Q-Tip

Legendary MC Q-Tip can do whatever the hell he wants. After revolutionizing hip-hop with A Tribe Called Quest and paving the way for Kanye, Tip is more experimental than ever these days. On this album, delayed since 2001 and remixed for release, the lyrical master sounds more like Curtis Mayfield than a mic-rockin’ MC. He weaves his trademark flow through pumping organs, flaring guitars, and wild beats from a live band. “Do U Dig U?” expands like a modern version of Miles Davis’s On the Corner, while “Heels” is the closest Tip comes to delivering a club hit. There’s nothing commercial, but that isn’t the point. As Tip says on the opener, “Feelin’,” “This racket is in need of somebody like me.” Damn straight.

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