Que QNA co-founder and Hip Hop artist of recently established music company Attain Media Group, was born in Queens, New York. Due to the harsh reality of life Que moved frequently as a child, which caused him to develop intricately woven buffet of northern, southern, east coast, west coast nuance. His brand new EP “Love Of The Game” has been lighting up the internet and the first single “Don’t Hurt Me” is banging up the club circuit from here to the U.K. Check out our exclusive interview.
As an NY rapper, can you instantly tell whether a rapper is from NY from his sound and style? What are the markers?
I can personally, most definitely! Even if their accent isn’t as strong from living other places, hence my hybrid northern/southern twang. Most New Yorkers’ accents have more emphasis on the ‘awe’ sound of “A”, in words with the letters. That’s a dead giveaway for me. Aside from speech I can tell where most hip hop artists are from due to the slang they choose to use in there rhymes. People forget that slang is indigenous to specific regions, cities, and states. All hip hop artists have those telltale markers. Some more evident then others, but we all have them.
How did you get the name Que QNA?
Man, that’s a story for you. I actually got my nickname the proper way by my man Freshy, who I used to hustle with when I was in school at Job Corps. We were in the same entry group into the program so we met at the airport and rode in together. He couldn’t remember my name Ya-neek, but he remembered I was from Queens. He started calling me Queensbridge, the QB, after telling him on numerous ocassions I was from Bayside, like Wolf Of Wall Street. Bayside, like former And1 player Ryan”Special FX” Williams. Shout out to him as well, he was a neighborhood regular; I would always see when I’d go back home after I moved, so it’s good to see him doing well. So after my man Freshy finally got it, it just shortened down to “Que” and it stuck. I acquired the “Q.N.A.” part of my name from a project I did called “Questions No Answers” which I felt fit me well as a description of my frame of mind. In life you have a lot questions that you’re not necessarily guaranteed answers to. It was also a way of keeping my “Que” nickname due to the other artist Que coming out around the same time.
What do you look for in a beat?
I look for beats that speak to to me. I feel like your lyrics, your voice, your tones are decorations to enhance the beat, to bring it to life. I feel like a great song – and when I say great I mean timeless – is a merger between a great beat and great decorative articulation of what the artist hears from the beat. There are particular songs that thanks to the instrumental you can’t help hearing the artist if they’ve decorated the beat correctly. There’s nothing you can do to change that, your mind will always hear that artist. For example, the Isley Brothers’ “Between The Sheets” instrumental: even though other artists have used that instrumental, you still think of the Isley Brothers when you hear it automatically. So that’s what I look for. A beat on which I can imprint myself, my voice, tones, and words. Great artists need great beats just as much as great beats need great artists. It’s really a personal preference thing with beat selection because every “hot” beat isn’t hot to every artist and every “wack” beat isn’t wack to every artist. I’ve seen artists blaze a track that most would seem wack on if you just listen to the instrumental. So I pick beats that I feel compliment my particular style of painting (lyricism), and help enhance the core theme of the song.
Who’s your favorite rap artist of all time?
There’s really too many great hip hop artists for me to say who I believe is my favorite of all time. I’m a lyricist, so I favor other lyricists that have the ability to make great music. To name a few of my favorites I would have to say Hov, Em, Lupe, Tip, Nas, 50, 8Ball & MJG, Andre 3000, Cee-Lo. The list goes on and on.
What can we expect from you this year?
A full LP for sure. Creating a full body of work to really establish my presence as a hip hop artist. That’s a definite goal of mine for the year. More shows and expanding my fanbase. Touching areas of the country that haven’t been properly introduced to Que QNA. Also locking in some abroad shows I received a couple offers. I’m trying to take advantage of the overseas audience. My single “Don’t Hurt Me” is receiving good reviews in a handful of European countries. Spreading my fanbase. “Don’t Hurt Me” in a nutshell is a futuristic vision of my life being played out in my mind with a girl I just met, and weighing the pros and cons of the rare chance it actually happens with a boastful, sexual and comedic twist.