So my friend (yeah Jerry, this is you) has been bugging me about why I have not written about Q-Tip‘s recently released album The Renaissance. It’s a good question. I think sometimes I get so set in my ways, in trying to find new music and artists, that I tend to shift my focus away from the more established artists. However, I think I can make an exception for Q-Tip, especially since he never really fails to deliver. Although, come to think about it, he never really brings anything much different to the table than the smooth, jazzy, and soulful hip-hop that first made him famous with ATCQ. So I guess it just depends on what you look for in an artist, someone who is constantly evolving and pushing the envelope, or someone who will consistently bring you what you always loved them for. This is not to say that the album isn’t good and is a waste of money. It’s full of feel good, catchy songs that will keep your head bobbing for sure, especially the Dilla produced “Gettin’ Up”.

I am, however, a sucker for Norah Jones, so he had me hooked with “Life is Better”, just like I was with Talib Kweli‘s “Soon the New Day”. I love how she just pops up on albums that are a complete departure from the direction she takes her own music. First time I ever heard her on something different was on a CD my mom had given me, Nublu Sessions, by trip-hoppers Wax Poetic. Turns out she had been a member of the group before releasing debut album Come Away With Me. I was stuck on that track for a good couple of months, probably still am. So check out “Tell Me” (from Nublu Sessions) as well as “Life is Better” below, and if you haven’t heard the Nublu Sessions, I highly recommend checking it out here. With guests like The Brazilian Girls, Saul Williams, and N’Dea Davenport, you know your in for a treat.