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Kamaal the Abstract [Vinyl]

4.2 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

After eight years in label limbo, Q-Tip's 2001 LP Kamaal the Abstract will finally get to see the light of day. The album, which features nine tracks that the Tribe Called Quest frontman produced entirely on his own, will be issued via Battery Records on Sept. 15.THE ALBUM HAS BEEN RE-MIXED AND RE-MASTERED FOR SONIC IMPACT!'Q-Tip is a true visionary and ahead of his time,' Neil Levine, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Battery Records, said in a press statement. 'These songs are more contemporary now than when they were first recorded.'Kamaal the Abstract was originally scheduled for release in 2001, but it was shelved due to a disagreement between Q-Tip and Arista Records.A personal, unique project compared to Amplified (Q-Tip's first under his own name), Kamaal the Abstract fittingly sounds more like a solo album; whereas Amplified merely built on the digital soul of the last Tribe Called Quest album (The Love Movement), this one is wide-ranging and diverse, a relaxed, loose-limbed date. Q-Tip lays way back on these cuts, rapping in a quick, low monotone for the opener, 'Feelin',' even while the song breaks into some restrained guitar grind on the choruses. Guitars, in fact, crop up all over this record. Setting aside comparisons to the contemporary record by N.E.R.D. (the rock side project of hip-hop super-producers Neptunes), Q-Tip crafted a record that pays homage to the last gasp of organically produced mainstream pop in the '70s and '80s, paying a large compliment to Prince and Stevie Wonder, even as he proves himself far more talented than D'Angelo (if not quite as soulful). The beats are pointed and clipped, to be expected on a Q-Tip record, but he allows plenty of space for the arrangements to speak, like the trim trumpet lines pacing 'Even if It Is So' or allowing plenty of room for extended blowing from a flute on the warm, pastoral 'Do You Dig You.' The former is one of the best tracks here, Q-Tip introducing his story song with a fluid,
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Product Details

  • Vinyl (September 15, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Battery Records
  • ASIN: B002JTHWPQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #626,272 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
ATCQ bought that jazz vibe. For those who were in their early 20's, Tribe was a perfection transition from rap to more grown up music. Admist the New Jack Swing and Chicago House stuff you had the conscious MCs. Great stuff! We can enjoy a few rap songs (and I'm saying rap as not in real hip hop)here and there but I always go back to Q. He's grown up too and he has realized his growth and wants to share it with the grown up world. To Q I say thank you. I still love the lyrical but I need it to make sense to me as a 40 yr woman.
This cd is perfect for me. Contemp and a lil traditional jazz, neo, funk and rhyming. The formula is just right. I give it 5 stars because it will be awhile before anyone else comes out that I can groove to at work.
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Format: Audio CD
Q-Tip's third album "Kamaal the abstract" was originally intended to be released as his second album in 2001, but was shelved by the record company over doubts about it's commercial viability. It finally gets released some 8 years later and finds Q-Tip twiddling production keys as well as playing some instruments.

The feel is Jazz/Funk a la Stevie Wonder or even Prince (especially on the Funk/Rock-laced "Heels" and on the guitar driven "Barely in love" with chunky/clunky percussion and hand claps), and finds Q-Tip doing more singing than rapping. Featuring no samples but live instrumentation, the presence of jazz legends Kenny Garrett, Gary Thomas and Kirk Rosenwinkel adds to the loose Jazzy feel.

The album comprises just 10 tracks and every thing stands out really, with variety. For lovers of Hip Hop, there's sing-song rapping on the horn/piano sprinkled "Abstractionisms" and "Do you dig u?" (lilting harmonies and funky rhodes) both set to a languid Neo-Soul sound with an incredibly groovy bassline, the melancholic piano ballad "Caring" features soothing female vocals/harmonies, while songs like "A million times" or "Even if it is so" (with a brilliant sax solo) wouldn't sound out of place on a D'Angelo or Erykah Badu CD.

This album is only "uncommercial" as compared to the uninspired clones being spit out of the musical conveyor belt, it will hardly get any airplay. Don't let that fool you though, this is music at it's finest, and I'm glad Q-Tip insisted on getting it finally released. An album you really should own.
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Format: Audio CD
what can I say Q-Tip always puts out music that is always good and what one would not here other rappers put out, and is no exception on this cd which is ot standing from the time you push play and here the first selection(Feelin) till the end of the cd you will just be dancing and moving along to his groove...I advise anyone to buy this cd, for it is one of Q-Tips best!!!!!!!!!!excellent
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Format: Audio CD
So I have been hearing about this album for years and like most true Q-Tip fans were excited to know that this was going to be released. I'm glad that as an artist that he got to show his talent finally. I think that everything happens for a reason and this album is RIGHT ON TIME! I don't think it would have been appreciated back in 2001. Think Common's Electric Circus. Alot of what you will hear on this is heavy jazz grooves, much like we've heard on the Ummah and if you have liked what you have heard on the renaissance you'll like this too. I can appreciate the fact that he produced this himself and played alot of the instruments himself. I have much more of an appreciation for his expression.

The Renaissance and even amplified was definitely more "polished-up" and comprised more of music that's mainstream friendly and that's not to say that any of his work is diminished in any way, it just has a different energy to me than specifically that Amplified had. This is alot more laid back lounge music type of a vibe to it. So once again, most of us tribe-heads will hear the common theme and will love it. I think it's sad to think that this great work was shuffled around and put on the back burner by other record labels but as I said, everything in it's own time.

The album really shows alot of emotion too, like you can really feel what he is trying to say even though some tracks aren't very lyrically intensive. This album does have a strong jazz fell to it as well, tracks like "Blue Girl", "Do you dig u" "Even if it is so" show great instrumentation. Then of course you have the lyrical tracks like the verse on "Feelin", "Abstractisms" and "Make It work" show that the MC part of him has never left. Then "Heels" has that funk/synth sound somewhat reminicent of Cameo.
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Format: Audio CD
A Tribe Called Quest's lead MC Q-Tip (A.K.A. Jonathan Davis, Kamaal Ibn John Fareed) has been working to get ownership of the masters for his unreleased solo album "Kamaal The Abstract" (2002). This one never made it to the shelves as a misguided Arista Records thought it was "un-commercial". While creating a catalogue of ATCQ's group & solo releases I was happy to find out about this nine track release, a 2001 advance/promo which I found could be listened to on the web. Listening to this album is a highly enjoyable experience as Q-Tip fills this release with a creative assortment of Hip-Hop, Jazz & Alternative Rock instrumentals which make every track distinct. Great music to chill too. Early track's like "Feeling","Do You Dig U?" & "A Million Times" vibe well, Queen's Q-Tip keeps his lyrical presence limited, instead letting the memorable instrumentals (live drums, guitar, organ, saxophone, electric piano, trumpets, flute) hold their own as they do throughout this release. Q-Tip sings away on "Blue Girl" which is laced with more on point instrumentals, guitar, piano etc. "Barely In Love" vibes with good intentions and hand claps. Q-Tip rhymes about one of women's most loved possessions on "Heels" & looks to raise the bar on "Abstractionisms". The short "Caring" features some smooth female vocals and chilled out piano beats. The highlight of this album for me is the closing track "Even If It So", Q-Tip shines on this joint telling the story of a single mum's hustle to make a living and create a better life, backed by some outstanding instrumentals - love the trumpets. Found myself bumping my Tribe album's more recently, the infusion of Hip Hop and Jazz has never been done so well, finding this short but sweet release was like a breath of fresh air.Read more ›
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