You’ll find no hidden tracks, guest verses, interludes, bonus discs or fancy packaging on Q-Tip’s The Renaissance, the former A Tribe Called Quest frontman’s first album in nine years. It’s all about the songs, almost all of which are head-nod-worthy boom-bap tunes that bring to mind a better time for the hip-hop genre. There are a few high-profile R&B guests who sing hooks, but really, Renaissance is the work of a single man. Q-Tip wrote, recorded, produced and mixed almost every second of sound found on the album’s 12 tracks. Not just an amazing return to form, but one of the best hip-hop records of 2008.