Music Producer, MC and Label Owner, Eric IQ Gray also known as I.Q. Inc. or just Q, has been producing music since 1983. From Trenton, New Jersey to Hamburg, Germany, Q’s philosophy has always emphasized the quality and the spirit of his music. He says it has always been important to him to share the knowledge of his craft generously with others he meets along the way.
Having dived into other music genres, like Electronic Music, Pop, Rock and Reggae or taking cues from them was to enhance and broaden the foundation of Hip Hop, Q’s first musical and cultural home. The exploration of new ground is engraved into his path as a musician and producer while being true to the elements of Hip Hop. One of those elements, he says, seems to have been forgotten -having fun!
With the album “Rapatriation”, Q says that he is attempting to bring Rap home to Brooklyn, New York – back to its roots. The 12-track album is literally a solo effort, apart from Chellie who is featured on one of the lead singles “Nightclub” and also on “Wasn’t Meant To Be”.
In a hip-hop world filled with untalented artists, dumbed down lyrics, and recycled club beats, “Rapatriation” is a breath of fresh air. Q doesn’t submit to MTV rap on this album, his songs are all about his lyrics, and with his talent, there is no need to wonder why. I think that this is a very inspired album that speaks volumes for Q’s ability to rap and relate to urban life. Listening to each and every song, one can hear the thought and creativity put into the words and beats.
“Rapatriation” is filled with immaculate beats, and the kind of soul, excitement, and social involvement, that has not been present in Rap since the 90’s. If you love a great, lyrically advanced emcee then get this album. Q is one of the best wordsmiths in a dying breed of lyrical rappers (mostly Mos Def, Talib Kweli, The Roots and early OutKast, but there a few others)
A masterpiece in its story-telling and personality, “Rapatriation” seems like it’s talking directly to you. Whereas you might respect and want to meet Mos Def after hearing any of his albums, you’ll truly feel like you really know Eric IQ Gray after listening to this.
Q flows effortlessly and seamlessly against organic beats that some may consider vintage. Even more amazing is that these beats sound so much better and fresher than 99% of the beats churned out across radio stations worldwide.
Unlike the trend of rappers muttering incoherent babble and passing it off as metaphorical, Eric IQ Gray actually makes sense in his lyrics. And like most masters, he makes it look easy without trying. I literally played this album from beginning to end without skipping any tracks and amazingly, enjoyed every second of it. Q gives you your full money’s worth here.
Too bad people are more interested in swagger and cardboard images in Hiphop instead of truly great music. If it were the other way around, “Rapatriation” would be one of the top Rap albums of 2014.
While “Pushin’ That Love” and “Nightclub ” are the catchier tracks currently doing the rounds on Youtube etc., its “Friends Become Enemies”, “Wasn’t Meant To Be”, “Put The Work In It”, “Guns In America”, “The Music Business” and “Got My Mojo Back” that captures my attention with their lyrical substance and creative beats.
The album as a whole is immensely refreshing, because there really is almost no good Rap music being released these days. Q put together an album which focuses on the music rather than his image and for that he has my infinite respect. I cannot believe how much time, effort, skill, creativity, and straight up dope rhymes and real beats Eric IQ Gray contributed to “Rapatriation”.