Coming off the commercial and critical success of his solo debut album, Q-Tip's Kamaal The Abstract was one of the most highly anticipated albums of 2001. The only thing is that it never got released. At the time, the label deemed it not commercial enough due to its singing and jazzy experimentation and decided to shelve it permanently. It would be seven more years before a proper second album, The Renaissance, was officially released. Now in a world where leftfield artists such as Outkast and Gnarls Barkley have found mainstream acceptance and after buying back the rights from Arista, the climate is now ideal for the album's release. Kamaal The Abstract maintains all its original artwork from the promo copies back in 2001 and the songs have been remixed and remastered. The album was produced entirely by Q-Tip and J Dilla.
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