What have you been up to lately?
Just grinding it out, man. You know, after I did The Most Anticipated mixtape, I actually had a lot of deaths in my family and that really sat me down for a second, man. You know, I lost my God-daughter, dudes tried to kill my pops and shit. They threw him out of a five story window in the Bronx. Not long after that my cousin Woody got killed in a car accident that cut his head off. Outside of that, that really threw me but I never stopped recording stuff like that. Basically I’ve been on my grind and that’s it. The grinding is never ending. I stay active as far as putting out a little freestyle or a record here and there. I’m just preparing myself to do major shit.
Do you have an album coming out anytime in the near future?
Atlantic wanted Nas to play more of an executive role and when he wasn’t willing to do that to their standards, then that put a hold on my project. That slowed down my project. So instead of me not having no way to eat, I asked for my release and I got my release in the middle of last year. Once I got my release, I got back on my grind, just trying to find a home.
Do you feel like Atlantic wanted Nas more than you?
Um, nah, I can’t say that. But obviously I think what it was is that Atlantic’s strategy a lot of times is they will piggyback real artists under an established company or an established artist. Rick Ross, Slip N Slide, Plies, Slip N Slide. Different situations like that. When they released Twista, they piggybacked off of Kanye. Different situations. I can’t really…I don’t know. You know how that corporate shit go. I don’t know. But the relationships are good with everybody. I just think that everybody wasn’t on the same page. I mean, I had all the momentum in the world. How you fuck up a buzz of a project like that?
How do you see your buzz today?
Where my buzz is, I’m not on MTV right now. I can’t compare it to when “Just a Moment” was in full rotation but as far as the love that I get from fans in the streets and online, they love me there. I think they want me to drop something and in a minute they’re going to get it. People are still asking me when they’re going to be able to get that album and I’m at a point now, being at an independent or major, I’m just going to start releasing albums. That’s it.
Do you think your album is overdue at this point?
Definitely. Definitely overdue, man. But God already has His own agenda and at the end of the day, that’s what says all. But I’m not going to stop pursuing under no circumstances.
Do you have a lot of music in the stash right now?
Oh, shit, I can’t even count. Real talk. I can’t even count. I can’t even count how many records I got. But I’ll tell you what, they’re about to start getting put out there. I just put out a new mixtape with 27 tracks, for free! My next project, Walking Testimony, is definitely going to be purchasable. I got A-level production and a lot of features. We’ll see what it do.
What do you want people to take away from your new mixtape Carrying the Tradition?
To definitely see that I’m a well-rounded artist that’s here to stay. I’m going to always be doing music, regardless, whether I do 100,000 or 10,000. Music is a part of me. Outside of that I’m a hustler. Carrying the Tradition, I hope people take the lesson to try to make every bar better than your last one and perform at every show that you do like it’s your last. There is so much beautiful music. People are busting their ass and putting their life on the line so that we could get beautiful music. Why are we not carrying on the tradition? I’m trying to take the music to a greater level.
What artists do you feel are “carrying the tradition”?
Shit, you know, I fuck with Jeezy, Jay, T.I.P., shit…R&B wise, Anthony Hamilton, Jamie Foxx, hell, T-Pain’s creative. Quite a few. Lil’ Wayne is tight. I don’t agree with everything that he says or does, but he delivers it. Jadakiss. The obvious. Those are all of the ones that have substance. I think it’s more so about when the labels make the pendulum swing to what the people really want because when you look at album sales, none of the shit they’re putting out is selling. The only people that are really selling and doing numbers, with respect to how the economy is, are true lyricists. That’s it. But I really feel like the streets are starving. The streets are starving for soulful, good quality music and that’s all I ever try to bring. You will listen to a Quan project and pull some gems away from that, something that helps you sustain your life, improve your life or just to know that you’re not alone and that somebody else can relate to your life.
Can you do good numbers when you finally drop?
Yeah. Of course. With proper marketing. See, this is my thing. I consider it a blessing to be able to do it and be able to make a living off of it. That’s No. 1, that’s the blessing. So even if I do an independent album and sell 10-20,000, I know mothers with three kids that aren’t seeing that kind of money but they’re taking care of a household. So being a major or independent, I love the music. Hey, I love the music. If I can make a living off of it, I’m good. Definitely. Who wouldn’t want a platinum plaque? And I know I could get it with the proper team behind me. I know I’m an A-level artist. I know what I can do. There ain’t a nigga out there like me who can rap, sing and play the piano equally like me and still stay true to their selves. If there’s someone out there like that, tell them to get at me. If I had the right marketing and promotion behind me, definitely, and I base that off of the response I get from the people.
Does it ever bother you that you’re still associated with Nas today?
No, because I would rather be remembered for something than to be remembered for nothing, period. So, I mean, people will tell me “Just a Moment” is one of their favorite songs and that me and Nas have to come with some more shit and that hip-hop needs it. That’s a blessing. That means I got a fan.
Are you still working with L.E.S. today?
I mean, I see him. We’re cool. I got enough songs with him to last me a lifetime. I see him. It’s cool. It’s all love. There ain’t no animosity. That’s my nigga. I got nothing bad to say about L. I got nothing bad to say about Nas. I don’t agree with how he’s handled business but in realness and actuality, he’s known for being a great artist. He’s not known for being a great businessman and people gotta understand that he’s fine with that. He’s fine with being an MC and an artist, obviously.
What producers are you working with today?
Plenty. Sha Money, Nottz. I fuck with Nottz. He’s from Virginia, more than everybody. I see him a few times out the week or we talk. That’s like my brother from another mother. Who else? Shit, I got tracks from Ron Browz. It’s been a minute since we seen each other. I got tracks from L. Lots of dudes. Buckwild. Good nigga. Needlz. Good nigga and a lot of up-and-coming producer dudes that’s real hot.
What should we be looking for from Quan?
I just released Carrying the Tradition mixtape. I got the Walking Testimony pre-album coming out. I’m not sure exactly with who. Me and Amalgam is talking but I’m not sure where that’s going. I’m really shopping that until I find a comfortable placement for that. And then I’m just going to keep on going. More than likely another mixtape after that and then I can release an R&B album. Who knows? I’m about the music and I’m not about to stop for nothing. I’m just going to keep on flooding the streets until the powers that be have no choice but to come and see me.