Widely regarded as one of hip-hop’s top MCs, Q-Tip finally released his long-awaited second solo effort, “The Renaissance,” late last year as the followup to 1999’s “Amplified.” The nine-year gap is one the American rapper might rather forget.

Rising to prominence as a member of the seminal 1990s hip-hop act A Tribe Called Quest, Q-Tip fully intended to issue his second solo effort in 2002. Titled “Kamaal the Abstract,” promotional copies were distributed to media outlets before Arista Records canceled its release, fearing that it didn’t sound commercial enough. Signing on with DreamWorks Records, he completed another album, “Open,” in 2005. But the imprint soon folded, causing the disc to meet a fate similar to that of its predecessor.

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