26 October 2009

BLOGTOBER 2009: Music Reviews (18 of 22) Q-Tip, Kamaal/The Abstract

Q-Tip's follow up to his 1999 solo debut, The Renaissance, was originally slated to come out in 2002, but Kamaal/The Abstract got shelved by the label cause they didn't think a jazzy-fusiony-electronicaish release from Q-Tip had much commercial potential.

Luckily, with the massive downturn in music sales, suddenly modest sales goals seem worth pursuing.

It's a fantastic album, it's more in line with the kind of acid jazz that was almost popular in the early 90s from the likes of US3, Digable Planets, and Brand New Heavies.

Currently, you can stream the whole album at Q-Tip's myspace page, so give it a spin. It's far heavier on the jazz side of the equation than it is on the hip hop, but it's well executed, well performed, hook driven, jazz, so nobody should let its jazziness scare them away.

It's a shame there's no market for this kind of stuff, but seems the musical vocabulary that's acceptable within radio friendly hip-hop/rap has been extremely narrow for the past couple of decades. The sound changes, but whatever the sound of the moment is, that's the only sound you'll hear on the radio, so any 'rap' artist that tries to expand those boundaries is going to get shut out, and other outlets also are dismissive of embracing a 'rap' artist, assuming all they're putting out is the currently popular style.

Only four weekdays left in BLOGTOBER, I'm hoping to listen to Wolfmother's new album tomorrow, and I'll wind up this project by reviewing Dylan's Christmas album on Friday, you'll just have to tune in and find out what Wednesday and Thursday will bring.

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