissance is that the music has a refreshingly live, organic feel and it's nuanced. Of course a lot of it is sewn together from loops, but the loops were obviously recorded specifically for these tunes by actual bassists, keyboardists, drummers, and guitarists. That beats the crap out of wall to wall drum machines, synths and samplers. Even when Q-Tip does use synths and drums machines, they never outright suck. Also, these tracks are layered--they are designed to be listened to more than once and discarded. I like how, especially in the 1st half of the album, the music will drop in and out unexpectedly, woven together with spoken word samples. He's also borrows a bit from experimental hip hop artist Prefuse 73's chopped and screwed approach, which is cool. This isn't instantly disposable product the way most mainstream hiphop is. Another thing about Renaissance is despite the variety of sounds, production touches, and editing strategies, it's cohesive. It feels like Q-Tip is trying to make a real album as opposed to a string of Spotify singles. All in all, Renaissance is a pleasant listen. Notice that I haven't said a thing about Q-Tip's raps yet. That's probably because musically speaking, they are the least impressive thing about Renaissance. He isn't doing anything interesting rhythmically. How about lyrically? Well, there is very little juvenile bragging, mysogyny or gangster huffing and puffing, which is a relief. But how is his wordplay? I mean, it isn't terrible, but there are few of the zingers you would expect from a rapper like Chuck D. Now, some people might take issue with Renaissance's lack of edge. And they have a point, kind of. It does have a smooth, New Soul kind of vibe. Personally, I would have preferred the jazz influences to be a little more trenchant, more Herbie Hancock than Robert Glasper, more Ben Monder than Kurt Rosenwinkle; I would have liked a bit more funk, a bit more grime, but that wasn't the album that Q-Tip wanted to make. For what he's going for, he's done a good job. And it's worth noting that Q-Tip is all over this record, as a composer, as a musician, as a rapper, as a producer, even as a recording engineer.

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4

I dig it

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4

I've listened to plenty of A Tribe Called Quest, but this is the first solo Q-Tip I've heard. It's good! It's very Q-Tip, and brings a pleasant chill groove in an era where a lot of hip hop was electronic/dance hybrids. There's room for thoughtful rhymes that manage to stealthily make an impact. And best of all, it feels like this is on the list because it's a simply good album, not because it's "influential".

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4

I like the production and all but somehow this album sounds like background music to me :(

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4

pretty cooooolll surprised i hadn’t heard of before. cool songs 4.5

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4

Always super impressed to hear the way the Q-tip rhymes. Dude is legit one of the smoothest flowers to ever grace the mic, and I think for that I always look forward be that he is gonna sling at us. This one for sure is pretty good, I really dug the features. Just a solid album for sure.

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4

Very cohesive and focused album with an experimental mix of hip hop and R&B. Fav tracks: Johnny is Dead, Won't Trade, You, Move, Believe.

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4

I remember my brother-in-law recommended this album when it came out, but I didn't get into it at the time.

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4

Gorgeous album.

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4

не ну классненький хапчик, репчик, попчик, покачал головой, не дикий вау, но настрой позитивный и приятно слушается

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4

Was feeling fatigued of genres I don't normally listen to after a disappointing last album, but this is so good.

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4

Funky, cool, definitely listen to this again

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4

Surprised that I enjoyed this one as much as I did. Good tunes lots of good mellowness . Nice rhymes instruments etc. Didn't blow me away but it was enjoyable

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4

Unexpected gem for me. I liked the sound.

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4

Q-Tip and ATCQ are always vibes

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4

Neato.

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4

Doesn’t feel like it pushes many boundaries. Pretty solid production and lyrics but very forgettable beats. 7/10

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4

7/10. I liked how chilled out this was to listen to, while also having really interesting lyrics.

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4

8/10 well paced and well produced with good bars. I think the biggest issue is that q-tips flow starts feeling really repetitive by the end

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4

Following up on LL Cool J I get Q-Tip, which looking at the track list is a bit more explicit. The album cover is quite classy, though so let's see. I'm embarrassed at my lack of depth of knowledge in this genre of music. 5 tracks in and I am entranced. Smart, jazzy, smooooth hip-hop with occasional gorgeous guest vocals over the top. More than halfway through and each song is more interesting than the last. This is a great album. I liked it a whole lot more than I expected. I might even call it a revelation. I should probably check out A Tribe Called Quest. I guess surprises like this album are what this project is about. I generally assume that the best of any genre (in music, movies, books, food, whatever) is probably pretty good. The Renaissance is a good example.

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4

Refreshingly non aggressive with little of Rap's ugly braggadocio. Good pop music, samples and mix of singing and rapping. Enjoyable.

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4

pretty cool

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4

It is unmistakably Q-Tip, but he is trying something new. It works on some tracks more than others, but the mix of glitchy samples, early 00s chill out and beats that go far further off the fours than ATCQs jazzy stuff either blows your mind, or leaves you missing the bounce and the Phife of his earlier work. The good stuff tends to be the Robert Glasper and J Dilla produced tracks, unsurprisingly, and when he calls out a roll call of hip hop's finest, ending with his name I have to admit I teared up a little (patronising details for people who are here for the Eagles - Dilla passed away before the album was completed, an event which probably changed the course of hip hop, as he was on the cusp of running the game).

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4

So good

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4

Ik blijf het een lastig genre vinden om naar te luisteren. Maar dit album viel me wel in de smaak. Het heeft vlotte ritmes, en klinkt niet al te agressief. Het nummer die muziekloos begint is wel opvallend

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4

Good

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4

Inte lika bra som hans album med Tribe men hög kvalitet ändå.

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4

Groovy hip hop with a consistent vibe. Sollid

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4

Ordagran megapangare

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4

It has some great songs

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4

Cool and funky album

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4

Good rap album

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4

Très bon album, l'influence jazz à la ATCQ est très bien faite, pas vraiment de moments faibles sur l'album.

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4

Very solid

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4

I only knew this guy from collaborations with other artists. I was happy to have a chance to actually listen to an album, and this did not disappoint!

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4

Drips with cool.

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4

Very cool! Quite a mix of styles, including a real mix of artists, blended superbly. Found myself bobbing my head up and down and moving in my seat as I listened. Done right, I love when jazz and R&B or jazz and hip-hop get together, and this album does it right. And I had already become a fan of jazz guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel (I recommend checking out his work), so it was wicked cool to see he contributed to this album. I'll definitely listen to this album again and I'll have to explore more of Q-Tip's work. This is an outstanding and interesting album.

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4

Liked it, not to intense, good message, nice flow.

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4

Q-Tip is a genius, and I love everything he puts out. This album doesn't have any hits but it is a great listen nonetheless.

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4

Started off strong, got weak then got better

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4

Highlights: Won't Trade, Life is Better. Tracks range from solid to gorgeous. The percussion, all the way through, is just damn good.

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4

Smooth. I appreciate the live band.

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4

Laid back!

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4

Very good, smooth foot tapping rap. I liked it.

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4

Un album dans lequel Q-Tip se confie sur la renaissance qu'il connaît depuis qu'il s'est échappé du groupe A Tribe Called Quest. Et on peut le comprendre.

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4

I'm a fan!

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4

Dope shit

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4

I liked Q-Tip from the moment I heard him on Get It Together with the Beastie Boys. I've heard him with A Tribe Called Quest and enjoyed it. I never did listen to him solo. It's really solid. Not much to say really. Just a very enjoyable album. Q Tip is a fantastic rapper and the beats are awesome.

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4

Liked it a lot. A lot of musical variance in the musical ideas.

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4

I'm not a hip hop guy but I liked this. 1st three tracks really stand out

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4

Lovely album and I love Q Tip’s voice. Having said that, there wasn’t a track that jumped out here - it just flowed smoothly from beginning to end. Well-crafted, but neither earth-shattering or offensive. If I hadn’t heard Q Tip previously, I would have loved this, but as it stands, it seems like another accomplished album to add to his discography.

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4

Lovely nostalgic noughties rap!! Never heard of Q Tip but I love this vibe and this album it's yummy! Especially Life is Better with Norah Jones. Catchy, relaxed, good vibes!

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4

Fuckin dope, lil overwhelmed by hip hop cause it's not my normal stuff but this is very good.

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4

This album’s opener “Johnny is Dead” starts off with a catchy fat groove. I’m loving that bass sound. The rest of the album doesn’t let up either. Every track has a great sound and Q-Tip’s delivery is spot on. His voice has a great rhythm to it that fits in with the groove he’s rapping over. The opener, “Gettin Up” and “Life is Better” are my favorite tracks so far, but I need to listen to this album a few more times to get to know it more. I’m still new to a lot of hip-hop, but it’s great albums like this that get me excited about exploring the genre more.

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4

It's weird because I feel like I never heard anything about Q-Tip after his debut album. Maybe I wasn't paying attention to hip-hop or maybe he wasn't showing up much in the mainstream. But this is a solid album. It has an old school feel - soul, funk? Like there's some Stevie Wonder or George Clinton in there (especially noticeable at WeFight/WLove and ManWomanBoogie). I had it on repeat for awhile. I'm not sure it has anything that absolutely grabbed me as out of this world, but as a collective it was great. Some that stood out though were Johnny is Dead, Getting Up, and Move for their beat and sound, Dance on Glass for its lyrics.

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4

I knew Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest and his collaboration with the Beastie Boys on Ill Communication. But man, this takes it to another level. His flow was great, the guest stars really hit the mark. Every track was concise and did not overstay their welcome. I really REALLY enjoyed this album. Definitely one to pick up.

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4

Q-Tip is one of the group of rappers whose music leaves you feeling chilled and feeling positive about life, rather than angsty and wound up - on that basis alone this album is worth a 4/5.

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4

Very solid from beginning to end. No notes.

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4

My kind of hip hoppery

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4

Smooth, great voice... but doesn't break any boundaries, especially considering its release year. A safe rap option for the book.

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4

Great 90s style rhyme and flow over the top of a great sounding backing

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4

While his voice can be a bit congested sounding at times, it does require that the listener pay attention a bit more than perhaps normally. There is something a bit off about his rhyming that still makes sense, almost like he forces it at times, but unlike other artists where it feels as though they sacrifice clarity of message for the sake of a rhyme, Q-Tip instead seems to double-down on the flow itself to keep the integrity of his lyrics. This might be a long way of saying that he writes with intention rather than convenience. Some of the more popular rap artists opt for the convenient rhyme over the intentional writing, take any song that is more recognizable by its beat than its verses, and there is the example. Compare that to someone like Q-Tip, and the infusion of jazz, it makes some rap artists out there sound like lottery-winning amateurs, carried by a beat but forgotten in the verse. Q-Tip manages both, the jazz infusion is incredible. So much of jazz alone is chaotic and hard to follow, but Q-Tip and his use of it along with his verses make a path worth following, an order to the chaos.

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3

probably revolutionary for its time but now it kinda just sounds like a youtube vlog soundtrack

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3

I love Q-Tip in ATCQ, and some of his features are among my favorites. It's hard to stick with his lazy delivery for an entire album, though. Could have used more appearances by the Norah Joneses of the world. Best track: Won't Trade

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3

Not my taste

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3

jazzy hip hop. it was ok.

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3

I've not listened to much hip hop, but enjoyed this album quite a bit. Admittedly, didn't catch most of the lyrics, as I was working. Will focus more next time.

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3

Good beats

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3

Made me bob my head. Wouldn't say no.

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3

nice enough but not my thing

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3

Cool beats, nice flow

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3

Not as great as his A Tribe Called Quest work, but still enjoyed it quite a bit.

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3

Surprisingly good. Not really a fan of rap but quite enjoyed this. Definitely enjoy this style of rap over rap from more recent rap.

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3

As far as hip-hop goes it was pleasant but I didn't love it. It's fine.

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3

Definitely heard "Love Vigilantes" before, funny I think it was a cover Iron & Wine did. Elegia wow, definitely heard this before, I heard it in a trailer for "Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain" (video game). Besides those two, not much does anything for me here. Not bad.

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3

Noice

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3

Solid.

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3

"a surprise indeed but a welcome one"

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3

Not my preferred style, but not bad. After one listen I didn't hate it and I could see a couple of tracks growing on me. Though I didn't like anything enough to add it to my new music playlist, so three stars at best. Could go up or down with further listens.

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3

i like his style in general, but didn't love this album.

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3

I fucking loved this album! I dont listen to much rap but the collaborations, beats, and lyrics were great.

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3

Bastante funky para ser hip hop... Muy rescatable.

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3

Buenos ritmos. Acordes pegadizos

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3

Great headbobbin music. Nothing sticks out though.

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3

pretty good like the production most

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3

Good beats and nice flow but all the songs sounded the same

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3

Enjoyable

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3

Was a good change of pace for my day. Musically pleasing, but not something I think I’d seek out on my own, or ever again. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it, I’m just sure there is so much more out there I have yet to discover.

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3

Pretty alright rap album. 0RS

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3

Pretty decent for rap. More musical than most.

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3

.

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3

I imagine historians would agree that recalling a popular style from 10-15 years is too short of a time for an official renaissance. This is a solid album that doesn't make sense in 2008. By this point Kanye has completed his college trilogy and I want Q-Tip to be part of moving it forward rather than a throwback. The production is smooth as hell J Dilla jazz. Q-Tip's delivery is smooth as hell onomatopoeia. I wouldn't hesitate to put this on in the background of a low key beach gathering or a pickleball tourney, and not worry about having to skip any songs. Only concern would be getting hypnotized into thinking it's 1993 and drifting into grandma's kitchen. B-

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3

Not heard so will try it

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3

Quite a decent listen, it had my toes tapping. There are some interesting tunes and melodies throughout. I enjoyed it, though I likely won't ever revisit, it didn't stand out from the hip hop crowd at all really.

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3

Another record that I've somehow never got around to listening to. Therefore, it wouldn't have been my obvious hip-hop choice for the 1001 list. However, it is good! It has some of the appeal of early Tribe Called Quest, but with the sprawling hippie stuff stripped away, and a more crisp, contemporary sound throughout. It didn't blow me away, but yeah, he's a major talent of the genre. I'm going to say 3.5

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3

Low 3. It's good, but not something I'd usually listen to.

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3

pas mal fav : move, shaka

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3

Smooth like butter, rolls from one track to the next seemingly never breaking its stride. This constant flow, whilst pleasant listening, meant I couldn’t get my teeth into the constant so smoothly did it slip on by.

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3

Solid 7/10. His flow is crazy smoothe

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3

wonderful

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3

Decent start, classic soul & boom bap beats. Track 3 standout so far. Track 5 is awesome. Track 8 is good but too long. Track 10 bangs overall decent first album

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3

Some decent hip-hop. Nothing terrible, nothing that really wowed me.

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3

Good flow, interesting harmonies, but so so so so monotonic that it gets boring. Resident sleeper album. 3/5.

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3

Funky jazzy head nod hip hop. The back half of the album is way better than the beginning. Q’s rhymes go up another level and the beat selection is nice. I like the cover art. Move probably is the track most likely to be revisited.

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3

Q-Tip is a legend. Not from ATCQ, but from a lot of his features and production. He is a top tier rapper for me but I never really went out of my way to check his solo career. "The Renaissance" is a nice, decent little plug on Q-Tip's router. The features are pretty scarce, but there are some familiar names like D'Angelo & Norah Jones. While ATCQ has a more reggae/jazz-rap vibe, this is all just what a standard album by Q-Tip would be like. No, not an album by Q-Tip's standards, an album thats more like the rest of hiphop that was in 2008. The production didnt really wow me, but I really did like the Dilla 2-part beat on "Move" While a lot of good tracks bump this record up, I can't give it much more praise than that. 7/10 As of July 19th 2021 Best Tracks: Johnny Is Dead, Won't Trade, You, Move, Dance On Glass, Life Is Better Worst Track: We Fight / We Love

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3

Wiggly jazzy fun.

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3

It's a pretty interesting album. Every song sounds like it could be played over a TV show or movie about teens in a big city coming to age. I think where it falls a bit short is the lyrics either sometimes go over your head or don't need to be listened to. All in all though, it's a pretty good modern hip hop album.

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3

To be consistent with how "jazz" works, "jazz rap" also has to be recognized as a reductive category, trying to pin down something elusive. The music on this record is subtle, but eventually reveals itself as jazz-y in an important sense, probably closer to the funk era of the instrumental music thanks to its angles. Songs, not just their production, maintain sharpness with their use of space if not silence. The beat is largely in the negative space, reminding me that dance is part of life instead of commanding me to get up. A few sudden transitions emphasize the effect. It's very grown-up hip-hop, without exuberance. I don't love it on first listen, because it's not really reading music unless it's the music you're reading. One definite takeaway: The closer is thematically satisfying but musically tantalizing.

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3

This album wasn't bad. In fact, some of the lyrics were very creative. I question whether there are more important albums to put on this list.

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3

the bass is great 1+ 2+ 3+ 4- 5- 6= 7= 8+ 9- 10+ 11+ 12=

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3

tried to like it more

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3

I'd say a 3. enjoyable listen even though it's a style I can usually go either way on.

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3

Good listen. Great production and cool vibe throughout. Not bad lyrically, it's Q-Tip, but also nothing memorable at all.

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3

It's fine, but nothing special.

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3

giving me the good old school rap vibes

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3

Never heard this - very unusual hip-hop album. Liked it!

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3

This is another one where I can't really find fault with anything here - Q-tip is great! - but I didn't really get sucked in at any point, either.

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3

Ersten drei Tracks mich voll abgeholt: was das denn für geiler Spätwerk-Shit? Albumtitel voll verdient! Dann bisschen eingeschlafen (sorry, my bad!), aber bei Move wieder ganz wunderbar wieder zurückgeholt worden. Danach aber wieder bisschen more of the same. Unterstreicht insgesamt natürlich voll die Ausnahmestellung die Q-Tip im MC-Biz hat, eröffnet dann aber auch nicht so viel neue Perspektiven. War das das fresheste, was HipHop 2008 zu bieten hatte?

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3

Ganz locker-kopfnickendes Stück hiphop, das sich zu selten solch tolle Ausbrüche leistet wie bei „ManWomanBoogie“ oder „Move“. Okaye 2.6

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3

The rapping style reminded me a bit of Kendrick Lamar (yes I know Kendrick came later). Backing beats were funky, maybe a little like Jamiroquai.

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3

Very solid but nothing stood out?

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3

good

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3

Dit kende ik niet, maar vond ik wel oké klinken.

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3

It’s like a Tribe album at 70% - Q-Tips silky voice grooves throughout a generally pleasant album - one or two good bangers - ManWomanBoogies and Move stand out - but it generally comes and goes and does not stay for coffee.

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3

nice to explore members of ATCQ, nice jazzy, R+B rap

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3

Good

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3

Reminded me a lot of Solange's music which I like.

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3

i feel like this album is the whole reason i began this journey, and i'm only a few days in. he sampled quite a few songs throughout the album, and songs from multiple genres at that. creativity oozes from q-tip, his lyrics are something else! "won't trade" in particular grabbed me. some songs not so much, but i have tons of respect for q-tip regardless.

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3

I was today years old the first time I listened to Q-Tip. Usually not my speed but this was a good record! I particularly liked Move. I would def listen to this album again

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3

Hip-hop. Ni fu ni fa.

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3

Un bel mood, durante la fine del mondo ci vuole. Un hip hop leggero, che devo dire, mi piace.

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3

I must confess to hearing very little hip hop before this, so my insights will be a little limited. Regardless, I found this album an enjoyable experience . The way Q Tip makes words flow was entertaining, and the instrumentation was surprisingly well done. The album has a crisp, fresh sound, which contributes to the smart feel of the music. I most liked the songs ‘official’ and ‘Shaka’ Overall I’ll give this album a 3.5 stars. This was an enjoyable, and refreshing, listen.

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3

Enjoyed this

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3

3/28/22

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3

Not ball at all, just mediocre. Has that 90s hip-hop vibe even though it's late 2000's.

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3

Why? I mean there's nothing wrong with Q-Tip, but in terms of rap pioneers, I'm guessing there will be some left off this list that could easily replace this entry.

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3

No está mal, lo volveré a escuchar. No conocía al autor aunque si había oido sus colaboraciones. De este disco me han gustado "Won't trade", "ManWomanBoogie" y "Shaka". Y también me ha hecho conocer el nombre del sampler con el que se tapa la cara en la portada el AKAI MPC 2000XL.

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3

Genre: East Coast Hip Hop 3/5 For as much as I loved A Tribe Called Quest's The Low End Theory (an album I gave a 5/5), and as much as I've grown to appreciate the hip hop genre and what it has to offer, especially when it comes from legends like Q-Tip, this was incredibly underwhelming. Released in late 2008, while still sounding as if it were sonically stuck in the early 90s, The Renaissance by Q-Tip is anything but a rebirth. "The Retreading" is a bit more of an accurate title, as every song on here reeks of the past, and, beyond some hip/cool features from some more contemporary recording artists, this is clearly an album clinging to the past in hopes that the remnants of boom bap may live on. While the production is clearly supposed to be reminiscent rather than a complete retracing, it's hard to look beyond the sonic landscapes here. With the genre growing as it was in the late 2000s, songs like Gettin' Up and Move, both decent songs in their own right, sound like fossils amidst the growing pop rap fusions of the day. Instead of harkening back, Q-Tip simply moved backwards, and what we're left with is a decent, yet unsatisfying album with plenty of forgettable lyrics and arrangements. Life Is Better is a great track, as Norah Jones saves the album to a degree with her late-aught's style crooning, but it's surrounded by musical equivalents of the "how ya doin', fellow kids" meme. Not a bad record, but clearly 15-20 years too late.

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3

L'album était plutôt sympa mais fut rendu extrêmement désagréable par la découverte suivante: Q-Tip est le leader de l'horrible groupe A Tribe Called Quest.

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3

Hip hop molt influencia pel r&b, soul i tocs de jazz. Com alguns discos de The Roots o posteriorment gent com Kendrick Lamar, Q-Tip es demostra gran coneixedor de la música negra i tots els samples i arranjaments de cada tema s'acoplen de manera perfecta amb el rapejat elegant de Q-Tip

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3

Some pretty solid beats, a nice listen.

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3

I'm a huge ATCQ fan. Q-tip is a fave of mine. This was very midnight marauders in parts, so I kept waiting for Phife to bust a verse. I miss Phife dawg. When the album was done a Phife some came on. 🥴 Long story short, the sum of the parts is greater than the bits alone. I really like the Tribe, but this fell shy of the mark.

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3

I really wanted to like this album bc I love quest but I found myself waiting for it to end

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3

Once again, not my jam. But could appreciate the musicality.

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3

3.4 - Funky tracks on here but I felt it all wash over me and I've already forgotten about it. Fine as background music.

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3

Pretty good, had a nice vibe listening to this.

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3

Not bad, but just not my kind of music. Rap/Hip-Hop doesn't do it for me on regular. Feels very monotone. I did give it a go to be fair. But yeah not my thing.

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3

For a 2008 album, it sounds remarkably fresh in 2022, which is impressive in a context like hip-hop, where things change very quickly. It's not so remarkable on these songs, but nice to listen to them and know a little bit more about

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3

Some of the lyrics are a little cringeworthy, but there are some good instrumentals

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3

Pretty good

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3

Surprisingly good! Really liked it.

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3

Solid qtip

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3

I enjoyed Won’t Trade. The rest left me a little cold.

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3

This is a good Q-Tip album. Tip's best work came from the Tribe years. Should this album merit inclusion based on it being a Q-Tip album, or an album that is from a member of the Tribe. Regardless, this album doesn't rank high on the Hip Hop / R&B / Jazz-Hop / Fusion albums to be worthy of inclusion on this list. 3/5.

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2

kinda like a mix between rap and drum & bass. not really my style - it just exists in a space I don't care about. 2/5 overall - would have given it a 3 cause it's not awful, but the songs all sound too similar. like the whole album uses the exact same formula, just resprayed for each new song.

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2

"Won't trade" and "Life is better" were okay... But I think the style is just not for me.

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2

6

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2

Meh. 5/10

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2

eh, could not get full version but head enough

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2

kay

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2

Okay.

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2

4.5

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2

Definitely getting a tribe called quest vibes here. It's definitely okay. It's no kanye, Roots, or kendrick lamar. Lots of good collabs. I can see broad appeal here, but I'm not feeling the passion in this album. I listened to this album like four times, but I don't see a need to listen again. Fav song is Life is better (norah jones is too cool). 2.5

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2

Not bad, just not great.

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2

Inače je nešto što bi mi stvarno pasalo i slušat ću ih ubuduće, al sad me ni čanulo.

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2

Hmmm.. Prince meets James Brown meets Grandmaster flash?

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2

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

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2

Not my thing at all.

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2

48. Não há ponta por onde se lhe pegue. MotA: Gettin Up "Sometimes I phase out when I look at the screen / And I think about my chance for me to intervene"

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2

Coñazo. Hip hop

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2

I've heard you're never supposed to put a Q-Tip in your ears, now I know why. Didn't care for it at all. 2 stars.

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2

Not me but nowlt awful.

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2

It's good, but it's just really boring to me. Probably won't be listening again

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2

Not my cup of tea. Nothing really lands, does it? A bit of a cotton candy album - looks great but take a bit and there's little of substance there.

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2

Not my style but enjoyed the album

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2

The production soars near the beginning of this album but quickly loses steam to the point where the last tracks are cloying in their use of samples. Mediocre bars throughout mean this one lands firmly in the disappointment pile.

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2

fairly annoying

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2

Wat een vriendelijke rap. Verder niet zo verheffend.

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2

Beetje saai. Steeds hetzelfde trucje.

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2

Ik kon mijn aandacht er niet bij houden

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2

It is fine as background music but I couldn't see myself ever listening to it again.

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2

Not as bad as most of its ilk

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2

I thought the progressive aspects of this album as they pertain to hip-hop were definitely on display, making this album seem fresh in comparison to a lot of the hip-hop I've heard in the past decade or so. For hip-hop, his voice is incredibly smooth and the music was laid back. That said, this album and the tracks on it ultimately didn't resonate with me very much; it was easy to listen to, but for me, it was "just okay".

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2

good listening experience

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2

Hip hop bastante rollo. Sin nada que me llame la atención.

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2

Not my kind of music not terrible but not one I would listen to again

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2

Jazz rap that's pretty smooth. Nothing particularly stood out as exceptional, but clean overall. Liked it.

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2

Didn't blow me away, but there were some nice beats here.

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2

Very 2000s Hip-Hop mixed with synth pop. Not terrible but not a single thing I latched onto.

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2

Eh. Rap. Not a promising start to the week....

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2

A chilled and funky hip hop album. Not really my thing and doesn't seem all that innovative, but it's inoffensive and listenable. I got a little bored by the end. Rating: 2/5 Playlist track: Won't Trade Date listened: 20/04/22

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2

04/30/2022 Not for me.

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2

Harmless, but ultimately nondescript.

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2

I didn't really give this my full attention. It sounds like the type of album you need to really focus on to gain any kind of reward. I liked the more jazzy moments. I didn't his voice a little... whiney.

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2

Boring. I’m not a fan of hiphop.

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2

2/5 naaaah

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2

I would say Won't Trade was my favourite off this album and I from the plays on Spotify, I can see why this is the hit. I enjoyed the more upbeat funky-ness of it and the sample track was fun. I got a bit tired of the other ones, repetitive use of jazz chords - it felt a bit one sided and the tracks all just blurred into one.

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2

Samples and grooves are excellent, lyrics unfortunately not so eargrabbing. Shame.

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2

Half decent.

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2

Struggled to even give this one two stars

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2

Not my style.

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2

Not bad. 2.5/5

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2

Progressive hip-hop? *groooooooooooans* I swear this project is closing my mind more than opening it. There were some good beats, I'll give it that. But the vocals were so grating. It's not my scene, I don't like it, no thank you.

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2

Didn’t care for it

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2

I really did not enjoy any part of this album.

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2

Very meh. It's not awful but it's not even close to being worthy of the list.

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2

Wasn’t too bad but not my kind of thing

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1

Not my thing.

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1

No thanks. Pretty poor all the way through

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1

No me ha gustado nada.

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1

ResidentSleeper the baseline carries the whole album

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1

Yuck

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1

Hip hop amb el que mai aconsegueixo connectar. Té algunes bases i ritmes interessants però el génere en sí no m'entra.

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1

no rap

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1

Hip Hop, you shall not pass. 1/5

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1

Jazzy bits were good, liked the bass, didn't like anything else. I'm not made for hip hop.

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1

This is really underwhelming to me, but I also felt extremely overstimulated. Enjoyed “WeFight/WeLove” and “Life is Better”. I like that it mellowed out a bit the more I listened.

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1

Some good tunes, but really not my jam. It was a job getting through this album. 1*.

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1

So boring

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