Q-Tip was part of the legendary Hip Hop group A Tribe Called Quest. After that group disbanded in 1998, he went his own way, working on a somewhat successful solo career. This is his first release as a solo artist, which did surprisingly well with some popular singles released shortly afterwards. In retrospect, given his record label troubles later on, fans of Q-Tip were lucky to receive this release in the first place. Let’s take a listen to it and see how it fares today.
We begin with Wait Up which begins with a basic electronic sound patch which is pretty repetitive, before going into an awesome and funky groove that is less Rap, more Hip Hop in nature. This does sound quite good, and although is not really the Gangsta Rap of today, it is a fresh and funky listening experience. It is socially conscious in attitude, as much as real Hip Hop/Rap should be. Q-Tip sounds like he had no time to waste here, and this is a good introduction to his music. Some handclaps and finger snapping are here in the second half, before this piece returns back to the rhymes. A good listen, and definitely worth your time. Nice music here.
Next is Higher which has some punchy beats and excellent sonic patches here. A good piece with some old school style Hip Hop lyrics, this is a great piece of music that is quite underrated musically and sound wise, this is fresh, funky and full of life. Of course, given the title of this song, it’s about weed but given acts like Dr. Dre, what else would you expect from this type of music? Great sonic craftmanship and lyrics here, there are some dope smoking sound samples towards the end here. Even if you are not a stoner, one can appreciate this. A fine tune, with a retro feel about it. Some wordless melodies finish this off before launching straight into the next track.
Breathe And Stop is next which has some awesome Breakbeats, leading into another really awesome piece of music. It is a really excellent piece of Hip Hop music that sounds original and timeless, unlike some of the Rap on the radio today. This is a great listen from this sort of album and music. The good thing about this music is that it is fresh and inspired, more than much of today’s music. An amazing and awesome listening experience, no wonder this was a hit single at the time. An excellent piece of music, and one of the best from this album. Clever, imaginative and simple, just like all Hip Hop music should be.
Moving With U follows with a strange cut up electronic introduction to the music at hand, before launching into a piece about relationship based sort of issues. A decent piece of music here about being jealous for some other guy’s one night stand lady, this is interesting listening. Aside from some of the old Hip Hop sounds here, this is a lot better than some of the current mainstream efforts of today. Seemingly the 21st century changed a lot for music, this is good listening all the same. There is a sped up backwards outro here to finish this piece off, which is different.
Following is Let’s Ride which has a more prominent and original drum beat, with some sounds that are very much like a headrush here. This is a borderline Rap track about the old male thing of chasing ladies, which seems unrealistic and dated today in the 21st century as a socially musical norm. Still, this is a nicely pieced together and crafted piece with extra vocals, guitar loops, psychedelic electronic sounds and some impressive lyrics here too. A good slice of funky Hip Hop, this is a very good listen that, although not up in the league of some other Rappers of N.W.A. fame, this is still very fresh and good listening. A good listen with some tripped out sound effects, this is really underrated music. The outro is a wordless sonic journey, decent listening experience.
After that is Things We Do which begins with some spoken word vocals, a funky beat pastiche and talk about recreational habits of a Hip Hop legend that Q-Tip is. Yes, this music may seem somewhat outdated today compared to some Rappers out there who made more success than Q-Tip, but it still sounds very good and fresh. Awesome lyrics and a fine delivery at the right tempo here serve Q-Tip well. A clever, interesting and witty set of lyrics set to a decent sonic backing, it goes into a mock heart monitor sound section, before launching back into this cool track. Good listening experience, this fades out gently and gradually at the end. Neat.
All In begins with a weird sort of interesting intro, before going into a quirky piece of rhythmic listening that is interesting and direct. A good Rap piece that sounds pretty good, this is definitely underrated music here. It’s not a direct reference to gambling, it is about taking everything 100% seriously in one’s life. Of course, there is the typical Hip Hop/Rap sort of thing about weed and women, but what else do you expect from Rap music? It goes into a quick bass drum beat breakdown, before finishing off nicely. Definitely cool, it is a great track to crank in one’s car with shades on. Minimal, yet excellent. Q-Tip is an underrated champ here.
Go Hard begins with some semi-Acid House sounds with a string section in the background, before launching into a really cool listening experience that sounds really good. It’s a good Hip Hop/Rap piece, once again that honestly needs to be heard more by people into that sort of music. Q-Tip sounds really amazing here, and really does have a unique voice and way of Rap delivery that is incredible. Of course, there is a lot of sexist male bragging here. Still, this is a decent and minimalist tune that is good listening. The outro has some nicely programmed bass sounds and beats that sound very low end indeed, instantly launching into the next track.
Next is Do It which begins with some interesting metallic sounding drum beats and a rolling subsonic bassline that sounds really cool. This has a lady doing some sampled speaking at parts, but this is quite catchy and clever music for a person like Q-Tip. It is very much easier to find people in the music industry who have a more unintelligent process than Q-Tip, so he should not be avoided for that. This is obviously about sex, but quite short, at under three minutes long. At the end are some high pitched chatter to finish this piece off. Different.
Following is Vivrant Thing – Club Mix which is a heavy drum led and funkalicious piece that sounds really great. It sounds punchy, direct and awesome for this sort of music here. An underrated piece of male hedonism, this is very good sounding for Hip-Hop/Rap music. Some additional tripped out sounds are here, which add some colour and flavour to this piece. Brilliant sounding and with some excellent lyrics, this is definitely worth hearing. Nice to hear.
N.T. begins with some beats and background piano. It sounds unusual for Q-Tip to have recorded a piece like this, and admittedly, his vocals could have been mixed higher here. A good piece of African-American Hip Hop/Rap music though, with the typical themes of weed and women here. It has a guest featured here, Busta Rhymes, who was popular at the time. This is a good piece, but should have been remixed to allow the vocals more prominence here. Busta Rhymes loses his cool once the record is stopped on him, and the studio peeps laugh really hard at him. Definitely different ending, but very funny.
End Of Time (feat. Korn) comes next, with some creepy sounds and electronic beats to match. Korn’s appearance on this track is welcome, and this sounds interesting and very consistent. An interesting piece that has some suitable Metal guitars and a Rap Metal feel to it, this is an oddity in Q-Tip and Korn’s careers. Jonathan Davis’s vocals here are nicely put into this track, and he sounds as wonderful and animated as he does on Korn’s material. Q-Tip was obviously intelligent about who he put onto a record of his, this is a really good listen, especially for fans of Nu Metal and Rap out there. Good tune, just before the end of the record here.
Lastly here is Do It, See It, Be It which continues the electronic groove of the previous track. After a musical pause, Q-Tip returns and makes a very good musical and lyrical statement here. This is a really sort of autobiographical tale of Q-Tip’s musical journey through the world of music, which is good to hear. A really fresh and inspired get out there and do it message for those who are wondering if you should pursue a musical career, this is excellent listening. Good music, just like the rest of the album, Q-Tip does well here. A nice listen, music is truly the best thing in the world that we share. This makes this a superb statement in any case, and sounds really cool. Great tune to finish this album with.
Some of you may question the music of Q-Tip, stating that he never had the prominence of other Rappers out there. That does not mean at all that you should avoid this release. It is a straightforward, melodic and artistic release that even non-Hip Hop/Rap listeners will enjoy. Too bad it took a long time between releases after this one, it took nearly ten years of fights between record companies and Q-Tip to release a successor to this album. Still, Q-Tip is important, and is the Rapper on the famous piece by The Chemical Brothers Galvanise. Excellent and still fresh to this day.
Hip-Hop and Rap with a twist.
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