In the club, in the hood, and in the game, one dude always sticks out. He’s the fly cat draped in designer on the corner. He’s the epicenter of the dance-floor who gets things popping. He’s the spitter in the studio and on stage who sounds like nobody else. He’s the one who everybody talks about. Go to Cleveland, and they’ll be talking about Q Money. The rapper bobs and weaves between unshakable choruses, ear-catching ad-libs, and catchy and clever cadences.
As hip-hop at large embraces his verbal skills, dancing, and hilarious sense of humor, the artist succinctly sums up who he is best…
“I’m the life of the party,” he grins. “I can have a conversation on any level. I’ve always been a people person. That’s why everybodygravitates towards me no matter where I’m at. It started in Cleveland though. It’s important for me to be the one coming up out of my city. We aren’t Atlanta or Texas, so we don’t get the same attention automatically. Our music is dope. It’s got a lot to do with my drive. I’m genuine and real, because I came from the trenches. I’m going to keep the city on my shoulders and carry it around like a bag of stacks everywhere.”
You could say he was destined to do just that. Among his very first memories, Q Money can vividly recall watching his father drops rhymes in the studio at two-years-old. Capitalizing on that innate love for music, the budding talent studied everyone from The Notorious B.I.G. and Michael Jackson to Future and Kevin Gates as he started rhyming himself.
Admittedly “coming from poverty in the bad parts of the city,” he managed to go from “hustling and getting in trouble” to churning out a string of underground viral hits, beginning with “Prive.” The name Q Money represented the perfect bridge from a past on the streets to a future in the spotlight.
“I used to trap and sell,” he goes on. “One day, I was sitting in the car with my dad, going over my career plans. He was like, ‘You always have money. You love money. You stay with money. Thinking about Gee Money from New Jack City, why not go by Q Money?’ It was perfect.”
Cementing himself as a social media force, his hilarious skits, videos, and consistent content amassed a faithful audience. Leveraging that foundation, he seamlessly pivoted towards what he aimed to do all along: music. His breakout hit “Work” quickly eclipsed 5 million YouTube views and 2 million-plus Spotify streams, paving the way for the fan favorite mixtape, Neva Had Shit. The latter flaunted “Whole Ticket” [feat. YFN Lucci], “Regrets” [feat. Moneybagg Yo], and “Knot” [feat. Money Man], to name a few. 2018 saw him land a high-profile deal with Think It’s A Game Records and Warner Bros. Records. Moreover, he quickly became a critical sensation with Pitchfork claiming, “Q Money is a character and his over-the-top personality could shoot him into stardom.”
He made a major leap towards stardom with his first major label mixtape, Ain’t Sh*t Funny. The lead single “Neat” hinges on an off-kilter and undeniable flow before a hashtaggable hook. Meanwhile, the video highlights his signature “Neat” dance. It embodies his larger-than-life persona all-around.
“When I looked around the house while I was recording, I noticed everything was neat,” he remembers. “I was like, ‘I like my money real neat.’ Everybody wants to be dripping. The concept is to be neat with it instead. Don’t spill anything.”
“Ghost” flaunts the kind of magnetic energy that he’s becoming synonymous with, while the ironclad bars of “Better Than Me” make his mission known with raw and real breathing.
“I don’t feel like anybody is better than me,” he exclaims. “This is my come up.”
In the end, Q Money will be the talk of hip-hop worldwide for a long time to come.
“There are a lot of sides to me,” he leaves off. “I’m serious at times. I’m laughing at times. I’m dancing at times. However, I’m a real artist first and foremost. I lived everything I talk about. It’s authentic. You may see me as a dancer first, but Ain’t Shit Funny, I can rap for real.”