Kamaal The Abstract
Released: Sep 2009
Kamaal suffers from bad timing as much as anything. Initially shelved in 2001 by the label (rumor has it that the bigwigs didn't hear any singles), its time of recording came two years before OutKast blew open hip-hop's stylistic doors with The Love Below and a few years after Tip's post-Tribe hype ensured him instant access to the mainstream. The album is a hodgepodge of jazz fusion vibe music that is as thoroughly enjoyable as it is ephemeral. And though the music is great (and its release is essential), it is a shame that Q-Tip's rhymes are pushed to the background here.