2RQ with DJ Trend

By: Brandon McGinnis - Posted: 2010-02-13

2RQ @ Columbia Street West


Laquinn Norwood - Spittin' the flow

DJ Trend - On the 1's and 2's & still images


                I've never done a hip-hop review before, or even really been to a live hip-hop show. I have listened to a lot of hip-hop and rap over the course of my life being obsessed with car stereo's in my younger years. And since every review I've done so far for the site have been "rock" bands, I decided to switch it up a little. I was introduced to 'Q' as a lot of people call him, by my guy TJ (thanks again for that) at the show on Saturday night. He was slated to perform with Elephants in Mud in between sets. I offered to write this review because the hip-hop community doesn't really get any love on this site and I wanna show 'em some.  Anyways, back on track here, Elephants in Mud is one of my favorite live bands to watch and if they got someone performing with them, the other act is definitely worth watching. Tonight was no different.

                'Q' aka Laquinn Norwood, aka 2RQ, aka "spittin-so-real-make-ya-head-flip guy", is really something else.  Haha I neglected to mention that I made that last part up, but it kind of goes with his style. Q (as I'll call him from here on out) isn't like every other local 'rapper'. And I can't even really call him a rapper, because it's not the typical gangster stuff that everyone's trying to do. Q stands apart from other local artists in that he does his own thing. He talks about what's real to him and the people around him; making music that appeals to everyone, by copying no one. I gotta give it up to DJ Trend as well. Dude is definitely great at what he does. Not only does he chop up the beats on the tables, he is a damn good photographer too (check here for pics of the night - http://bit.ly/9BVHZZ ). But yeah back to the man of the hour. He's been doing what he does since '97, writing, listening, expanding, and flowing and is still going strong today. He was a former member of the Basement Headz, but has focused on his own solo efforts since 2000. He's got 2 albums out (one you gotta get from him, and the other will be available on iTunes soon) as well as a new one slated for release in 2011 that'll be on iTunes as well. When I asked Q who his influences were, I didn't get a response I expected. To quote him a little bit, "I'm influenced by everything really... Run DMC, Rakim, LL Cool J, U2, Madonna...".  Yes he said Madonna.

                There's nothing Madonna about Q's performance besides that he gets everyone moving just like she would have. Okay I'm done referencing Madonna. Now don't get it confused, he's not as pretty as Madonna. Hahaha alright. Now, on to the show. Q starts his performance by getting out into the crowd and showing 'em some love. Walking around to everyone at the front of the stage, shaking hands, and getting love back. He doesn't just stand up on stage and rap, swing a towel in circles over his head, or pull up his pants and do the rock-away. He gets everyone in the crowd involved with songs like "Intro Muzik" or "16 Candles", which was a new one he threw out for the ladies on Valentine's eve. Although kind of sad, it sends a positive message to love and not abuse the ones you have. He's a genuine dude with a lot of genuine shit to say. The only rapper I could even come close to comparing him to would be Eminem and that is simply based on the tone of his voice. But he's just as passionate about his music as Eminem is (or claims to be because I don't know him personally) too.  He spit out 7 or 8 songs w/DJ Trend and then climbed on stage to do one more song with Elephants in Mud at the end of the night. The video for this is tagged on his facebook (Elephants in Mud w/2RQ - Aint No Lookin Back - http://bit.ly/aH8rmU ).

                I'm not a rap guy. I'm not a hip-hop guy. But this is something I can really appreciate being a musician and a person. Dude is real. One way or another you can relate to something he has to say. Q is all about having a good time. He's out to show people that hip-hop isn't all about stippers, and how many whips you got, or what price your birds are flyin' at. Catch this guy out playing shows with DJ Trend and rumors of a college tour with Elephants in Mud have been floating around (I'll definitely be catching them down at IU). Definitely if you get a chance to, go out and see these guys perform. Solo or together, both Q and Trend are brilliant. And add one of the dopest dub bands around.... Just do me a favor...


Check 'em out




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