QM is “Still Here”

It is tough to break an image society paints on you, especially when the media obnoxiously drags it on. The press hung on to this man`s name until the hype behind him settled down a bit, proceeding to never talk about his artistry and who he really is. I vowed when I started this blog that I would talk about this man`s artistic genius, rather than the box the media continues to place him in. So when I mention Quentin Miller`s name, if the first thing you think is “ghostwriter”, you clearly have no understanding of his work. I remember randomly running into QM`s clique (WDNGcrshrs) on Youtube back in 2013, loving the sound they were creating, and their videos were simple, but dope. From that time I have kept up with this artists` work, including great projects like “Hey Thanks A lot 3”, “Gunmetal Grey”, and his most recent mixtape “The Essentials Vol.1”, not to mention many great singles. Miller was involved in a critical car accident in 2016, resulting in the amputation of his foot. He reflects on this event quite a bit in his last two tapes, it is evident that it changed his way of thinking and the way he conducts himself. So in June of this year, when Miller dropped “Falco”, I was not surprised at the fact that it was his third project in just 6 months; but I was relieved to hear Quentin`s positive tone in this album. It seems like Miller had a great time making this album with the likes of Pusha T, Hit-Boy and of course his team. QM included his usual style of trap-sounding instrumentals, with exquisite samples from his boy Nick Miles. The album starts with “Still Here”, with a Quentin produced (atmospheric) trap beat and the Atlanta-based rapper applying his usual relaxed, no worries, delivery; he even flaunts his skills a bit stating, “f**k you n****s think it`s 2017 I made this album in a week”, ironically it`s my favorite track on the project. If you know me at all, you know I can`t really f**k with this new “mumble rap” movement, although sometimes the production may be on point. What Quentin does is serve the same kind of beats (with more interesting samples of course), but his delivery is so relaxed that I can still listen to, and think about what he is saying. People argue, why is it necessary to think while listening to music? That is exactly what is wrong with hip-hop these days in my opinion; where rappers used to challenge themselves to deliver lyrics stirring up thought, these days it seems the rappers prefer to turn up the 808s and mumble about nonsense. Of course there are exceptions like Miller, who seems to have respect for the soldiers that fought for the game and its audible through his work. Miller has had a large influence on our production; I believe he has created a new wave for producers, and I must give him credit on account of all the salt surrounding him and lack of recognition for what he has brought to hip-hop; but frankly, QM seems to pay no mind to it and persists doing what he does. I prescribe anyone who has a preconceived notion of this man, to actually listen to some of his sounds including this album, and I promise if you like “real” hip-hop or even trap, you cannot be disappointed.




Jay Worthy and Alchemist take us to “Fantasy Island”

Anytime Alan the Chemist (the Alchemist) is the executive producer on a song, mix tape, album- or whatever, it’s a must listen in my book. As a native New Yorker I can really appreciate his loop formation and style of production, essentially what I grew up listening to. So, as soon as I peeped, “produced by the Alchemist” on Jay Worthy`s new tape “Fantasy Island”, I thought to myself at least the production will be on point, I gotta hear this. But after my first listen, I admitted I was mistaken. Not only are the beats vibey (made my own word) as heck, but this man Worthy can spit bars like a New York n****a, although he claims to be from Compton. The project begins with “Stepping Out” ft. Sha Hef, and of course the Alchemist mixes a dope sample with some guitar sound while Jay Worthy starts spitting with his usual calm persona. Right from the get the tape engulfs you, and the dopest part is how all the tracks flow into one another like a classic mixtape, which makes this a very easy listen. My personal favorite track has to be the second on the project, “Lost my Lex”, just because of how it makes me actually feel like I’m on a fantasy island with the ocean splashing and birds chirping; then suddenly, the beat drops with Alchemist`s signature beautifully cut sample of Junko Ohashi’s “Rouge Et Noir” followed by Worthy stepping in with so much swag, “But f**k it though, lost my lex, back up in my bunker though”. With features like Big Body Bes, Meyhem Lauren, Rugotti etc. this tape definitely gives you that Action Bronson type of feel, which I happen to love. This style of production is one that has definitely influenced us here at Nerlens Snelren, when we create our art. Although the music industry doesn’t always respect this style of rap, and you probably wont attain much fame taking this route, these artists must understand how much people like us appreciate them. Artists that are not just using the esteemed culture of Hip-Hop for their monetary gain, but shining a light on what made this genre of music, a culture and a movement, continuing to show respect to the roots while introducing their contemporary take on it. I look forward to more projects from Jay Worthy and I recommend this project to anyone who understands hip-hop at a deep level, at the same time I suggest those of you kids who don’t know who Biggie is or where hip hop stems from— ahem ahem; turn off the Yachty for a second, open your ears to this, you might just learn a thing or two.