FEATURE:Q Da Kid:On Deck
Q Da Kid may be a relatively new of name to some, but expect that to soon change. The Brooklyn bred rapper has been working closely with producer/entrepreneur Jermaine Dupri for the last couple years and is now ready to let his voice be heard.
A former member of the group Da Franchise (with Gravy and Red Café), Q signed to the newly launched TAG Records this past summer as their first artist. Backed by the support of JD and a strong marketing campaign, he is preparing to release his debut, It Was All A Dream, in the first quarter of 2009.
XXLMag.com recently caught up with the MC to discuss his relationship with JD, what it's like to be the first artist on TAG, his community work, and what it takes to make it in the music business.
XXL: How did you first start to work with Jermaine Dupri?
Q da Kid: I met JD when I was in Atlanta grinding in the clubs and doing remixes of songs that were hot at the time. He's always in the clubs, so he used to hear them. There was a DJ, Shakim, who was the DJ for Bow Wow at the time, and he was messin' with me and he'd talk to JD about me. One day, he came back to me and was like, JD's been asking about you. Then, a little after that, I was in the club and Jermaine came up to me, asked me what up, and that's how I met him.
XXL: What's that relationship been like?
Q: Our relationship has been good ever since. He's been like a big brother to me—he makes sure that any and everything I do is right.
XXL: You are the first artist signed to TAG Records. Has that made you feel any pressure?
Q: It's excitement and it's pressure. You wanna make an album that people can feel and that the label is good with, so there's definitely a lot of pressure. But, at the end of the day, it's also an exciting and great opportunity.
XXL: What kind of marketing campaigns do they got going for you at TAG?
Q: We got a lot going on. We had the TAG Bodyspray commercial on ESPN, a one day MTV show during the VMAs, and I just did "The Deal" on BET and "MTV Buzzwothy." I got a lot of footage on MTV.com. Plus, I got a tour bus going around and everyday we're just trying to go to different places and get familiar with different markets.
XXL: What type of footage is up on MTV.com?
Q: MTV has been a part of the project from the beginning. They came up to us and said that they were doing a VMA show and were gonna feature me in it. One clip shows me and JD in the studio doing my song "On A Mission," and he's talking about how the song came about.
XXL: You've been pursuing music for a while. Can you talk about your journey a little bit?
Q: It's been a long road. I was a part of the group Da Franchise with Red Café and Gravy. Back in the day, we were signed to Violator, but the situation just didn't work out; years passed by and no records were on the shelf. After I departed from that situation, I moved down to Miami and I was bubblin' in the clubs with Khaled and DJ Irie. We were going hard and I had a huge buzz out there. Dallas Austin then flew me out to Atlanta to do the Drumline sountrack and that was the first time that I had been there and it was real crazy. The town was amazing and I just wanted to stay there.
XXL: What can someone expect to hear when they throw on a record by Q da Kid?
Q: You'll hear some real innovative and creative music. I'm tryna put my life out there and let everybody know my story. If you listen to "On A Mission," it's a way different song than what's going on on the radio right now. I'm not tryna follow anyone's path. I'm gonna make my own lane.
XXL: You're involved in some community work, right?
Q: Yeah. On Saturday we had a Thanksgiving giveaway and we were giving out some dinner gift cards in Brooklyn. At first, we were gonna give out turkeys, but we figured that if they couldn't afford the turkey, let's just give 'em, gift cards so they can try to buy the whole meal. I also got something called the Book Bank Foundation—it's me, 50, Saigon, a bunch of others, and it's run by our homeboy Glenn Toby. It's a charity where we try to help out and give clothes and necessities to the homeless.
XXL: What are your plans for the future?
Q: The album is called It Was All A Dream, and you can expect that in the first quarter. I'm also working on some mixtapes. I just put one out with DJ Envy called I Am Him Part 1 and now we're working on Part 2. Part 2 is gonna be big—we're gonna have a bunch of features on it. We also got a tour set up in December, we just waiting for the paperwork to go through. I got big things planned. -Adam Fleischer