Critical Breakdown:- AQ – Son Of John 2 Untold History [ Album Review ]


They Surprised How I Charge Them 50 Box, And Turn Around And Make A Profit.- AQIntro 

Artiste:- AQ
Album:- Son Of John 2 [ Untold History ]
Record Label:- Hustle Inc
Distributed By:- Spinlet, I-Tunes And Nigerian Sounds
Guest Appearances:- DJ Jimmy Jatt, Rez, Antwon, Lord V, Paybac, BBJN, 9ytro, Paybac, Peter Clarke, Eclipse And Teeto Ceemos
Producers:- BBJN, Bemshima, Bionic, And Sleek Amos
Release Date:- May 21 2015

Critical Breakdown

If I look back from when AQ made his debut on the Rap scene in 2005 with his debut Album Listen and Overstand till this present day, its very clear that he is a dogged fighter, whose never say die attitude has kept him in the Rap game, and very much in the Nigerian Hip-Hop conversation from then till now.Many MC’s who started off before,with and after him are no where to be found, but the Surulere bred MC Has not let anything or anyone deter him from pursuing his dreams.Having dropped 5 more projects since his debut, the most recent being the Son Of John Mixtape which dropped last year, He decided to carry out a Social Hip-Hop experiment with his new Project Son Of John 2, a sequel to his previously released free mixtape Son Of John by putting a 50 Naira price tag on his 13 track Album which was otherwise supposed to be FREE, and having done his groundwork and webwork,the Album was dropped last month.
Lengendary Disc Jockey DJ Jimmy Jatt starts off the Album on the opening Intro, calling AQ “The worlds greatest” and giving him the impetus to spit non stop,introducing listeners to the Tape, but didn’t sign off without remarking “This is how we take over the game without you Bastards”.Next track Pre-Election Day is a brilliant track on which he intelligently intertwines tales of political thuggery, election violence, losing a friend, losing money and eventually losing his life, all as a result of greed.AQ displays his mastery of an element of Hip-Hop that many MC’s shy away from ie Storytelling,and he did make a piece meal of it, weaving not only a captivating tale but also choosing a topic that no MC has addressed on Wax [ at least to my knowledge ].It’s only apt that the next song is Politricks , a song that AQ Utilized the spelling bee rhyme pattern on, using well relate-able acronyms like PVC, MKO, IBB, GCE, PDP, APC to pass his message across likening the Rap game to Nigerian politics dropping reasonable lyrics like “The game is like Nigerian Politics / you got a lot of Money? you might get all of it / but first, you need major connects / and if you’re with the ruling Party, you will collect / the parties are the Labels,the party chairmen are the CEO’s / The campaign is the promo, the rallies are the shows, tryna get them votes / The Masses are the Fans,the Music are (sic) the speeches let them know where you stand / and when you stand, you gotta please the Godfathers” ,Singer Rez who is featured on the track utilized his raspy soulful voice to deliver a hook that perfectly suits the theme of the song.The Fela Kuti sampled Porn is a Fuck-your-favourite-MC-I-Can-murk-Him kind of track that has AQ doing his best Big Punisher impression, rapping over the instrumental non stop with a rapid delivery barely missing a bit showing off his vast vocabulary and using intricate rhyme patterns that would have the core rap heads hitting their rewind button.He takes the introspective and reflective path on the Free Thinker a song that touches poignant issues such as his imperfections, bad parenting, tribalism, bad leaders and more;Rap listeners that appreciate conscious Hip-Hop Music would definitely have a field day with this one.Happy comes next, this one is a absolutely skippable song , and its title is somewhat an oxymoron as the MC sounded anything but jovial on the song,the production falls short, and BBJN who produced the song tried his best to hold the hook down, but ended up sounding like an intoxicated Don Jazzy.AQ toys with the “Snap” Sound on the next song Love Me and He sounded totally out of place on this one as well giving featured Artiste 9ytro the chance to totally obliterate his verses with a very impressive Yoruba verse that placed him firmly on my Radar of alternative Rappers to look out for.I Dont Need Love sees him recover his form, over a familiar sample of Could You be Loved by late Reggae legend Bob Marley, AQ takes no prisoners on this one rapping feverishly , sticking his middle finger at the industry with the declaration “I don’t need nobody to tell me what the deal is / or how to make my Music, y’all should go to hell / fuck my Manager, fuck my Publicist as well / fuck Critics, fuck Blogs and your reviews too / fuck every Record Label that refused to / sign me, fuck you famous Rappers too / all I need is Family, you cannot define me” , spitting arguably his most rebellious verse till date.

            Left Right follows suit, on this one he tells a tale about a girl who was with him before, but couldn’t deal with his fast lifestyle and promiscuous ways so much so she had to leave him only to end up with another celebrity Ice Prince,this song would have been better appreciated by me had the mix been better,but it makes for good listening regardless.Singer Rez makes his second appearance on the Album on the next track Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea with a memorable hook, on this one AQ Likens himself to the savior of the rap game paining himself as a black Jesus who is persecuted and crucified for the Rap game and describes the dilemma which he faces as an MC having to choose between unfavorable situations, a track which anybody who has been in that position can relate to.Peter Clarke, Lord V, Eclipse, Teeto Ceemos and Paybac all showed up on Mosaic Music ,a Posse cut that had all the MC;s flexing their lyrical Muscle, I particularly liked Eclipse who constantly impresses me on any feature I hear him on and Teeto Ceemos who is almost a retired MC but dropped a solid verse that made me realize he still has what it takes to compete in the Rap game.( I hope he gets back into the lab and releases new Music).Three previously released singles bring the Album to a close with the Impressive Punchlines and Wordplay which was only derailed a bit by the cheesy chorus, A Remix of his previously released single Tiwa Savage on which he bared his heart out poetically recanting not just his encounter with the Diva,but his infatuation with her before she eventually got married ( Producer Bionic did very well with the production ) and International Rappers a scathing reply to Local Rappers by Reminisce Featuring Phyno & Olamide a track which he broke down when we spoke to him in an exclusive interview.
The last three projects AQ Has put out Make your best Rapper look stupid, Son Of John , And Son Of John 2 Untold History have all had a certain cohesive feel to them Musically and that is credit to producer Beats By Jay who worked on all three projects and has been AQ’s go to sound-smith over the last 3 years, and SOJ 2 is a culmination of all the work they have done so far resulting in arguably his best project in that time frame.Apart from a few mis steps which I mentioned in the review particularly the mastering of the project which fell short, the project was well put together and provides something that will not only satisfy his core fans, but grab the attention of new listeners as well,Though you may skip a track or two, the Album has songs that will grab your attention and find its way into your playlist.This project personifies AQ the non conforming,passionate and dedicated MC showing different emotions ranging from love, vulnerability, anger, and rebellion while demanding his respect from the Rap game, and showing his obvious improvement and innovation.When all is said and done, I think he will go down in history as a resilient survivor and an MC that never said die, SOJ2 is a testament to that.

Beats/Production:- 7.5/10

Lyrics:- 8/10

Composition/Arrangement:- 7.5/10

Best Verse:- I Don’t Need Love Verse 1 

Standout Track:- Porn ( The Rhyme scheme and pattern here was quite impressive )

Musical Moment:- I really like his producer Bemshima flipped the Bob Marley Sample on I Don’t Need Love, thats My Favourite cut on his project.

Album Rating:- 7.6/10