Q-Tip's last true solo album, The Renaissance, was released all the way back in 2008 (he put his Kamaal/The Abstract album out in 2009, but that was an album filled with material that was recorded more than a decade ago). And despite the fact that The Renaissance was critically-acclaimed and earned him a Grammy Award nomination for Best Rap Album, Q-Tip kinda fell back after that album was released. Over the next five years, he dropped the occasional guest appearance and, in 2012, announced that he was signing to Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music label, but he failed to drop a new solo album during that time period.
That's expected to change this year when, for the first time since '08, Q-Tip will drop a new project. And while he's gone on the record in the past and said that the album will not feature much Kanye West on it—"It's gonna be me, straight up and down," he told Vibe when he first started recording the album—that's not necessarily a bad thing (However, Tip claims he'll be executive producing Kanye's next album alongside Rick Rubin). It's been a long time since we've heard Q-Tip record an entire project on his own. Too long, really. We look forward to hearing it again. —Chris Yuscavage