Q-Tip’s oft-delayed sophomore solo album, “The Renaissance,” will finally hit stores Oct. 14 via Universal Motown. The nine-track set blends live instrumentation, scratching and samples for a sound reminiscent of the rapper’s work in A Tribe Called Quest.
The album will tentatively open with “Shaka,” a song featuring an excerpt of one of presidential candidate Barack Obama’s campaign speeches over a guitar-tinged beat. It still isn’t official that the track will make the cut, since the sound byte hasn’t been cleared yet.
“I start the album off with the Obama speech not just because I’m African-American, but because I really feel like he’s a fresh new voice and alternative from what we’ve seen in the political scene in some time,” Q-Tip told Billboard earlier this year. “I see similarities in his way of thinking and my way. I really like him a lot.”
Also featured on the set is the piano-based lead single, “Getting Up,” which is in the vein of Tribe’s “Award Tour,” the Raphael Saadiq-assisted “Fight/Love,” which tells the stories of a girl in a troubled relationship and a young man fighting in Iraq, and “Life Is Better,” featuring Norah Jones, where Q-Tip pays tribute to all his favorite rappers, including Biz Markie, LL Cool J, Leaders of The New School, Snoop Dogg, Eazy-E, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Brand Nubian and Pimp C.
The album also includes the 60’s-inspired “Won’t Trade,” “ManWomanBoogie,” with Amanda Diva, and “Believe,” featuring the reclusive D’Angelo.
As previously reported, Q-Tip has once again reunited with Tribe’s Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Jarobi White for this summer’s Rock The Bells Tour.
Q-Tip’s last album, 1999’s “Amplified,” has sold 675,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen Soundscan, and reached No. 4 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.