Q-Tip seems like he's on mission to go back in time and choose the other path... the one without fur coats and beats meant for LL Cool J. As one of the most beloved hip-hop ambassadors of our time, he deserves another chance. Thankfully, Tip delivers what we we're hungry for. I'm not ranking it, I'm just saying that it hits the spot. "Won't Trade" is nineties hip-hop reincarnate with its simple dusty loop, soul sample, and Tip delivering snappy monotone lines like he was 18. I've already praised the single "Gettin Up," but what really makes it cool, is the basement-style scratching on the album version (another reason to get the single) that leads directly into "Official," which sounds like a 1999 Slum Village white label. Album-only quirks... what I'm hungry for. Speaking of SV, check the Dilla-produced "Move," the only non-Tip produced cut. And for all those grown-n-sexy, new jazz-loving heads (I see you Neil Nice), Tip delivers half an album of that with collabos with Saadiq, Amanda Diva, Norah Jones, and back from fat camp D'Angelo. And lastly, if you're not convinced, check the closer "Shaka," damned if that doesn't sound like the Midnight moments we used to love. 12 tracks in all.
- music label: Universal Motown / 2008