GQ Death Threats and Love Notes: The Prelude

GQ Death Threats and Love Notes: The Prelude
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As the latest artist to sign with Grammy-winning producer 9th Wonder's Jamla label, California rapper GQ is a former NCAA Champion, and was en route to the NBA before releasing his first record in 2010. Today, as he prepares to release his debut album, GQ has given listeners something to hold onto in the meantime with mixtape Death Threats and Love Notes: The Prelude. Primarily over 9th Wonder and Eric G. production, GQ manages to bring the West coast, laid-back style, with poignant storytelling deliveries. He spits, "paint the perfect picture, then live in it," and that's exactly what he does. GQ's hunger and passion are beyond evident in the way he articulates life growing up in Oakland: aggressive and passionate, but ultimately relatable. While GQ holds his own throughout the majority of the album, songstress Carlitta Durand joins him on "This is Me" to bring back the nostalgic feel of a Little Brother track: effortless bars, wispy vocals and '70s sampling. Likewise, the Khrysis-produced "I Know," where GQ is joined by fellow labelmate Rapsody and Rockie Evans, is a powerhouse collaboration and testimony to the strength of the Jamla imprint. Tracks like "The Town" and "Amazing" are laced with vivid imagery, while "I'm Gone" serves as a glimpse into who GQ really is. As a prelude to a debut, this 13-track mixtape allows GQ to shine; he may not have a lengthy recorded rap history, but he's definitely recording his story. (Independent)