God was released October 21, 2013. A week past the projected date of October 16, my 20th birthday. I officially broke up with my girlfriend at the time the same day the album dropped. The project had been concieved at least a year beforehand and recording started not too long after the plan was put in motion. I wrote about 110 songs over a 9 month period and only ended up with 13 I really liked and felt served the purpose of the album; to express how I was feeling at the time about a myriad of topics. Fake friends, the disillusionment of the rap industry, my place in said industry, the fact that it was 10 years since my mother passed on, and talking shit to those who deserved it. Now here’s how all of that went.
After God dropped I was a hood star, I live in Fordham in the Bronx, you should know this already. Everyone was my best friend, girls were taking second looks at someone they used to be constantly and blatantly ignoring or disrespecting. Weed was free, drinks were free, I got addicted to Mollies and Xanax, blazay blah and fun times. Until people started really listening to the album.
On “Top of the Hill” I talk about a friend in my circle who played me by messing around with a girl I was seeing behind my back. This all happened in 2009 or so, but I rapped about it in 2013 because I thought I could get away with it. Now, it’s not even the person who did the wrong who had a beef with me, noooo. It was the person I talked to about the person who did the wrong. In the end of the song, you hear me bugging out to this person about what happened and how I was gonna handle it. I mean, I was talking to myself in the studio to give y’all that effect, but it was word for word what was said. He didn’t like that I made him look like a “bad person” because he was still cool with the person who did the wrong. So that’s cut off number one.
On “Dalai Lama” I say “maybe I look familiar / fucking all the Dominicans in Vermilyea…”. I did mess with a girl on Vermilyea Ave in the Heights, a long while back. She heard that and hit me up on Facebook since she instantly conjured up that I must have been referencing her, when in all honesty I was just trying to make two words rhyme. Cut off number two.
"Death of YOLO", a friend of mine who knows people in Joey’s camp showed him the song, Joey apparently flipped, asking who the fuck I thought I was. This sparked a Cold War type of beef, where the animosity was spoken in silence (if that makes sense). The friend was promised a chance to go on tour with Joey, but not if he was still fucking with me. What would you do? Cut off number three PLUS a beef with an up and coming rapper.
"Celina, Where’s the Drugs" was about a girl I dated for a few weeks who had me try shrooms, it was nice, but she was too much of a victim because of the "daddy issues" I mention in the song. I mention that I have some too, but he doesn’t exist to me. She gets defensive and starts arguing with me and one day, while walking through her hood, because I used to work at a phone store in her area, I ran into her brother and on the spot he wanted to fight. I’m really not scared of anyone so we scrapped, I’m not the best fighter but by chance I knocked him out, now her uncle jumps in, he almost gave me the same fate but I weaved it and tripped him to the ground. I’m a hero, hooray. Anyways, cut off number three and physical altercation, all off of a song.
"Islands" brought me drama because of jealousy of my exes. "What that bitch did to deserve a song?" and so on and so forth. I mean we were friends for years beforehand so, the feelings were already there. Cut offs upon cut offs until all my exes deleted me off social media. You’d think pissing people off is my profession. It should be.
"Mother" is the song you wouldn’t even think anyone would have a problem with. A song commemorating my mother’s passing, how could you hate on that. Well my family found a way too, and I can’t blame them. The way I portrayed them in the song is nothing short of telling. Thing is, come meet my family, this is really how they acted in my eyes. So my grandmother liked the song, but not the fact I made my uncle sound like a deserter from a war. My brother respected it for the realistic way in which I wrote it, even exposing his alcoholism and all. The rest of my family is a non factor really, and that’s the way it goes.
There were a million other situations but they weren’t as serious. Just everyone trying to find a problem with the project.
Cut to today, it’s been regarded by a few generous minds as one of the best rap projects out of NYC that year. A blogger or two even called it an “important” project in the story of South Bronx hip-hop. A lot of people hated it, but even more people loved it. Love conquers all, I’m still deeply humbled by that love even to this day. I just had to tell the story
$outhBronx x Jet$
Me and my boy Jex started a little group, this is the first track we did for our EP, it’s only a demo though.
fucking rich white people laughing at how poverty is some diet they should try.
Let’s hit the attic to hide out for bout two weeks"
The Cool Quest - Up & Up
There is something special about the The Cool Quest.
I’m not just talking about the infectious way he drops his lyrics neatly on the beats, the way he wraps his phonemes around each other for tight rhyme after tight rhyme and I’m not even talking about the impressive production Quest is able to pull out of the bag.
What is most special about The Cool Quest is how sensitive he is with his work.
Now I don’t mean he raps about puppies, flowers or reactions to strong soaps, when I say sensitive I mean there is a balanced approached to each record that makes it sound right. It’s evident that Quest has an ear for the track and adjusts his game accordingly to make sure everything fits just so. Listening to his SoundCloud, there is a barrage of different types of tracks from the old-skool to the emotional and there is a unique diversity and lyrical balance that Quest drops on each one. Quest is void of a default flow which you can associate with many different rappers regardless of the track, he has the switch-up ability that is evident in some of the best. He spits with a dignified poise which keeps the hip hop heads hanging on each and every word, and at points (dare I say) he reminds me of a 00s Common.
As if his SoundCloud portfolio isn’t’t enough to convince you, his mixtape, Lifeisatrafficjam is a solid piece of work. Nearly two years old now, the production is on point. Lifeisatrafficjam is a sample-heavy medley of retro vibes that really hit the nostalgia nerve and provide a hefty backing to what Quest provides: anecdotes, life lessons and reflection. The thinking man’s hip-hop. There are tracks, however, where he seems to try and get too much out in one go and you have to strain your ear to work out all the knowledge he’s dropping (Something Talib Kweli has had a problem with for years). This shouldn’t be a deterrent from listening to Lifeisatrafficjam, the mixtape is more rewarding than a few impurities.
The Cool Quest seems to have a lot going for him right now. His most recent track Up & Up (posted above) is a good reflection of where he is now and he definitely benefits from being able to produce his own tracks, because they’re fire.
Check him out and his new tune Up & Up.
He’s got a bright future and he’s definitely gonna ruffle some feathers.