THE ABSTRACT AND THE DRAGON, SELF-RELEASED
This collaborative project is a throwback, showcasing two decades worth of work and experience. It’s a treat for fans that own the staple A Tribe Called Quest and Busta albums, and homework for the unfamiliar. To be clear, if you’re looking for an all-original full-length record with shiny new production, you’re not going to get it. This is a mixtape in every sense of the word – skits, remixes and a few new joints that are worth lending your ear to.
It’s a pleasure to hear these two under the same roof again. They’ve remixed classics like 1991’s Tribe hit “Scenario,” which features Busta and Tip’s first single, 1999’s “Vivrant Thing,” Busta does what he does best on cuts like “God Lives Through” and Q-Tip brings his smooth, mellow style and very exceptional flow, especially on the latest single “Thank You” – a bouncy, soulful beat with minor parts from Kanye and Lil Wayne.
This tape could also be considered a reboot for their careers, continuing to prove their relevance in the game today. Busta’s set to release his tenth full-length, Extinction Level Event 2, sometime next year on Cash Money Records, his label, The Conglomerate, and Republic Records (“Thank You” will also be on this one). Q-Tip is also staying busy, working on his fourth solo record The Last Zulu and talking about producing Yeezy’s 2014 project with Rick Rubin.
Overall this is a chill, fun stroll through the classics. Regardless of any critiques on performance, content or intentions behind its release, this tape is a reminder of how timeless this music is – after all, it’s one of the reasons your favourite rappers started rhyming in the first place.
By Katharine Sawchuk