Q Bosilini, “The Beautiful Struggle.”
Chattanooga hip-hop artist and producer Q Bosilini is no stranger to the abrupt twists and turns that the music industry can throw at aspiring musicians. He began his professional career all the way back in 1997 when he signed on with Atlanta-based label Big South Ent. He maintained a working relationship with Big South until 2001, which was when he founded his own label, Wyde Open Records, alongside James DJ Jimm-e Swafford. However, after an impressive opening slot for Nappy Roots in 2002, Q found himself with an option of signing with 101 Ent., but differing opinions during contract mediations forced him to walk away. He was then approached by Goodie Mob Records for an artist-producer contract, but, again, things fell apart and Q found himself without a label.
After the subsequent release of a handful of records and performances opening for artists such as Clipse, Rick Ross and Gucci Mane, he took the fundamentals of his Dirty South influences and mixed them with the pomp and theatricality of late ’70s funk and soul, molding the sounds into a coherent hip-hop perspective that bleeds authenticity and experience. His work is filled with singular insights and collaborative awareness, resulting in a collection of tracks that speaks to his own history while examining the overarching legacy of rap music as a whole. Drawing inspiration from musicians such as 2Pac, UGK and Scarface, he finds a midpoint between the vicious lyricism of the mid-’90s and the creative investigations occurring in modern rap music.
On his latest record, “The Beautiful Struggle,” Q once again explores ways to harmonize the various threads of hip-hop into a single workable outlook. He doesn’t cling to any given time period or line of musical thought; the songs work from a more expansive viewpoint, collecting stray bits of melody and tone that he combines to form some truly memorable hooks and choruses. He possesses a distinct voice, one that doesn’t bend to convention or fashion, opting instead for a seamless mixture of old and new techniques. Echoes of the dramatic rhythmic movements of the ’70s and ’80s mingle with the gaunt hip-hop rhythms that littered the landscape of the early ’90s, shaking with the fierce grip of his guidance and imagination.
Joining forces with artists such as Kay B. Brown, DJ Chico, Lil Frostbyte, Cam Corrupt, Spice 1, TheBlakRoom, Jelly Roll and Charlie P, he has created an album that speaks to countless communal histories that ache with personal tragedy and struggle. There’s a noticeable density to the arrangements, which build an imposing musical backdrop through which he guides us. Tracks such as “Let God” and “Mommas Don’t Let Your Babies” offer advice on how to shake that weight from your shoulders and gain some perspective on the troubles that seem to rush in on all sides. “I Ain’t Wit It” and “Dead Got It So Good” look at the darker sides of everyday life, shining a light on difficult times and how they can bring you low. But there is hope as well, a brief glinting light that reveals the opportunities we have to better ourselves and our lives. And on “The Beautiful Struggle,” Q Bosilini shows us how to rise above tribulation and hold on to those possibilities until they become reality.
Joshua Pickard covers local and national music, film and other aspects of pop culture. You can contact him on Facebook, Twitter or by email. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.