When Q-Tip‘s aptly-titled project The Renaissance, drops on December 18 listeners should definitely not expect subtlety.
“I felt that music overall is in need of some sort of awakening,” Tip told SOHH. “I’m going to surprise you.”

More specifically, Q-Tip plans to address his thoughts on hip-hop, good and bad.
“Hip-Hop now is the dominant culture around the world, not just in America, worldwide,” Tip said. “We’re reaching the corners of the planet that we hadn’t in maybe 15 years and I think that it’s great. We’re growing up too and we’re making strides and that’s a thing that should be applauded. I love it dearly, so I feel if anybody has a right to critique in a positive or negative way, it’s me, being that I’ve given a lot to the form and the idiom.”

Led by his funky first single “Work it Out” “The Renaissance” was produced entirely by Q-Tip, who enlisted a new band for the project.
“It’s not a band in the traditional sense,” Tip explained. ” I have samples, they replay them and embellish so it still has that gritty hip-hop sound. It’s a bit more musical. As well as having actual songs with my band, I have certain things I chopped up, so it’s a mixed bag, but the dominating factor is the musicians.”

While 1999’s “Amplified” was pushed up the charts by catchy songs like “Vivrant Thing” and “Breathe and Stop”, The Renaissance will tackle weightier issues.
“I have songs speaking on the desperation of a generation,” he said. “We are so entrenched in self-involvement and putting that out to the world, we forget about the rest of mankind. That’s evidenced through what’s happening with the environment, in America it’s evidenced in the rate of people getting divorced.
“We are the benefactors of this great world, but are negligent to it.”

In addition to his work on the upcoming album, Q-Tip revealed he has been producing material for Wu-Tang Clan and also working with Solange Knowles.


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