Q-Tip
Kamaal The Abstract


4.0
excellent

Review

by Maximilian Harkness USER (65 Reviews)
September 18th, 2009 | 11 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: By far, the most interesting record yet put out by Kamaal 'Ear Picker' Fareed.

Q-Tip must absolutely love jazz, it seems really obvious to any listener who has listened to A Tribe Called Quest, and even those who only knew Q-Tip from “Vivrant Thing” (silly teenage girls) and the ‘time to wiggle your bum bum’ record that is Amplified. However, even the jazziest hip hopper still couldn’t have predicted the full-on jazz warfare that is Kamaal the Abstract. From song titles and lengths, it just sounds like this maybe be your average soul-influenced hip hop, but Kamaal The Abstract is different from that.

On one of the few times where Q-Tip actually raps, “Feelin” opens Kamaal The Abstract on a high note though, with a concise & angry rant about what’s wrong with the world and lost ‘feelin’, that starts out just brooding, but molds itself peacefully into a mellow and Coffee Shop-friendly organ solo that leads the song into chanting. Most of the record is quite subdued, laid-back, and easy-going, reaching for a soothing atmosphere that makes you think. “A Million Times” features Q-Tip’s Prince-ish vocals laid over in echo-ish effects and minimalistic synths, along with quite strokes of the guitar as the song fades away.

Throughout this, Q-Tip shows off four types of music: r&b, rap, funk, and jazz, surprisingly enough leaning on jazz and funk, and like the man of jazz Miles Davis himself, letting the surrounding atmosphere around him play around, as the front man works and shows off his magic. The more r&b-ish moments come in the form of the hand clap-led and Beatles-esqe “Barely In Love” and the interlude-ish and lullaby-ish “Caring”, while the rappish moments come in the form of meshing between James Brown drums and Tip’s masterful flow “Heels” and the Tribe-esqe “Abstractisms”, which still features a great deal of the two most major influences, particularly the former for funk and the later in jazz, which features a whiny-enough-to-work-somehow saxophone solo.

“Even If It Is So” meshes the albums best elements into one song, peaceful emotive saxophones, acoustic guitars, and pianos create the backdrop that doesn’t distract from bluesy lyrics. In moments, like a lot of “Do YoU Dig U?” and some “Blue Girl”, the album is a bit dull and drags like a child on his first day of school, but most of Kamaal The Abstract works together like a charm.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
bastard
September 19th 2009


3435 Comments


i listened to this twice earlier today, thought i was not going to possibly be able to review this. Two times later, i got this up.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
September 19th 2009


4957 Comments


2nd to last paragraph doesn't work; you should fix it up... especially that clunky first sentence.

AlexTM510
September 19th 2009


1408 Comments


i was hearing good things about this-solid review. I'll check this out sometime today

KTV
September 19th 2009


760 Comments


bastard do you listen to ATCQ

butanebob
September 20th 2009


11 Comments


This was recorded years ago and the record label decided not to release it. Does the existence of this review mean it's finally gotten a commercial release?

Athom
Staff Reviewer
September 20th 2009


17231 Comments


yes

liledman
September 21st 2009


3826 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

sweet album, i really like abstractisms - kenny g on a rap album? crazy.

AnneFrank
October 14th 2009


271 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

listened to it last night.
I really love the first 4 songs.
q-tip is original when it comes to his solo music

HenchmanOfSanta
December 8th 2009


1925 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Sounds like A Tribe Called Quest beats meet elevator music. There are some cool individual parts here and there (basslines on Blue Girl and Heels), but overall this is meh.

iisblackstar
February 10th 2010


431 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This just gets better and better with every listen. Feelin' is so funky.

Chrisjon89
May 5th 2011


3833 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I haven't given this a proper spin yet but 'Barely in Love' is pretty much the best thing my ears ever did hear.



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