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“Fight/Love” with Raphael Saadiq, for example, alludes to the ever-present realities of the Iraq War.
The sole track handled by a producer other than Q-Tip himself is “Move,” a hyper-kinetic pastiche of diced-up Jackson 5’s “Dancing Machine” courtesy of the late, great J. “A Tribe Called Quest is no more,” says Q-Tip, putting a cap on rumors sparked by their recent reunion shows on the recent Rock the Bells Tour. Dilla’s participation in The Ummah, the production team (also including Q-Tip and DJ Ali Shaheed Muhammad) that handled full chores on the final two ATCQ albums.
This compilation of her collaborations over the years is entertainingly varied.
As well as excelling alongside giants like Ray Charles, she successfully takes on country (with Dolly Parton), and rap (with Talib Kweli and Q-Tip).
Jones’s honeyed tones hold the whole 18-track odyssey together in fine style.
Tip hits his stride on“You,” a tale of suspicious minds with a nagging beat, and there are a few highly welcome moments of rat-a-tat freestyle on“Dance on Glass.” But his jazzy vibe, once novel and aggressively refreshing, seems buried here in a curiously midtempo sea of slow jams and hook-challenged R&B.
“Move” comes closest to reviving the head-nodding kick of A Tribe Called Quest, a fitting testament to the funky skills of James “J. Q-Tip is in his own extremely capable hands for the remainder of The Renaissance.