Must listen: Blame it, Diary, If I should die, Nightmares, Champagne and rum, Names and Remix.
A great rap album is with catchy, melodious enough records to keep the average listener interested, a lyricism to make the most passive boom bap hiphop faithful listen and enough ego trips for the young bred of skinny jeans and Young Money hiphop ‘buff’.
The Past, Present and Future (PPF) is that album from an over eight years rapping persona.
A-Q is conscious with an inept understanding of delivery – taking a beat with extreme technicality that is very visible.
Like all great orators — stand-up comedians, politicians, preachers or marketers — emcees are at their best when they’re grounded in a unique point of view, an arresting way of seeing, digesting, synthesizing, and explaining the world that’s somewhat cohesive at its core.
The Past, Present and Future (PPF) is A-Q’s official debut album but like he gives away in ‘Diary’, There was a LP before PPF. The Past, Present and Future in that regard is not a test but the outcome of years of writing and recording as expected it is a gem, shining diamond.
The past, present and future is a rounded rap album, rightfully it is the best RAP album put forward by a Nigerian last year. I’m stating my reasons. There are three contenders for the best album last year – Terry tha rapman’s BANS, Sauce Kid’s African American (shut your mouth, please) and MI’s MI2. Yes, Vector’s State of surprise does not make my top 3 list.. BANS is an album where the rapper was bothered about his relevance as a pack from the ‘Old bunch’ and an almost desperate desire for commerce – put out a commercial viable material hence doesn’t explore the good of the album in the right direction, putting that to the side and if AQ didn’t release an album – BANS would most likely be the best album this year. Sauce Kid was the closest a rapper came to rapping before now – cocky, arrogant and an extreme ego – just wanting a great beat to come on and saying so much over it – it worked but if only half of the album was not giving as free download via the internet, the collective record/album was largely like a magazine with stale but brilliant articles – mostly playful.. The cohesion of the records and the ‘African American’ theme also rose a bit of concern.
Download snippet of his next single – [download id="41"] due out in February.
Where I guess you would disagree with me mostly, MI2.MI2 is not the best RAP album made last year, I won’t give my reasons in this article.
A-Q’s The Past, Present and Future is a rap artifact, it is a dizzying trip into the tightly wound mind of one of the Nigeria’s all-time lyricists. An ego trip typical of every lyricist, a sensitive rapper in tracks like ‘Found love’ and ‘Diary’ then a revealing of a candid in ‘If I should die’.
Notable is the sampling on the album where Victor Iwaifo was sampled for ‘Unbreakable’ with and Newbie Retta’s ‘Kolo for you’ on Diary
A-Q is controversy defined as evident in the tracks names (single where he called out Ruggedman, calling him whack) and Diary, where he mentioned DJ tee in a ‘girlfriend cheating ways’ record.
His rap verse were accompanied by a fine hook from Xtrim, a label mate on ‘Sold out’, just after ‘Sold out’, the album gets really interesting. A party is started on the next track with plans to ‘tear the club up’ then another stand out slash brilliant track follows, Blame it ‘on hiphop that drove me crazy’, A-Q admonishes. A track that samples legendary Victor ‘Waifo follows then he talks about finding affection on ‘Found love’, just as the title suggest.. He switches to a conscious character as he talks about ‘people everday’ and ‘internet hustler’. Tells a quick ego trip, talking about a lavish life, ‘what it gon’ cost me? I pay cash’ he ask on ‘More money, more flossing. He invites Terry Tha Rapman and ends in grand style – ‘nightmares’ enjoys a rocky feel and’ If I should die’ inspired by late rapper, Da Grin and late American rapper Guru features a brilliant delivery from both artistes ( A-Q and Squeeze). A-Q’s not about making money but making histories as he raps on the track with Squeeze – he might be doing so with this record.
Bad side? The problem with A-Q as an MC at this exact moment is that like all undermined but blissfully great and conceited MC, his core worldview, by necessity, is a mess.
Follow AQ on Twitter: @Thisisaq