As expected, Tip is an extremely chill interview, but he’s short with his answers concerning Tribe. It’s hard to blame him; dude has a new solo disc dropping in October called The Renaissance (Universal/Motown) which, considering the shelving of his last two projects, 2005’s Open and 2002’s Kamaal the Abstract, should be nearly — and I said nearly — as anticipated as the Tribe reunion album that will never drop.
“I’ve just been working and staying in my square,” he says. “The album is done, so I’m just promoting the record, making sure that people feel it and hear it, and focusing on getting The Renaissance off and popping. After that, I’ll probably release Kamaal the Abstract around Christmas.”
The first single off The Renaissance, “Gettin’ Up,” is every morsel as progressively casual and metaphorically ambiguous as any libidinously scrumptious Tribe jam you’ve ever heard. According to Tip: “It’s uptempo and it also kind of charges. I’m happy with it; I feel like it’s representative of the raw beats on this album.” What it also represents is Tip’s break from the bouncy video vibe that cast his 1999 release Amplified far enough outside the Tribe shadow that many prefer to forget about it. So for those of you whose rap-related small talk has for the past decade entailed your story about a 1992 Tribe show and a denunciation of “Vivrant Thing,” it might be time to upgrade; because the next time we’re munching cheap brie and slugging Two Buck Chuck on a Brighton porch, I won’t talk about Tribe’s imaginary comeback disc unless you’ve given The Renaissance a fair chance.
Q-TIP + A TRIBE CALLED QUEST at Rock the Bells | Comcast Center, 885 South Main St, Mansfield MA | July 26 | 12 pm | livenation.com
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