Q-Unique Has Seen So Much Happen In Hip-Hop. He Explains In A Rap (Video)
The Arsonists are a five-member Hip-Hop group that made strong waves during the 1990s. The squad included Q-Unique, D-Stroy, Freestyle, Swel Boogie, and Jise One. They began as a Brooklyn-based Hip-Hop crew known as Bushwick Bomb Squad, but they took on their fire-starter moniker when their first 12” was released through Bobbito’s Fondle ‘Em Records in 1998. This team’s 1999 debut album, As The World Burns, is an underground gem and was the last full-length recorded by all five members.
Well, 2018 is a big year for The Arsonists, as they dropped Lost In The Fire with Below System Records. All five members reunited to record half a dozen fresh tracks. As if that wasn’t enough for Arsonists fans, Q also recently dropped his latest solo, The Mechanic (embedded below). This body of work features production from Ayatollah, Stu Bangas, Sicknature and more, not to mention cameos from Q’s regular collaborator Ill Bill, DJ Eclipse, and battle monster Nems.
The Puerto Rican-American MC unleashed a new video last week for “I Seen,” a track that documents some of the priceless moments the mic-rocker has been privy to. He details his best memories as a fan and artist. He spits lines like, “Seen Crazy Legs wearing sheepskin boots / Seen me with The Arsonists overseas with The Roots / Seen A Tribe Called Quest record ‘Lyrics To Go’ / The Source gave them four mics, the critics don’t know / Seen Busta Rhymes chop locks and go clean cut / Seen Big Pun go ‘Off The Books’ with the Beatnuts / I seen Roc Raida cross the fader with his right and left hands / I seen Nas and Main Source live at the Wetlands.” Q, who worked with Ill Bill and Eclipse at Fat Beats, also makes mention of Paul Rosenberg dropping off releases on consignment for a Detroit MC named Eminem.
For an era when the underground can sometimes feel distant, Q-Unique’s single is a reminder of how small the world is, and how vivid his memories are. It’s all an easy walk-back in time within a career of being a dedicated fan and a dope artist at the same time. In the video, he is sitting in the middle of a graffiti-laced abandon building, and going through a scrapbook while he reminiscences. The video has effects to give it that Camcorder look, adding to the nostalgic feel.
Russian producer DJ Matvey combines a hard snare, police sirens, and orchestral stabs to create a beat that would have fit on Group Home’s debut. The Ruskie also has two other production credits on The Mechanic.
Unique also has a more rock-tinged album on the way with Iron Myke titled Medina Bridge that drops on Halloween.
#BonusBeat: Stream Q-Unique’s The Mechanic:
Press photo by Erika Quiles for Like No Other Photography.