have you been lately?
easy man, just doing what I do and staying focused. I've been working
on my album too.
lot of people have heard you, but who is Don Ferquan?
of all, Don Ferquan is a G, not a rapper with a deal. That's the first
thing. I'm an official street nigga in every sense of the word. I've come
to rep for those man. The youth that faces the struggle, niggas that are
in the struggle trying to get out, and the squares that don't know about
the struggle. I'm trying to give people all angles of that.
can you tell your people about your past?
did what gangstas do. You name it, I did it. And I don't even have to
talk about it. A lot of these niggas are perpetrating a fraud. I talk
it because I walked it. It's about me giving you every aspect of this
street shit and my experiences and to fulfill my purpose and to rep my
peoples in the struggle, and to shine for my family. That's the key to
do you feel about certain rappers glorifying sex, drugs, and jail when
you know they've never done anything serious?
O.G.'s taught me you keep sheeps with sheeps and you keep wolves with
wolves. And if you're not a wolf, then you ain't got no business where
the wolves are at, and if you're a sheep, you need to stay where the sheeps
are or else they're going to get eaten. If you put a wolf in a pen full
of sheep, he's going to rule. It is what it is. If you ain't done it,
if you ain't seen it, if you ain't felt that pain, then don't be walking
around with your chest all poked out like you did that. Stop feeding these
kids lies. They got young heads listening to them, and they claim that
they're giving young kids the game but they're gaming the niggas. They're
taking nigga's money. So what happens is that you can't tell rappers apart.
But shit, I love everybody.
did you learn from your experience in jail?
varied. In the beginning, I didn't give a fuck about nothing. I was an
animal. Then you get wiser and you either make the best out of a fucked
up situation or make a fucked up situation worse. I had my moments where
I slipped up a few times, but it's life lessons man.
do you approach each day today?
real man, I live my life every day like I'm going to die tomorrow. I can't
wait for nothing. I mean it. My patience is shot. I don't have no patience
or any time for bullshit. I walk humble and I'm very thankful for my blessings.
I try to keep my head in the music and not be bothered by the ignorance
and the naysayers.
did you spend the majority of your time growing up?
always look back to Bridgeport (Connecticut). I always go back home, but
I grew up in Bad News, VA. Most of my life has really been Southern. Back
and forth to South Carolina
I've been mainly in Newport News, Virginia.
This is my home.
it like growing up in Newport News?
like any other place. We pop pistols, they got drugs, they got gangs.
And we got a sense of pride. We got "Bad News" tattooed on our
bodies. Niggas got that on they necks. There's a lot of love there. I
can give that street aspect of these VA streets because I know these VA
lot of people think you're signed to Ill Will, what's up with that?
signed to Atlantic directly by Craig Troutman. Don't get it wrong, me
and Nas, that's my nigga.
made you want to go to Atlantic?
like their movement over there and they showed me that they would be dedicated
to my movement and what I'm trying to do.
up with your movement?
shit never stopped with "Just a Moment" and Nas, and doing an
album. It's a movement, it's much more bigger than that.
did "Just a Moment" come about?
wrote "Just a Moment" when I was locked up. I was going through
a lot of trials and tribulations. I lost some friends, my sister was going
over to Iraq, it was just a lot of drama. I came home, I laid it down
with L.E.S., Nas heard it, and put it on his album.
were you able to start working with Nas?
heard my songs and L.E.S. told him about me, and he felt like he wanted
to work with me.
have you guys been up to lately?
been kicking around a few ideas for his new album and that's really it.
I don't see him too much. He be doing his thing, I be doing my thing,
but it's all love.
know you hate being called "Nas' protégé," can
you elaborate on that?
ain't nobody's protégé. I'm a grown-ass man. Ain't nobody
sit there and teach Quan how to rap. Ain't nobody teach Quan how to count
no bars. And before anybody knew who Quan was, I had love and respect
in my hood and I had love and respect in the penitentiary for being one
of the illest spitters. If somebody wants to know what Nas is to me, that's
my homie, that's my nigga, and I fuck with him, and I'm thankful for everything
that he has done for my career. But even he'll tell you "Quan's not
my protégé, he's my nigga." I got a big problem with
being called a protégé. I ain't no nigga's protégé,
it's as simple as that.
Cent said that Bad News was "one big pussy waiting to get fucked."
What's the situation with that and do you think that was directed at you
because of your affiliation with Nas?
know a few people that know 50. I know him personally. I've dealt with
him on numerous occasions before I even signed to Ill Will. I'm going
to say this. From what he said out of his mouth when he came down here,
he got on the radio and he explained to the people what he meant by it.
He explained it to the people that he wasn't dissing Newport News. And
I talked to close friends of 50 and they said that's not what he meant
to do, and that's that. With 50 Cent, if he has an issue with me, he'll
make it known. As far as me, I don't have any issues with 50. I don't
have any issues with anybody in the industry. I don't do rap beefs. I'm
a street nigga. I don't do rap beefs. I don't have no problems with nobody.
All Quan came to do is do me and hope that my fans will consider me one
of the best to ever do it.
at today's rap game, do you ever wonder if you can be too real for the
I could say is that I've lived a real-ass life. I'm a real-ass nigga.
I've seen some real-ass things. I've done some real-ass things. For real
homie, I bring it from my heart. If the shit when I'm done with it, if
they can play it on the radio, then cool. If they can't, that's cool.
If they feel it, they feel it. If they don't, they don't. I got songs
for everybody. I've been around the world twice.
used to be cool with Jay too
and Jay have mutual friends. We met a couple times. I picked up some things
seeing him. They were doing what they were doing, I was out here doing
what I was doing. Some of his friends are like family to me. I was a young
dude then. When I first met Jay, I was probably like 14. I got sent out
on some shit, I was a juvenile when it happened. But shit happens. It's
Atlantic now, King's Nation. That's my movement.
Was there ever a chance of you going to Def Jam?
They wasn't in the bidding war for me. There was a few other labels.
your album coming along?
man. I never take long to get it done. I got bangers for days.
you feel like "Just a Moment" put you in a box where fans expect
a certain sound?
hope not. I think a little bit they will [expect a certain sound]. I got
a few other joints out that they've heard, so my true fans know not to
put me in a box. You can't put me in no box. How are you going to put
me in a box? I just did seven years and some change in a box. I'm going
to do whatever the hell I feel. I'm free. And my music is a reflection
of me and my life. Some days I wake up and sing a beautiful song on a
beautiful day. Another day, I might have seen some fucked up shit or be
thinking about some fucked up shit, so I'll write a fucked up song. That's
life. I'm a human homie. I feel like everybody else. I love and I cry
like everybody else. I'm a humble human. But I'm going to admit to the
shit that some niggas won't admit to because they're scared. And I'm going
to admit to the shit that I've seen, the real shit. I'm the truth homie,
and it'll show.
important is playing the piano and singing to who you are as an artist?
ain't no Mozart, but I can play by ear and make beats. When the time comes,
people will know. I spit flows. My singing man, and my rhyming man, if
I hear a beat and that beat calls for me to sing, if that's what I hear,
and that's what God gives you, then that's what's going to come out. That's
a part of me. I can't help that shit, it runs in my family. It just so
happens that I started rapping first.
do you think of other rappers trying to sing?
came here to do me. But some of that shit is garbage, and some of it is
beautiful music. I fuck with real music, like "damn, I can relate
to that shit."
it hard for an artist to break out coming from VA?
think if you're hot and you study your craft, you'll be all right. But
there ain't no entertainment lawyers out here like in New York, Atlanta,
or L.A. There's no record labels out of Bad News. A nigga has to be on
the ground, you have to put your feet on the concrete and you have to
grunt it. That's what I did, I made moves, and I had a lot of blessings
and people in my life to help me with that.
you feel like all your hard work is paying off?
I'm about to release a mixtape called "The Don Ferquan Show"
with DJ Rhude. I have some other things coming with other DJ's. The album
is coming, and King's Nation is the squad. I got some things lined up.
can you tell us about Kingz Nation?
Nation is a movement. We're about that paper man, and we run deep. It
ain't no gang, it's family shit. It's close-knit folk. We strive to get
our piece and help other people get their piece, to uplift the people
man. But first, it has to start with the circle. My niggas know who they
are. They're generals, and they play their position. They're leaders who
help other niggas be leaders. Like the boy Jeezy said, "thug motivation"
man. Plain and simple.
were supposed to work with Missy and Pharell, do you still see that happening?
think so. That's going to be an ill surprise for the world right there.
If I make that happen, it's going to be a beautiful thing. I already got
the idea in my head and I hope it happens. It's a VA thing.
artists out there do you want to work with and learn from?
a lot of people man that I just want to learn from, alone. Niggas in power
positions, like Russell Simmons. If you're sitting at $50 million or better,
there's nothing you couldn't tell me wrong. I take what I learn and I
apply it. But who would I want to work with? The first one would be my
nigga Scarface. I fucks with Scarface man, all them shits. That helped
a nigga through that bid. Him, Young Buck, T.I., Jay, and you know, a
number of producers. I'm making beautiful music. I'm just an all-around
street nigga. I'm not coming to the game like I shot the most niggas or
I did the most time, I sold the most keys
I'm just telling my story,
take from it what you will. Some of that shit is straight gangster. Why?
I lived a straight gangster life. I'm a product of my habitat. I spit
when I was 18 to 25 when I was locked up. I've been through it. In the
game, you take your wins with your losses, and you try to minimize your
losses. Niggas have to do what they do, and I'm a hustler man.
advice do you have for all the kids out there?
can do whatever they want to as long as they set their heart to it. It
takes persistence though. They can do anything, that's what they have
to know. If I can come from the shit I came from, from being a person
that didn't love myself, and be on some straight gangster shit, come from
the prison and the streets, that sickness that plagued niggas, that whole
struggle of wanting to do better, to come from all that to this, to still
be able to have my dream come true, hell, I got a story. Especially for
my niggas in the hood and the penitentiary. And you can take from my story
or from my mama's story. My mama had me and my sister before she was 18
homie. And she has three degrees and a Fortune 500 job. For real, you
can do anything. I just came to tell my story on my life, I have a testament
for real. Not on no acting shit. I didn't just wake up one day and say
"oh, I'm going to be 'so-and-so.'" That's my motherfucking name,
my name is Don Ferquan. Call me Quan for short. Ferquan is my name, that
means "the messenger." That comes from the Koran. God knew what
it was, He gave me that name. My niggas gave me the name "Don."
I'm a boss from the street and I came to be a boss. Leaders stick with
leaders and followers stick with followers. It's my time homie.
there anything that you want to say to everyone out there?
prejudge me, and don't put me in no box. And let's be honest with each
other. Fuck the Hollywood shit, we're going to be honest with each other,
me and my fans. Me and my fans, we're going to be friends. We're going
to take a beautiful journey. I'm going to walk them through a beautiful
story. My fans are going to give me their love. My blessings are going
to come. I've just come to fulfill my purpose and deliver my message.
Take from it what you will. And I say this on behalf of every person that
gets criticized for what they say in their rhymes. When I write a verse,
that shit is off emotion man. I'm not giving a fuck about what's wrong
and what's right man. I'm emptying what's in my heart. There's three ways
you could take my verse. They could say "Them niggas in the streets
be wiling, I don't want no parts of that shit," if they haven't seen
it. They can say "I've seen that shit, he's right on point."
And they can say "I'm going to do it," even after they heard
me talk about the repercussions, then they've got to hold their own cross
like I held mine. "G's up, hoes down." Snoop said it a long
time ago. And I only fuck with a chosen few. I believe that a friend of
everybody's is a friend of nobody's. My niggas is my niggas and they know
who they are. We got the same tattoos. And not to be confused with Latin
Kings, I fuck with them. Above all, I'm a good nigga, and I'm a real-ass
nigga, and if they hate me, something ain't right with them. Quan do Quan.
Quan don't fuck with nobody as long as nobody don't fuck with Quan.