It's hard to associate the word "comeback" with an entertainer who's often associated with being a cog in hip-hop's "golden age." But the term is fitting here; it's been nine years since the release of Q-Tip's first solo album Amplified, an album that saw the former Tribe Called Quest leader getting away from the backpack vibe and venturing into a more pop-friendly, dance floor sound. The disc wasn't well received by die-hard fans—or Q-Tip's label, which shelved Kamaal the Abstract, his second attempt at a solo album.
But thanks to the high-profile Tribe reunion on this year's Rock the Bells tour, Q-Tip's profile has been raised again. And it just might be enough to put him back in the conversation when it comes to hip-hop's elite. "Gettin' Up," the first single from his official sophomore effort, The Renaissance, is a powerful return to backpacking form for the man.
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Still, while Mr. Tip may be receiving top billing when he comes to Dallas, his former Rock the Bells tour mates, Chicago's The Cool Kids, will be a support act in name only. The much buzzed-about duo is making its second trip to Dallas in the last few months, and if its last show, at the Granada Theater, was any indication of what to expect, well, it's gonna be hot.