Lagos Based MC AQ Has never been one to Mince Words, The 12 Year rap Vet has been embroiled in different controversies ever since he came in the game, having Taken shots at the likes of Ruggedman, Vector, M.I, Fecko Tha Emcee And more,The latest has been one of his most dramatic, Following the release of the Nominal Hit Track Local Rappers By Reminisce , Which featured Olamide and Phyno, AQ Wasted no time in going into the studio to reply with his International Rappers Track which has also struck nerves, and shaken the status quo in the Rap Game, we Tracked down the fiery Rapper to talk about the Mentality behind the reply to the song , “Beefing with Vector, His Forthcoming Album, and Life as a Lyrical MC in Nigeria, and as usual he was his ever expressive self, and didnt hold back nor mince words.
His Recently released Son Of John Mixtape which featured Production by Young Producers Beats By Jay, Sleek Amos and Echo Just did over 60,000 Downloads and still counting , and definitely added a lot of momentum to his career as well, and while working on the Sequel Aptly titled Son Of John 2, He sat down with us to clarify different matters arising as a result of the song and more below.
Interview By Fazillion
Nigerian Sounds:- AQ Pleased To Meet You , long time no speak, How are You ?
AQ:- Faz, I’m happy you are back, I’m a big fan of what you do, and I hope you would stick around this time because the game needs more people like you
NS:- You dropped your Mixtape Son Of John, as well as your single “Give Me Greatness Or I Die” , What Inspired That Mixtape, which was themed around your Father , and how do you feel it was received by Nigerian Hip-Hop Fans
AQ:- More than 60,000 downloads is a lot of numbers, the reception was massive, SON OF JOHN made me realize that hiphop can still be done properly in this country and you don’t have to be the biggest art to get what you deserve.
Reminisce – Local Rappers Featuring Phyno And Olamide
NS:- You were in the News Lately, After you dropped your Track International Rapper, A Response to Local Rapper by Olamide Phyno and Reminisce, Why did you feel the need to reply The Song?
AQ:- First of all, I would like to say it is normal for a rapper to make a comment on other rappers, without calling names e.g. ‘other rappers don’t have skill I got’ or ‘other rappers don’t have the money I got‘, but when you pick a particular style with which a certain Artiste make his/her music and try to tell the public that style is no longer profitable, it simply means you are trying to shut the market down for those Artistes, I felt the need to say something, not just for me but for every upcoming Rapper out there that make music the same way I do.
NS:- Do you have any personal Issues with any of Them ( Phyno, Reminisce Or Olamide )
AQ:- No I don’t have any issues with any of these artist, rather I have nothing but respect for them.
NS:- You previously released Distractions with Vector, another Reminisce Diss, don’t you think the Fans would feel like you are just picking on Reminisce?
Listen To International Rapper By AQ Below
AQ:- My lyrics in distractions had nothing to do with the ongoing beef they had, or beef with anyone, the song was supposed to inspire upcoming rappers to be aware of the distractions in the industry and I stuck to the topic. As a matter of fact I actually had a talk with Reminisce about this issue recently and he had nothing against me.
NS:- How about Vector, with whom you collaborated before, are you guys cool ?
AQ:- I really don’t know, haven’t seen or heard from him in a bit, for the record I never dissed Vector,I am sure he knows that and if he cannot come out to clear the misunderstanding like Mode 9 did when a certain song was leaked then it’s a big shame.
NS:- Personally, How do you feel about the state of Hip-Hop in Nigeria, and do you think “Punchline Rap” or “Underground Hip-Hop” is still viable in Nigeria Today ?
AQ :- The state of hiphop in Nigeria is not for me to think about, that’s too much burden, I really don’t know how it is, I can only play my role in making sure hiphop as I know it as is preserved and Artiste that make music like I do eat from it.
NS:- Let me make it a bit more personal, are you making Money from Making Your Brand Of Hip-Hop Music ?
AQ:- I might not be making the type of money that I should be making as a hiphop Artiste in Nigeria, especially one that has been around for a while, but believe me there are strategies in which money can be made from this business that are yet to be explored, me and my team are exploring these means and trying to make the most out of it. I am into other things too.
NS:- You also accused Reminisce of Advising The Youths from going to school or doing corporate jobs on the Track with the line “Tucking In Ko ja’omo” Expand on that please.
AQ:- It is self-explanatory if you say tucking in is no longer profitable you are saying a nine to five and school is no longer profitable.
NS:- Your First single in 2003 (W)rap up Nigeria was also taking shots at different Rappers, Ruggedman To be specific, do you think you’ve developed a Reputation as a Trouble Maker or a “Beef Rapper” ?
AQ:- I admit I took shots at Rugged Man and Fecko in the past, no one else, but at some point I apologized to everyone I had a problem with in the past, whether my apology was accepted or not I do not know, I have not dissed or taking shots at anyone since then
NS:- An Article by The Respected Aribaba of Jaguda called your International Rappers Song “Unnecessary” and said you Sounded Bitter on the track, what do you have to say about that ?
AQ :- When you are coming up as an Artiste without a record label to mediate for You, there are so many things that could go wrong because of direct contact with the Media, sometimes it works in your favour, but most times it doesn’t, I do not suck up to people, I do not know how to, because I feel that if not for the music, I would not have anything to do with certain people, you can’t be successful and be cool with everyone, not everyone would like you for your ambition, either because of the way you are going about it or you some how stepped on their toes on your way up or they just don’t like you. Aribaba falls into the category of people who don’t like me, I know this for a fact, still, he is doing his job as a blogger, M.I recognized my bars on that track, so he can have his opinion, it means nothing to me, every time you try to undermine the track you end up making it bigger than it already is.
NS:- What Projects are you working on, and what should we expect from you soon ?
AQ:- Working on the Album, a Mixtape SON OF JOHN 2, and a little repackaging of the 1st project I ever put out “LISTEN AND OVERSTAND” which would be 10 Years this year
NS:- Do you think that the Nigerian Hip-Hop Community is Unified , especially the Rappers ?
AQ:- Rap is too egocentric, however a lot of Rappers in other countries have found a way to put that aside and work together, however this has not been the case in the Nigerian scene so I would say no, we are not unified, we would have no choice soon enough.
NS:- How do you feel about Rappers Abandoning traditional Rap Styles, after they blow up and start singing on Tracks, or take a More Pop approach to making Music, then come back to diss the Art-form they were making in the first place saying it wont sell ?
AQ:- I can’t blame them really, the state of the economy is directly proportional to how any industry functions, artist are desperate and would do anything to alleviate them from poverty, if traditional rapping styles could find ways of generating revenue streams, this would not be the case.
NS:- You’ve spent over a Decade as A Rapper in Nigeria, a Lot of Other Rappers who started with you and do your style of Music are no longer in the conversation, but you are , what has been your staying power, and what spurs you on ?
AQ:- My staying power has been my dream, I started really young so it does not even feel like a decade, every project feels like I just started, to be honest I still see myself as an upcoming artist because I still have a lot to cross out from my to do list, and till I am done, I am not going anywhere
NS:- Which Rappers are you feeling at the Moment, Especially Upcoming Rappers, and who do you want to work with ?
AQ:- Paybac, Milli, Peter Clarke, Poe, Kiwi, Venom, High M, Blaq Bonez, 9ytro, Haywire, Profound, Ozzy B, Slay, Eclipse, And Enigma one or more of these names would be big this year .
NS:- What should we expect from AQ Next ?
AQ:- Taking what is rightfully mine, crossing out every task on my career achievement list, I also have taking three Artistes up to develop and nurture their careers, look out for Mr.JI, Simz, Ckay they would do a lot this year.
NS:- Your “God Bless The Hustle” T-Shirts are quite Popular among Rap Fans, How Challenging has it been like Pushing A Clothing Line as Opposed to Being a Rapper, and how can your Fans purchase it ?
AQ:- GBTH T-shirts did good numbers, a sponsor came in and things did not go right, because I wanted total creative control, we are bringing it back in a bigger and different way this time.
NS:- Any Last Words for your Fans out There ?
AQ:- In whatever you do, or whatever you try to become, there would always be set backs and disappointments there would always be times you would feel like it would never happen, but stay in that boat long enough and you will definitely see where the land is.
NS:- Thanks For Your Time AQ
AQ:- Thanks for having me.
Interview Conducted By @Fazillion For Nigerian Sounds Media, All Rights Reserved 2015