“I think that people are starting to wake up and the rappers who promote a negative image of black people will eventually be seen as toxic and unacceptable amongst the black community.”

Check out the interview with Q.P. exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.

Skilly: How were you able to start your journey in the entertainment business? Where did this all start?
Q.P.: I’ve always been artistic, I used to draw a lot when I was younger. I also wanted to sing and I thought I sounded ok, but I never really became passionate about it. I started writing when I was about 12 writing poetry at first until I started writing hip hop when I was 13 and it took over my mind.

I been writing music since then so that’s pretty much where it started. Some of my friends and I started a group called Patnaz N Ryhme. We dropped an album called Loving Living Life and started a label called AHMG. Since then I’ve been doing open mics and other shows in Washington DC.

What are some of the creative ways you use to promote your music?
I have my music on a good amount of websites such as Soundcloud, Reverbnation, Musicclout, and Datpiff. I promote through Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. For my current project I have out, I’m giving out my cd for promotional purposes and making business cards with my info on them. I try to make use of the mailing list I have on a couple sites as well.

What is the greatest challenge you face in today’s entertainment business? How do you overcome them?
My greatest challenge is being a consciously aware rapper in an era where unconscious rap with subliminally destructive messages for black people is the norm. I stand by that statement 100% and if you look through the different eras of music, you’ll see that it has not always been this way.

There was some periods of music where more conscious music uplifted people. We’re still here, we’re just aren’t on BET no more. We’ve been forced underground. I overcome this by not caring about what people think and making music true to my heart that the kids can listen to and learn something from. I’ve gained respect in my hometown for being one of the only conscious rappers in the area, with the exception of a few.

How is the music scene like in your hometown? What do you like about it and what don’t you like?
The music scene in Jacksonville, North Carolina is full of talent yet to be discovered. Nobody has made it big or semi big from the town and because of this the people don’t really support the local hip hop artists. The music scene isn’t prevalent and doesn’t generate any income for the town. It’s not necessarily recognized, although it is growing.

I like that there is some actual talent there, real talented emcees. It’s just that that town is like a black hole to nowhere and everybody who lives there that is black or from there that’s black knows it. I’ve tested this theory out, most white people don’t mind it but the black people hate it. So I guess that’s what I don’t like about the music scene there, it’s a black hole to nowhere.

Where do you think the future of music is going to be? How do you feel artists can be more a part of it?
I think that people are starting to wake up and the rappers who promote a negative image of black people will eventually be seen as toxic and unacceptable amongst the black community. In order to keep up with the demands of the people who want to hear more lyrical rappers, the artists will have to incorporate more introspective lyrics in their music as the greats always have. Nas said hip hop was dead, but we’re just underground searching for freedom.

What advice can you give to other upcoming artists and musicians trying to achieve success?
Be yourself, don’t let the industry change who you are. Follow a fad and you will only last for so long, but be original and legendary and you will never die. Be about something. If your motive is to get money whenever however, you will be used and abused and thrown out when they are done with you. Just be you and everything else will fall in place.

What inspires you to write your next song?
It’s often a woman or a time I’ve been through that puts me in deep contemplation. Hard times, reading, and discovering different characteristics in the psyche of mankind. I like writing and reading a lot, I don’t watch TV at all unless someone else puts it on. Literature is a big part of who I am, it inspires me

What are the steps you take to make a song?
Whoa, can’t be giving out the recipe. I just find a beat and write whatever comes to mind, usually it finds a way to come together and make sense. Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes I ponder heavily on the condition of black people and think of a message I want to relay and then just write

What do you think makes a great song?
I think a great song is one that teaches you and has a beautiful melody behind it. Something that uplifts and inspires in a positive way, or more so informs you of something necessary and it has to be real. I like really good beats with real sounds as well and the words not all auto tuned. The music behind the voice has to stand out as well and good real instruments are always pleasing to the ear.

Where can we connect with you? Can you give us your social media links and where we can contact you?
I’m on Facebook, Instagram, and most social media platforms.

Instagram: @russqp
Email: russ301russ@gmail.com

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