Over the past 9 years that Q-Tip constantly seemed to be recording albums that went unreleased, and then shuffling over to a different label and recording another album that would inevitably also get shelved, I felt bad for the guy, and thought he really deserved to get to put a record out. But at the same time, I wasn't really chomping at the bit to hear what he was doing, and it's not like I really hated "Vivrant Thing" or The Love Movement, I just wasn't that interested. But once he finally did get to release The Renaissance recently, and the buzz on it was all pretty positive, I kinda remembered that, oh yeah, this guy was the primary creative force behind 2 of my favorite rap albums of all time, I should really give it a shot. And it's pretty damn good. Usually when a rap album gets delayed a billion times and the artist keeps scrapping material and replacing it with new stuff (Tha Carter III for instance), I constantly feel like I might've been cheated out a better record that got lost somewhere in that process, but The Renaissance feels like it's actually a culmination of what he was doing the whole time, an arty but danceable hip hop record somewhere between that indulgent Kamaal The Abstract and the boring Pharrell/Busta single he put out a few years ago, songs like "Manwomanboogie" that aren't quite radio-ready, and aren't quite a retro Tribe vibe, but remind you that the guy always had a knack for beats and rhymes.