If it wasn’t for Guns N’ Roses dropping their own ridiculously long-delayed album (Chinese Democracy) in November, the fact that Q-Tip’s The Renaissance finally came out would have been the biggest long-delayed album story last year. It took Tip nearly 10 years to release a follow up to Amplified, his 1999 solo debut, and he even made a record in between there (Kamaal the Abstract) that got shelved indefinitely after his record company, Arista, decided that it was too noncommercial.
Apparently the tide has changed enough in what is and isn’t commercial that Kamaal is now finally ready to be released in September. Battery Records announced that they are releasing the album, which has a heavy jazz influence with beats recorded by Miles Davis sidemen and Q-Tip himself, on September 15.
This development bodes well for other recent lost hip-hop albums (Clipse’s great Arista debut, Exclusive Audio Footage, comes to mind), provided if smaller labels can buy the records off the companies that shelved them. But given that the majors are hurting, they might be willing to part with albums they decided to can.
Here’s Kamaal the Abstract‘s track list: