A Tribe Called Quest. I could write a book longer than Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead just describing my love for The Low End Theory, but I'll try and keep things brief here. Though they may not be considered the greatest hip hop group by some, their work was one of the reasons I became a hip hop fanatic; as such, Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Jarobi White, Consequence and J Dilla in the later years all have a special place in my heart. Not a day goes by in which I don't bump at least one of their albums (I've been bumping Low End every morning for 4 months now.) Suffice to say, I'm a Tribe stan in the fullest sense and will continue to be addicted to their sounds.
But what about The Abstract & The Dragon? Where does it fit within the catalogue? To quote Busta Rhymes in the opening track, "I don't even know where to start." Although many of the tracks are merely taken from previous works while some recieve a much deserved face lift, the selection is where this tape shines.Coming out of the gates with "God Lives Through," Bust wastes no time dropping a flurry of flowing bars that prove he's still got it. This is continued on head nodding DJ Scratch remix of "Gettin Up" from Tip's 09 album, The Renaissance, and "Steppin It Up" which appeared on The Love Movement.
But when the title track comes on, you instantly feel those chills that were present on some of their later works. The Abstract & The Dragon then continues to bring back some cool oldies; "Wild Hot" from the Rhyme & Reason soundtrack, "One Two Shit," and the Raekwon and Lil Wayne assisted remix of "Renaissance" sound just as fresh as the days they were dropped. It is at this moment when we finally get to hear some newer tracks. "We Takin Off" has a loose, airy, sound that allows the pair to be flexible with their styles, while "Get Down" continues the piano theme as Tip and Busta groove with the catchy beat. As the tape reaches it's eventual close, we're treated with cuts from Big Daddy Kane, Missy Elliot, and Talib Kweli, before closing with the legendary "Scenario" and its remix. All together, The Abstract & The Dragon is a buffet of sounds, ranging from the obscure to the more well known. Some fans may already be up to date with most of the material, but there's still hope that we still might here another project from the group. Check out a brief sampling of the tape down below and be sure to give it a download.
Q-Tip & Busta Rhymes
The Abstract & The Dragon
- Cash Money Records
- December 12th, 2013