Q DA KID ft. SLICK PULLA “AMERICAN MADE”
(Official Music Video)
Q da Kid Biography
As the saying goes, good things come to those who wait. But sometimes being patient in the rap game can lead to obscurity. Q, the first artist signed to Tag Records and Island Def Jam, landed one the most exciting new artist deals in recent history thanks to his tireless determination to be at the forefront of the music industry. With the backing of Procter & Gamble (the Fortune 500 consumer goods corporation behind Tag Body Spray) and Island Def Jam, the rapper born Kareem Savage will have a steady stream of marketing dollars for his yet-to-be titled debut album, which is expected out later this year.
“I was featured in every Tag commercial and every magazine ad,” says Q. “I filmed a MTV Diary. Being a new artist out of nowhere doing and MTV Diary? That doesn’t happen!
While the majority of the country may be meeting Q for the first time thanks to an incredible amount of instant exposure, New York City rap fans have been acquainted with the Brooklyn-born MC for quite some time. In the late ‘90s, Q dropped out of Kingsborough College to pursue a career in the music industry. He was offered a deal with Violator Records along with fellow Brooklyn rappers Red Café and Gravy. The trio called themselves Da Franchise, a name they came up with in high school.
During their stint at Violator, Da Franchise was featured on multiple mixtapes and both Violator compilations. Even though their work was well received, the group was never given the opportunity to release their own album. “We were signed for like three years but they wasn’t really trying to push forward,” says Q. “We were just stuck on the label and they didn’t know what to do with us. I was the first person to branch off and leave.”
Hoping to write his own destiny, Q moved to Miami in 1997 and recorded a demo with super producers Cool & Dre. He was introduced to a bevy of industry bigwigs and even offered a deal with one of the country’s most notorious heavyweights. “I met up with Mike Tyson and he was starting a label and he wanted me to be his first artist,” says Q, “but I was not trying to be back in the same situation as Violator so I went into the studio by myself and just kept recording more and more songs.”
During his four year stay in the Sunshine State, Q became a mainstay in the M.I.A. club scene known for his spontaneous live performances. He would team up with DJs like Khaled and Irie and kick live freestyles over whatever record was a hit at the time. After building a name for himself in Miami, Q decided to pack up and head to Atlanta in 2001, which was quickly becoming a hip-hop hotbed.
Once he settled in ATL, Q befriended DJ Shakim who was Bow Wow’s DJ and an associate of
Jermaine Dupri’s. Shakim was impressed by Q’s lyrical prowess and the innovative freestyles he tacked onto the end of popular records. Before long, Shakim was playing Q’s homemade remixes in Atlanta’s hottest clubs. “Shakim kept telling me, ‘Yo, I’ve been hollering at JD and we’ve been having conversations about you,’” says Q. “Then one day I was in the club and I heard Shakim call me to the DJ booth. When I got there JD was in there. He was like, ‘What are you doing with yourself?’ I was like, ‘Trying to get it, here’s my number.’ He called me the next morning and I went into the studio with him the same night.”
In the summer of 2006, Q signed with So So Def/Virgin and appeared on a number of songs with A-list artists including, Fabolous’ “Make Me Better,” featuring Ne-Yo, “No One” by Alicia Keys, “Fine” by Mary J. Blige, and “Can’t Help But Wait” by Trey Songz. When Jermaine Dupri was named an executive at Island in early 2007, Q wasn’t sure how he would fit into JD’s new situation. “While he was getting established in the [Def Jam] building he kept telling me, ‘Be patient, I got you,’” says Q. “He told me that for a good year and a half straight. Then he called me one day and was like, ‘I might have a situation that would be good for you.’ We sat down and that’s when he told me about the Tag deal. He said it would be a good look for me and that I deserved it because I grind hard for what I want and that’s what the whole brand is about.”
Dubbing himself “The new breed of hip-hop,” Q is now ready to take over. “When I really put it together, I could be in the category of Rakim, Nas and Jay-Z,” he says. “Most rappers just be in the streets talking about selling drugs and stuff like that. I’m more into telling my story. Big was someone who was into telling his story, ‘Pac was a person who told his story, Jay is a person who tells his story.”
After a few deals, Q left the label due to personal issues between L.A. Reid and Jermaine Dupri. “At times L.A. and JD would see each other in the office and just walk past one another without even speaking,” says Q. The two moguls couldn’t see eye to eye on several issues and artists of which caused tension amongst the pair as well as the label. Due to JD bringing Q in the situation and mentoring him, Q sensed a feeling of unimportance from L.A. Reid. “I called my lawyer and told him that I want out, and left that situation”
Currently, Q has been busy raising his daughter, performing and touring several of hits such as “On A Mission”, “It Was All A Dream”, “Forgive Them” ft. Anthony Hamilton, “Eyes Can See” produced by No ID and “Fast Lane (Dream Big)” ft. Bun B all over the nation. He is in heavy rotation all around the world with his remixes and singles. He still resides in Atlanta and has improved his fan base and audience with his lyrical ability, content and charisma. Some of his future projects include an EP with the legendary producer DJ Toomp, his Iammatic mixtape tribute to Nas “Illmatic” album and his “I Am Him” project set to drop late 2012.