Critical Breakdown:- AQ – Catch Your Sub EP

Critical Breakdown:- AQ – Catch Your Sub EP [ Review ]

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Artiste:- AQ
Album:- Catch Your Sub [ Extended Play ]
Record Label:- Hustle Ink/R50 Entertainment
Distributed By:- Soundcloud
Guest Appearances:- BBJN, Maka & Mr JI
Producers:- BBJN, interpolated beats
Release Date:- January 1st 2016

Critical Breakdown

AQ had a very productive and memorable 2015, which started off with the release of Son Of John 2: History Untold, a sequel to the highly successful Son Of John 1 which was even more widely accepted and paved the way for a first-of-its-kind hip-hop album Son Of John Concert which was supported by a large section of the hip-hop community and showcased some of the finest rap talents in Lagos that Nigeria has to offer. Having announced a sequel to the concert which is to be held sometime this year, and also announced his Pan African album project which is also scheduled to drop this year, AQ started the year off on a high note by releasing the Catch Your Sub EP, a 5-track project which was a collaboration with R50 Entertainment, a budding comic book company with whom he is currently working with on a comic book series. Serving as the soundtrack to the comic, AQ starts the project off with Guess Who’s Back, a freestyle over an instrumental of the same name originally performed by American rapper Scarface and was produced by Kanye West. “Fuck all that 2015 Trap shit, this is Rap shit/I’m about to spark shit, fuck all the distractors / check my track record, shit is looking like a tracklist / Fact Is, I don’t give a fuck about a Rap list / Son of John 1, Son Of John 2 , One Two / In less than a year, got you thinking what next i’m gon’ do / made a couple bucks off the Album, easy / Y’all still giving out free singles, beats me”  he spits over the thumping baseline and goes on to take shots at his detractors, give a recap of his successes in 2015 and also lets his fans know he’s going to be doing a lot more this year. The next track Top 1 Dead 0r Alive was performed over the instrumental of Top 5 Dead Or Alive by Jadakiss off his most recent album of the same title, it’s another lyrical display by AQ who owned the beat and rapped like it was tailor made for him, BBJN ( who is getting more renowed for his hooks ) delivered a standard hook with his weird booming Baritone which enveloped the beat and put a unique stamp on the song.

Phone Tap is the lyrical climax of the EP and was performed over the 1997 classic Dr Dre produced instrumental for the New York Super group The Firm, a pure throwback for hip-hop heads,and AQ laid it down lyrically with a cleverly weaved phone conversation that addressed his most recent controversial single Sugabelly which elicited polarizing reactions from different quarters of the general public and had tongues wagging for a period of time. Its an entertaining track on which he also touches on his new found bro-mance with M.I Abaga, his forthcoming album as well as his future ventures, having built a reputation as a motor-mouth who doesn’t fail to deliver a lyrical retort to any issue he finds himself mixed up in, This song is basically AQ living up to his nature and being himself. The next song features Mr JI and was performed over the instrumental of Antidote by Travis Scott, but there was a clear dissonance between AQ’s lyrics, Mr JI’s Chorus and the production, It was simply a mismatch that didn’t work for me and the closing song which happens to be the only original song on the project Foes Will Fall, the single which the whole EP was crafted around also happens to be the best song on the project, laced with popular Nigerian Television references including Fuji House Of Commotion, Super StoryTales By Moonlight, and Tunde Kelani, His rapid-fire delivery style and lyrical performance on the track was accentuated and made even more poignant by the heartfelt chorus which was performed by Maka of Str8buttah who has been making a name for herself and impressed so far on appearances on songs with Naeto C, Fecko and Boogey, as well as on her own singles Mu Na Gi and Ife. It’s a song that I feel deserves a video soon and definitely closed the EP up on a high note.

AQ is a rapper who wears his heart on his sleeve, or would I say wears his heart on his CD and that is exactly what he did on this project. The EP is a representation of his current mind state, a message to his detractors and naysayers, and also a reminder of what he has to offer and will bring to the table in the future. For me it’s exciting to witness his growth which was borne out of his tenacity, dedication and most importantly lyrical abilities which have evolved and improved over the years. It’s an exciting time in Nigerian Hip-hop, and AQ is one of the Rappers that contribute to the dynamism of the present day rap scene. Catch Your Sub EP is a sign of better things to come.

Beats/Production:- 7/10
Lyrics:- 7/10
Flow:- 7/10
Composition/Arrangement:- 7 /10
Best Verse:- Foes Will Fall Verse 2
Standout Track:- Guess Who’s Back Verse 1
Mixtape Moment:- Phone Tap , The beat choice and execution does it for me
Overall Rating:- 7/10

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