After his former label shelved his 2002 disc Kamaal The Abstract, reputedly for lack of commercial potential, Q-Tip might've decided to simply play the game and knock out a conventional hip-hop album of throwback beats and good-time rhymes reminiscent of his best-loved work with A Tribe Called Quest.
But that wouldn't be Q-Tip.
So the cookie-cutter joints are tossed out the window for The Renaissance as Q-Tip attempts to show that he can creatively flow over whatever unusual progression or production twist comes along with each successive track.
At times it sounds like he's trying a bit too hard to come off completely unique just for the sake of being different, which gives a novelty vibe to some of this stuff. But you can't fault him for messing with tired formulas.