BQ Tha Emcee
07 March 2013
[ BayUndaground.com ] : What's good BQ! Tell our readers something about yourself to start off the interview. Who are you and where are you from?
[ BQ Tha Emcee ] : Things are lovely my dude! BQ Tha Emcee here. I'm a West Coast artist originally from Orange County, CA who has also lived as far north as Sacramento. Currently, I reside in windy Illinois by way of the United States Air Force.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Give us some details on your military background.
[ BQ Tha Emcee ] : 13 plus years strong now and it's my life. Besides Illinois I've been stationed in California and Florida. I've been deployed 5 times and was a part of history, being one of the first Air Force members to ever step foot on Balad Air Base, Iraq. We built up part of the base and for a while went without water, electricity or much variety of food. We had to actually poor bottles of water over ourselves to bathe yet throw the same sweaty uniform back on since we couldn't wash them. I also spent 4 1/2 years training Air Force Security Forces members in ground combat skills before deployments, so I take offense to any "Chair Force" moniker people like to give me. I've worked pretty hard in my career.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Was it serving your country made you a rapper or has it nothing to do with it?
[ BQ Tha Emcee ] : I was rappin' about 5 years before I joined. It wasn't till I met people with so many different backgrounds that I really found my style. My early years in the military was the only time I've ever been called "wack", so I had to change that. I had to be able to appeal to fans of East Coast, West Coast and Southern Hip Hop because the military has everybody. With that being said, I've never come across another AF cat better than me. There are just a lot of haters out there!
[ BayUndaground.com ] : How does your military life relates to the music your create?
[ BQ Tha Emcee ] : Well like I previously stated, meeting people with so many backgrounds helped mold me into a more well rounded artist. It wasn't until 2 years ago that I incorporated military life in my music and learned of the power to speak to people. It's crazy the level I'm able to reach people now in a way that I never could before.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : How does your music distinguish from thousands of other artists working their names on the scene?
[ BQ Tha Emcee ] : Two years ago I was just another guy rappin'. My style was unique because I added the right amount of mainstream to be catchy but balanced it out with lyricism and realness. The music was great, I had songs with Mistah F.A.B., Crooked I, Balance, Hopsin, Craig G, but I wasn't catching ears because nothing was setting me apart and I was unsure of my target fan base. It wasn't til' I met Soldier Hard that things changed. He told me "There are a lot of military folks rappin', but none of them are rappin' about the military. That's what makes us different." I bought into it. I've been able to develop a style I've branded as "skillitary rap". I reach the target fan base but it's hip-hop enough to reach all types of listeners. You didn't have to grow up on the streets to enjoy gangsta rap so you don't gotta be military to enjoy what we do. It's hip-hop.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Summarize your rap discography. Where can people buy your albums?
[ BQ Tha Emcee ] : I hate talking too much about my older stuff because I've grown so much since them but I have a slew of free albums at BQMuzik.BandCamp.com including my mixtape "#ImTight". The new album can be purchased on CD through that site as well as on iTunes and Amazon. You can even listen on Spotify!
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Tell us about your latest release - "Another Debut". What's the story behind the title?
[ BQ Tha Emcee ] : "Another Debut" as a concept, is a reminder to all artists that each project is a new beginning. People will always be hearing you for the first time, so I maintain the hunger and treat each project as it's my first. It's hip-hop, it's R&B and it's military. It's mature but it's fun. It's lovely. My production team of Mike Shyst and Proud produced 8 of the 15 songs so that I could maintain my own sound. Too much outside production takes away from that.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : How did you hook up with Solider Hard and his Redcon-1 Music Group?
[ BQ Tha Emcee ] : My dude Matai had the idea and put me in touch with him. I think he was looking for an Air Force artist with deployment experience and I fit the bill. Honestly as humble as I am, I don't think there is a better fit than me as far as my experience and ability as an artist. I think I'm a good fit and my style of lyricism was well received by the other artists. We got some beasts over there!
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Can you tell us something more about the military movement that Solider Hard is running? Who's on the label right now? What's the main purpose for Redcon-1?
[ BQ Tha Emcee ] : It's music that heals. He is establishing his own genre and we are a part of it. It's music that speaks to people. That's what hip-hop used to be. You could relate to an artist. Now it's just a bunch of clones with no purpose or message. We are bringing the heart back. We are speaking to people that need to be spoken to. A year and a half back, I did a show with Solider Hard in Ohio. People were crying listening to him perform! I was like wow, that's power! I can't say it in any other way, we just speak to people. Currently, we've also got Stephen Hobbs, J-Deuce, Panda, Frankie Figz, Forte, Kuzzn Bank, Adam JR and HK.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : What are your plans for 2013? Can we expect more music from you this year?
[ BQ Tha Emcee ] : Oh yeah! I'm already working on a double EP: "Skillitary Emcee / Skill.I.Am". One is the military disc and one is raw hip-hop, I call it the civilian disc. Also working on collaborative projects with my dudes Matai and Sabo. My next major project is "State Of Tha Art" with my brother Mike Shyst who is a producer / MC on the album. We got some surprise guests on there. The EP is definitely on deck though, I got people that just wanna hear the military rap and people that just wanna hear the lyrical MC, so I'm doing something for both.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : What's your relation with the US Air Force right now?
[ BQ Tha Emcee ] : I'm still enlisted and loving what I do. The military has been great to me and my kids. I appreciate everything it's done for me.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Anything else you'd like to share - please let it off your chest.
[ BQ Tha Emcee ] : Shouts to my real fans, they know who they are cuz they got a copy of "Another Debut" in their CD player or on their mp3 players right now. Follow Redcon-1 at RedCon1MusicGroup.org. Much love to my own team 8th Starr Entertainment, that's the crew I run. We have a very talented roster of guys and gals and our website which is almost ready. We can be followed at Facebook.com/8thStarrMusic and what makes my crew special is that most of them are my family members. Finally, to anyone who loves great music from a down-to-earth cat, I'm the guy to follow on Facebook.com/bqthaemcee and twitter @bqmuzik. Peace.