Generally speaking, rapping is easy. Anyone can put words together over a beat or a cappella and elicit a response from their peers. But not everyone can battle. In this competitive realm of rapping where artists come a dime a dozen, it takes passion for music and love for the art to stand amongst the elite and avoid being grouped amongst the weak. As I stated in the past, today the Midwest is home of some of these elite. Specifically in the city of Detroit, Michigan.
One Detroit battle rapper that stands out is QP. His style and gift with words has gained him a small fan base in 2011 as one of the premier Freshmen of Ultimate Rap League. His debut in March against St. Louis' B. Magic, another top contender in the new class, is considered one of the best battles of the year, if not the best. My partner in crime, the lovely lady Bell The Realist, got the chance to speak to QP as he candidly spoke on how he broke through on the scene, why the Midwest is so popular, and which New Jersey battle rapper he plans to destroy.
For starters, let me just say that you’re one of my favorite rookies. I love your style. Who are some of your favorite rookies?
I fuck with all the rookies. I think that some of the rookies is going to have to be held back and be rookies again next year. That ain’t got nothing to do with QP, you feel me?
You’re so messy and mean!
[Laughs]. Nahh, I just put shit on the floor like carpet. But all jokes aside, what I really think is that this class that’s coming in right now is not playing with niggas. We ain’t playing with none of these niggas. At all. You feel me? This group of young men that’s coming in is ready. Me and B. Magic done hit the main stage already so these niggas need to pack their lunch bags because it’s getting real serious.
Word. So who is your favorite rookie besides yourself?
I’m gonna have to say John John and B. Magic.
I love both of them too! Aside from that, you’re fairly new on the scene, so a lot of people really don’t know too much about you. I know when I first heard about you, everyone was calling you “Qleen" and I was like, “who in the fuck is Qleen?” So for those of us who do not know much about you, tell us about yourself. How did you come up? What got you into battling?
I been battling. My brother [Midwest] Miles, was on Animal House, and I used to watch, and felt like it was real to get in a ring and stand in front of a nigga and tell him about himself, and the nigga can’t get mad about it. Well, they can get mad about it, but who the fuck cares? It’s something that I always liked to do. But I came up through Animal House, and I battled on quite a few other leagues. I really came up from URL though. I ain’t come up until I was in URL. Before that, I was getting like 15,000 or 20,000 views. You know what I’m saying? Got on URL, I got me about 100,000 of em! With B. Magic is how I came up.
Yeah, that battle was classic, too! We were talking about that on twitter. That battle was better than the Hitman vs. Hollow battle to me. And I love Hitman and Hollow, but this battle was better to me.
Yeah, I seen comments that said that. People were saying that our battle was better than some of the Summer Madness battles. You know what I’m saying? They were saying it was better than some of the Night of Main Events battles. People was saying that it’s the battle of the year. That shit’s crazy to me. To be honest, I was just looking at it as another battle, you know what I’m saying? When people look at that shit, they say, “that shit’s cold as hell!” I didn’t know that would happen. They matched me and B. Magic by accident. That’s what’s so crazy about it. It wasn’t even supposed to happen. We weren’t even a match where people were anticipating us. It was just a match that was thrown together to see what we was gon’. They didn’t know what the outcome was gon’ be.
Word. Often times, it’s different from when you’re at the battle and when you see it on footage. Is there anything that you would’ve done differently?
Yeah, something I would’ve done different is that I would’ve left earlier and got there on time. It was time consuming and I got there late. That New York ass traffic! Another thing is I would’ve prepared better. I wrote my 3rd round on the way there, but people ain’t know that. Overall, just being a little more prepared and a little more on point. It was so urgent when I got in there. When I got in, I would spit, then I couldn’t hear nothing he was saying. So I was thinking like, “this nigga ain’t fucking with me,” you feel me? I ain’t hear nothing he was saying until I went back and looked at it.
What did you think when you went back and looked? How would you critique his battle against you?
I tell people all the time, there is only two people that I stood in the ring with that I just wanted to shut the fuck up. I was like, “man, I don’t need him to get no more bars off. “ That’s B. Magic and Pooh. Pooh is from Chicago. B. Magic called me a jiggaboo. Everybody else laughed, and I was like, “damn, I’m a jiggaboo in glitter boots?”
Yeah it was hilarious. Aside from that, your last battle was with Rosenburg Raww. After that battle, you were supposed to be battling John John Da Don. Why isn’t that happening?
That’s a no-brainer. Tay Roc stepped in the way of that, and it was a lot of politics. Politics played a big part in that. I wanted to battle John John. I was actually excited about the battle. I was looking forward to it. The politics just played a major part in me and John John not being able to battle. It’s not like it will never happen. We can definitely make it happen. Right now I just got something bigger on my plate.
How do you feel about the whole John John and URL controversy?
Everybody know that SMACK is the NBA of this shit. I guess SMACK looked at it like if you’re playing in the NBA, why would you go back to college to hoop? That makes no sense. You feel me? I can’t speak for nobody else. That’s one thing I wouldn’t do, because that could hurt you. Not saying nothing bad about John John or taking nothing away from him, but that’s not something I would do. I just don’t talk to nobody. I stay to myself. I stay quiet. You know? I don’t really comment on what’s going on with other people. I really don’t know, but maybe that played a part in it.
Point taken. I feel you. At one point, you were scheduled to battle Big Kannon in Chicago and you were supposed to battle Juicezilla in STL. Its kinda like all your battles are being canceled, and that could cause a bad reputation.
I don’t want people to get it misconstrued. The battles were canceled by me. I specifically canceled the battles because it was a big thing with me and Big Kannon. I told him I was preparing for John John. I ain’t want to do the whole 3 rounds with Big Kannon. I wanted to do a 1 round unlimited. They didn’t want that. Then I got the offer from Juice. I needed something to do because I was bored. Then I got the offer from SMACK. It really kicked in how important it is that all my preparation went into Tay Roc. They weren’t canceled due to them. They were canceled due to me needing my preparing time. You have to be responsible and know when to put yourself out there. I didn’t want to hurt myself. I’m trying to take as less losses as possible.
[Laughs]. That’s what’s up. Random question: earlier you said Miles was your brother. Is he your real brother?
Yes, that’s my real brother.
I didn’t know that. I learn something new every day. [laughs]. Okay, so the Proving Grounds. How do you feel about the PG as far as what it does for new people coming onto the scene?
I love the Proving Grounds. If it wasn’t for the Proving Grounds, QP wouldn’t be shit. And it’s that simple. A lot of niggas wouldn’t be shit. B. Magic wouldn’t be shit, QP wouldn’t be shit, and Bill Collector wouldn’t be shit. Without PG, we would all just be average niggas out here, you feel me? Proving Grounds made it possible for us to go the opposite way. We don’t have to be that. I love the Proving Grounds. I’ll come back anytime to show love to the Proving Grounds.
You’ll come back even when you get top tier? When you get just full-blown URL?
Hell yeah. If it’s somebody out there who is worth it, and their buzz is as big as mine or B. Magic’s, or Bill Collector’s, I’ll definitely come back to the Proving Grounds to battle them because there ain’t no doubt in my mind that they gon’ be something in the future.
You’re so humble!
I don’t like all that Hollywood shit. Niggas be hollerin’ ,”I ain’t gon’ battle you until you get this many views or that many followers because I got a big name!” At the end of the day, anybody in URL can beat anybody at any given time. I don’t give a damn if it’s Nuborn vs. Math Hoffa. If it ain’t Math’s day, it just ain’t his day, you know what I’m sayin’? So all that Hollywood shit be unnecessary to me. I went through that a lot. Now its people coming back to me wanting to battle, and I tell em, “nahh nigga, I’m good. I don't want to do that.”
Speaking of “Hollywood,” if you could take any one of these niggas who think their hollywood’s head off, who would it be?
Tsu Surf! Tsu Surf.
You would kill Surf?
I will kill Surf.
You would kill Surf?
I will kill Surf. I will kill him. Once I battle Surf, I don’t give a damn about nobody else. I’m jumping from every league. Once I kill Surf, I’m not gon’ care no more. That’s my main objective. Once I get to him, I’m good.
Why Surf though?
Because he just got a lot of mouth, you know, and I think that he just needs to be humbled. I just don’t think Surf will look that good in the ring with me. I think I know how to dismantle Surf. His last battle was crack, don’t get me wrong, you feel me? But that was against K-Shine. K-Shine ain’t no QP.
That would be a good battle though! Further on down the line, I would like to see that. I really would, because it would be interesting. You’re hilarious, and Surf is rah-rah, gun-play, lock-picking, and all that, so it would be an interesting contrast to see in the ring.
Yeah, he want to lock pick doors and wear masks, and all that trifling, nasty shit.
But I love when he lock picks the door! Especially when he does the sound effect! Can you do the sound effect?
[Laughs] I ain’t about to do that shit! I’ll lock pick his door if it’s some bitches in there. I don’t want to find him and Suge in some boyshorts.
[Laughs]. I find often times that it’s hard for battle rappers to transition from battling to making music. Surf, for instance, makes great music. His latest mixtape (Surf's Up Volume 1) is classic. Hollow, on the other hand, not so good. That’s my nigga and all that, but his music isn’t that great. Are you transitioning into music? Do you have a mixtape or anything coming out?
That’s the whole thing. I transitioned into battle rap from music, you feel me? My music is there. I can write R&B music. I’m not just saying I can make music. I really can write good music. You gon’ see, because my mixtape is coming soon, Qleen as a Whistle.
Is your tape going to be industry beats or original beats?
Will you be selling it on iTunes?
I’m putting it everywhere. I want to put it on iTunes, but I ain’t got nothing that got to do with a “i.” I ain’t got no i-pad, no i-phone, no i-pod. Nothing. I got a i.d.
[Laughs] I look forward to hear that. Your next battle: Who are you battling and where are y’all battling?
I battle Tay Roc in October. We battling in Detroit.
After this battle, what’s up next for you?
Well, I got somebody on my radar, but I’m not telling y’all who it is just yet. I think y’all will enjoy it. But when it’s all said and done, I’m trying to be that guy. I want it to where you can’t mention battle rap without mentioning me. Right now, its niggas out here listening who13 and 14, and they don’t know nothing about Murda Mook. You feel me? They might know his name, but they don’t know him. They know who Surf is. I’m trying to be the big name in my era.
You’re so humble. “You’re a humble man as hell!” did I use “as hell” right?!
[laughs] Yeah, you used it right. You used it right as hell!
Word. In my opinion, the Midwest is kinda the place to be right now if you’re a battle rapper. Where do you think the most talent in the Midwest stems from?
Detroit. We’re just hungrier. We want to do this. It’s deep down in us, that why a lot of people are trying to do it. We are the most determined. We have a lot more drive. We weren’t known for having lyrical skills, so we have a lot more to prove. We didn’t get noticed until Eminem.
Okay. I feel that. For the people who want to contact you, give them your contact information.
Hit me up in twitter @DaRealQP100. Follow me on there to contact me.
That’s what’s up! Well, thank you for doing the interview! It’s been a pleasure. You’re one of the most humble people I’ve ever met. I appreciate you taking the time to do the interview.
Yea! One more thing, it’s a difference between metaphors and real rap!