[Click here to read Part 1]
How is your debut album Until My Death changing now that it’s not coming out on Atlantic and Ill Will?
It’s me. The only thing you’re going to get is me. My album, that’s me. God uses me as a vessel and all the glory is His, first and foremost. However, that’s me. I can’t speak for nobody else. When you listen to Quan, you’re hearing Quan, homie. You’re not hearing embellishments and fabricated tales of gangsterisms that a nigga ain’t seen or been through. You’re getting Quan. If I say it, homie, it’s because I’ve seen it or I’ve done it. If I say I’ve seen it, I’ve seen it. If I say I felt a certain way, that’s how I felt. I ain’t nothing but a walking testimony, my dude. I ain’t nothing but a walking testimony. I know that’s the only reason why I’m here after all these situations I’ve been through. That last situation in the hotel, that was a speedbump. That made me slow down and analyze things. That’s what it was for me. That was a lesson learned and I kept it moving.
He put me in certain positions so if a nigga like me pull up on you and says God is real, you’ll be quicker to listen to me than your preacher because I’m a ‘hood nigga and a street nigga. That’s what it is. So when these young niggas see me in my whip with my diamonds on and I tell them God got it, they’re going to relate to me more. They can’t relate to that dude hopping out of the whip with the suit on that don’t have nothing to say to them. They want to holler at the dude with the chain on and the Air Force One’s on and the rims. As long as that dude in that whip has something to tell them of importance, they’re going to take that more than anything because that’s the person that they look up to.
Out of all the good that people tried to instill in me, I looked up to the gangsters in my family and the people in my ‘hood. I couldn’t see the love of my mother and stepfather because I idolized my biological father and my uncles, the gangsters. That was the path I chose and I could relate to them. It’s time for a real wake up call. I’m as real as they come. I can tell you where to go in two seconds if you get me pissed. You might hear a song about some gunplay and some gangsterisms, but you’re also going to get something that can feed your soul. The key to all of this is balance and that’s what “Ferquan” means. I’m the messenger and the balance between light and dark, good and bad.
How will Until My Death come out?
I got a few labels pitching at me now. I’m not going to name no names. You already know that. But it’s coming. I would say by the second quarter. I’m telling you, even if I don’t find the situation that I’m happy with or that I feel is the best for me, my album is still coming out. I’m still going to drop an album, at least one every year, from this moment on. At least one album every year. And I promise, I’m going to go hard or die trying. That’s it. I’m going to go hard on every bar and every sentence. Every word sung and every melody is going to be laid and that’s on my heart, with every bit of courage and strength and pain that I can muster, man, because that’s what the fans deserve. These little record sales ain’t got shit to do with downloading, homie. It ain’t got nothing to do with that. It might have a slight effect.
Humans are in their comfort zone. They might have all the gadgets in the world, but they’re still going to buy CDs because that’s their comfort zone and that’s what they like doing. I hate to say it, but a lot of these rappers haven’t been giving these fans good gifts. Yeah, they play it in the clubs and you might sell some units, but it’s going to get around that you’re not talking about nothing. And that’s going to spread faster than anything and you’re not going to sell. All the people went out to buy 50 and Kanye’s albums. You can say what you want to say about them, but they both have something to say of substance. What does that tell you? Both of these niggas went platinum in less than two weeks. Fans will go and cop good music. I don’t care what you put behind it. As far as my album Until My Death is concerned, it’s a beautiful situation coming my way. It’s going to come out and it’s going to be wonderful. And the closer that we get to what it is that we’re trying to do, the more people will definitely see. But in the meantime, they can cop my new joint just to see where it’s at. It’s called The Most Anticipated. It’s 17 videos and 20 tracks. Cop that and holler at me on MySpace. See what it is and see what’s up with the dude. Holler at me and send me messages. Give me your opinion.
How is The Most Anticipated doing for you?
Every review I’ve gotten 5. Nothing less than 4 ½ out of 5 in every review I’ve gotten so far. The streets are definitely going crazy for it. It’s definitely moving a lot of units. That’s a given. It’s wonderful. I do my shows and get my bread and it’s a beautiful thing, man. But the most precious thing about that DVD is that if I die tomorrow, I could smile because I feel like if you never knew what Quan was about, you would know watching that DVD. It will fill in a lot of answers and it shows that dreams come true. If my dreams can come true being I’m a cat like me, then anybody’s dreams can come true. I was in juvenile detention and in jail and running around the block, shooting it out with niggas. People were going to say I was going to die before I turned 18. I’m still here. I’m that same nigga. I’ve been the dude where I’ve been in every city and county jail, scraping my name in the wall like, ‘Quan was here.’ I’ve been through it. I was wilding.
I’ve been through it. I mean, hey, if God made a way for me, He can make a way for anybody and that’s real and I got to stress that. I got to stress that because the moment I forget, God’s going to kill me, man. I’ve made it through too much. The moment I forget letting you know how good He is and how real he is, I’m gone. God’s going to suck the damn life out me like, ‘Oh, you forgot? You forgot that you were here only because I said so after all the wicked shit you’ve done? Let me take you away.’ That’s what it is.
You also shot the DVD for The Most Anticipated with your own film company. How important is it for you to be able to do all of that on your own?
It’s branding. Kingz Nation is a movement. You got the artists. You got the film company. You got the entertainment company. We got a management company. We got different things. It’s very important. Let me stress this. Pro Tools is easy to learn. You might not learn how to mix, but learn how to track yourself so you don’t have to depend on nobody else for your creative process. Doing this, it’s very precious because a record label might need $250,000 to shoot a video and I can do that with $50,000. Being able to take the bare elements that you have and turn it into something is key.
So yeah, man, all of that and being as involved in whatever aspect that you can be involved in is what it is. Me, I’m content with being an artist and a businessman. I’m not going to be an artist and try to be the dude holding the camera and at the same time trying to be a whole bunch of other things. I’m not with spreading myself thin. That’s very important. We got pitbulls, man. We’re just focused on good things, man. And there’s power in numbers. There’s power in numbers. Nobody realizes that you can have all the talent in the world, but if you don’t have a team, you’re going nowhere. And a team is only as strong as its weakest link. Let me use some powerful shit.
Ten loyal dudes, even though I don’t agree with what they did and killing all those innocent people, take September 11. Loyalty, that’s what makes those Iraq cats so dangerous, because of their loyalty and their ethic. They give 210% to their cause. Ten niggas hop on planes, man, and change America forever. Just ten people affected the lives of millions and millions and millions and millions forever. There’s power in numbers. Now if you take that ten and get them to be that dedicated to a movement, you got something. That’s the precious part about a team. And when you can find that, you have something. You have something because nowadays, these niggas are strictly about themselves and real niggas are the last of a dying breed.
That’s why I rep my squad all day. I rep it all day and it’s tattooed on my flesh. I throw my crown up all day. That’s genuine love and respect. Don’t get me wrong. You might have a few knuckleheads in every family. That’s inevitable. That’s in every foundation. But those men and those queens that are willing to go that extra mile to give means more than anything. And music is one of the outlets. Music is one of the outlets. It’s the main outlet, to tell you the truth. But I’m good, man. I’m good. Believe me when I tell you, I’m good, man. And shout out to all the love and support from the fans. I appreciate and got love for every single one of y’all because y’all ain’t gotta listen to me and you don’t have to cop nothing I put out but you do and I’m thankful.
From your legal problems to industry problems, do you have any regrets?
No, because it made me who I am and I love me, homie. If I don’t love me, how can I expect someone else to love me? I don’t have any regrets. You know what? To be realistic, yeah, I have regrets. But would I take them back? I never did nothing to no nigga who ain’t deserve it or who ain’t get the proper chance to carry on freely. I don’t start no trouble. Hurting my mama, man. Taking my mama through all them trials and not knowing whether I’m dead or alive or whether or not I’m hurt. All her suffering due to all the things that I did. I can’t speak for nobody else. My mama, man, she really been through it. She really been through it. I mean, I put her through so much, man. When coming up like I came up and you got music and you got the streets, you see what I’m saying?
There wasn’t no Hampton University and there wasn’t no colleges. I hopped straight up off the porch into the street. There ain’t no playing in the yard or none of that. I got in the game at an early age. I started doing dirt when I was 9. I got in the actual game of hustling and all of that by the time I was 13. By the time I was 16, I was giving niggas work. Regrets, man, taking those that loved me, my mama and my grandmamma, taking them through that. Other situations, man, other people pretty much caused on themselves. And I’m a gentleman. I’m a gangster and a gentleman. I would definitely love to resolve a situation in the best manner possible before it gets ugly. Yeah, I got little regrets. All of that made me who I am and God has the final say-so.
What’s been going on with Kingz Nation lately?
Grinding. Grinding. They come out and do spot dates with me. We just wrapped up the Kingz Nation album. We just got that sitting in the cut. We’re involved in a lot of different things though, man, like charity events. Some of the Kingz just had a charity dinner to feed families that wouldn’t normally have a good meal during the holidays. We’re mentoring kids and coaching football. We’re into a lot of different things. We shot the DVD on The Most Anticipated. We have the film company. We shoot local artists’ videos and do stuff like that. We give them a chance to shine on the local television network. It’s a movement, homie, of cats that live for good. We’re business-oriented, man. We got two studios. Niggas is all right, man. We’re going to get it, either way it goes.
“Love” is a verb and “friendship” is one soul and two bodies and can’t nothing divide us but God, man, not no chick, not no pusher and not no paper. None of that, because we’re focused on leaving our mark and on helping make situations better, not worse, for our community. And I quote, we are not angels, man. (laughs) We are just good, wholesome folk. Our roots are down South, you know. But we’re everywhere. Shout out to everybody that’s got somebody in the system or is in the system. Shout out to all the Kingz, man, all 500 and some change. The group is Zoe, Just Rah, the Spotraiders, Da Catch, Young Dex…It’s a movement, man. We’re focused and we’re going to get it, whether you see me on BET, VH1 or MTV.
I’m still here and I’m still relevant, especially for those who matter. And as long as I can be a positive influence and have a positive effect, hey, that’s what it is. ’08, man, this shit is on. God, I’m so excited. It’s beautiful. I feel real good. I’m focused. I’m not bitter. I’m not mad. I’m not pointing fingers at none of these rappers. Man, do what you do, homie. I don’t care. I’m free. I’m happy. I’m alive. Just don’t come fucking with me. That’s just love and respect. That’s it. Beautiful music, man. Beautiful music.
What do you have to do to get back in the mainstream in 2008?
Honestly, from my perspective, I know I got the streets. A lot of niggas come from the underground into the mainstream. I went mainstream immediately, from high school to the pros with love and respect from the underground. But lately I’ve been nurturing the underground and I’ve been going from ‘hood to ‘hood. I’ve done my promos and I put out a mixtape once a year. This year I put out two which gave me a total of four. You can go on my MySpace page and get the updates and peep all of that out and get my mixtape collection if you want. It’s all good. That’s that though.
And as far as getting my buzz back, basically once I secure this situation and once that becomes real and I have a few features going on that we’re definitely tightening up. That’s going to do it as well. I got a crazy record killing the underground right now with Rapper Pooh from Little Brother that’s been getting a lot of play, “Geez Like Deez”. That’s produced by Illmind. I just dropped “Hustlin’ and Hopin’”. That’s produced by Vinny Idol. That’s getting a crazy response as well.
I’m looking to release this album and keep it going. I’m going to release this album and they’re going to get videos and all that if they want it. It’s going to be there. I promise it’s going to be there and it’s coming in the most professional manner. And whether I do 10 million or 10,000, I’m coming and I’m going to appreciate it and I’m going to make sure that those 10,000 people know that I appreciate it or that those 10 million people know that I appreciate it. That’s it. It’s music and music is my life, man. That’s what it is. I’m going to get it or die trying, period. I’m a hustler. I’m always going to eat. You can put me in the middle of the desert and I’m going to eat. It’s coming. I’m in the passenger seat and God is driving. If God has it for me, can’t nobody stop it and can’t nobody count me out.
Nobody can call me a one-hit wonder or none of that. None of that applies to me. I’m here and I’m going to be here and that’s that. My fans love me and they’re going to push me to the top. I believe in the people. If the people want me on top, I’m going to be on top. And if I’m not in a position where my company or whoever isn’t backing me and making sure that product is marketed and obtainable by whoever may want it, I’m going to every city and every ‘hood that I can to insure that they at least have the opportunity to see what it’s about. I’ll promote it my damn-self. I’ll fly my son to me. It is what it is. Go hard or go home. There ain’t no in-betweens. I go hard and I go harder. It’s like the movie 300. My homies hate for me to say it, but Kingz Nation, man, we’re the Spartans and I’m Leonitis, man. No matter the odds that we face, we’re either going to get it or die trying. But even if we die trying, we’re going to die like the kings and warriors that we are. Brian, you already know what my makeup is. I’m 100% real. That’s all I can do. All I can do is make good music and live my life and the fans will take it how they take it. I can go hard and give my all every single time and utilize that to bring about change for the better. I can try to heal some of the wounds and some of the dark shit that I’ve done coming up.
Does it bother you when fans think you’re a one-hit wonder?
Nah, man, because I’m not. “Just A Moment” wasn’t even Nas’ favorite record out of the three that I recorded. I recorded three records with L.E.S. I recorded three records with him. Three, not ten. Three. You know, “Just A Moment” became a hit. That’s the first record that the world heard me on and gave me love for. It’s a record that they still play to this day, very much so. That’s a record that many people consider a classic record in hip-hop. “Just A Moment” wasn’t even his favorite record. We loved the record, but that wasn’t even his favorite record from me. All I need to do is get the backing. Once I get the situation, the best situation for me and my vision and what I’m trying to do, we’re going and we’re going in. The rest remains to be seen, but see, the thing about it though is that if there’s 100,000 people who love my music, I’m happy. I don’t care how many people come out to see me, I’m going to rock with them. I’ll rock with 250 people the same way I’ll rock with them like we were in a stadium.
I love the music. I love the connection. I love the gift that God has given me, man. I really do. You might here me say that I’m a G and that I ain’t no rapper. You might hear me say something like that, but I spit though and I’m an artist. When you’re multi-talented like that and can sing as well as you rhyme…I’m an artist, man. You can’t pigeonhole me. You can’t say that this nigga is this and you can’t put me in a box. Call me what you want. At least you’re talking about me. (laughs) At least you have something to say. I’m good with that. Before nobody knew nothing, now everywhere I go, at least somebody knows something. I got no complaints. I got a fanbase and a lot of love and respect from the industry and from music and hip-hop lovers alike. I’m happy. I can’t complain. Now don’t get it wrong though. I want platinum plaques and all of that. I’m just saying that that doesn’t validate me and make or break me as a man and that doesn’t determine how good my music is because there have been plenty of no-name producers that have been popping off hits. Nobody knows who their name is but it’s about marketing and strategy and good product, period.
What’s your main focus right now?
I’m wrapping up this album, man. Basically we’ve been in talks to start taking meetings for the second week of January. We’re going to sit down with a few people.
What do you want to say to everybody?
Yo, to those of y’all that love me, hey, I love y’all back, man. For those of y’all that hate me, just watch me and respect me. That’s all I ask. And God first, man. Family over fortune, man. Money over bullshit. Let’s get it. For booking, contact Corey Barnes and DreamWorld Entertainment at (757) 240-8087 or email@example.com. Holler at me on MySpace and come out and see me. That’s it. Two up, two down, from Virginia to CT, all day, every day. Shout out to Ill Will and the Ill Will squad and shout out to everybody. Pray for a nigga, man. A new year is coming and let’s get it. There’s no looking back.