A-Q is one of the rappers in the country making efforts to get their craft noticed, in spite of the unfavourable structure. 12 years after releasing his debut album, his latest project, Blessed Forever (Live Music and 808s), is still receiving critical acclaim. A-Q has also been nominated twice for the Lyricist on the Roll Prize of the Headies Awards.

In this short interview with Filterfree, A-Q talks about why MI deserves to be respected and the need for rappers to create a structure that would enable them thrive:

So, what’s your position on MI’s being at the centre of these negative conversations?

I feel what M did was dope for the culture, but right now it’s getting out of hand, when people start talking about beating people up then the situation is getting out of control and it should stop.

People are questioning MI’s legacy, especially that he hasn’t done anything for the culture. But you have a different opinion, yeah? Could you please clarify on why “what M did was dope for the culture?

Anything that brings up conversations around Nigerian hip-hop is dope for the culture. The single “You Rappers Should Fix Up Your Lives” brought up a conversation and we heard a lot of rappers we had never heard of before. It’s easy to point fingers, anyone who says M has done nothing for hip-hop has equally not done anything too.

If there was anything that MI could’ve done better for the industry what do you think that would be? Aside bringing hip-hop into the public consciousness again.

Why is every one looking to M? I did a hip-hop concert in 2015, Peter Clarke and his OG experience team are doing another in December.  M played his part in a time when we thought rap could not sell. He came and did numbers that even Afropop artists could not keep up with… I don’t think M needs to do any more than he has done, everyone else needs to play their part… I’m doing the best I can and as time goes on more people would see the efforts I’m putting in.

Could you please clarify this “play their part” you’re talking about? Is this as regards releasing materials  or something else?

Of what good is releasing materials when there is no structure to pushing Nigerian hip-hop? We need to build, we need to put the music and the standard other artists doing other genres are putting to theirs. How many hip-hop videos are in rotation right now? I see SDC, Yung 6ix’s “No Favours”, MI’s “Fix Up” and “Lekki Express Way”,  Chyn also. We need more. The fight is not within ourselves, the fight is with the system, and if the system does not receive us we need to create a system that will. Dremo is currently doing amazing things on tour. No one is talking about it. He took a lot of rappers with him. If more rappers get involved in building and creating a system to propagate hip-hop not as a genre but as a culture then to would be easier sell the music.


Watch Lekki Expressway below: