His Kamaal The Abstract solo album was deep-sixed by Arista in 2002, but A Tribe Called Quest main man Q-Tip is back with The Renaissance (Motown/Universal). The Queens rhyme ripper is eager to show that he can still rock a party with the Cool Kids and the Knux at the Phoenix (410 Sherbourne), Friday (December 5). $24.50. remgentertainment.com.
What was your approach to recording The Renaissance?
It was just a matter of trying to do something different harmonically and melodically while keeping it hip-hop. I wanted everything to feel more musical.
Have you carried over elements from the Kamaal The Abstract sessions to The Renaissance?
In a way, yeah, but just in terms of using both a band and sampling. I was attempting to strike exactly the right balance between the two. I don't think it's perfect, but it's close.
Why did Arista shelve the Kamaal album?
The label wanted a radio single, and L.A. Reid didn't hear it on the album I submitted. I didn't want to record one, so I asked to be released from my contract with Arista.
Bootlegs have circulated, but will the album ever be officially released?
After a lot of phone calls, I finally got the masters, so I'm going to put out everything we recorded during the sessions for that album. Hopefully, it'll be out sometime next year.
Any plans for another A Tribe Called Quest album, given 2006's reunion shows?