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Prime Suspect: Que Talks “O.G. Bobby Johnson” Success, New Mixtape & Earning His Way Into Rap

By 03.15.14


Words By BEWARE

Word on the street he’s a suspect, but we were able to track Que down at SXSW for a quick convo. Nestled in a quiet space away from the hustle and bustle of Sixth Street, moments of down-time have been far and few between for the Atlanta rapper behind the anthem “O.G. Bobby Johnson.”

With a deal with Atlantic in his back pocket and the words to his buzzing single on the mouths of big name athletes and entertainers, it’d be easy for him to rest but that’s not part of his plan. Read how the upstart and his team are firmly committed to answering “Who Is Que” with a new mixtape and a campaign focused on hustling harder than most.

TSS Crew: “OG Bobby Johnson” is the hottest record in the streets. Why do you think that one popped specifically?

Que: I don’t know. I can’t tell you. Honestly. I just went and had fun with it. I did the track like I do every other song. I just have fun with the songs I do. I try not to pressure myself. It just happened. Fortunately, I was blessed for it to pop.

TSS: You guys put the extra promo into that one, or was it organic?

Que: Nah, nah, nah. Of course we campaigning. We made the rounds with the DJs and in the clubs. There was definitely some money stretching, campaigning and making a movie behind it. I didn’t just put it out there and it popped. We definitely had to go back it up. Put the machine behind it.

TSS: How do you feel about the record blowing up months after dropping? Did it catch you off guard?

Que: Kinda. It didn’t really hit me until I saw a post from LeBron. When I saw the Instagram post from LeBron that sealed the deal for me.

TSS: Yeah. That will do it. [Laughs]

Que: Yeah, I was like, “OK. This motherf*cker out here” [Laughs]

TSS: That had to be a surreal feeling. I know when Jay-Z was rapping it, which gained some steam itself. But, I feel like that’s on a whole other level.

Que: Yeah, it’s a different feeling. And, I’ve played basketball my whole life. So, I been a fan of him. When I saw him say that and said,” “Oh sh*t, this is real.”

TSS: That’s awesome, man. Well, you probably had 20-30 remixes came from that song. Who had the hottest version?

Que: Rico Love. Ain’t no question about it. He had the content, how he wrote to the beat. Swagged that mother*cker out. Most rappers tried to get on there and I guess try to rap like me or whatever, using the same flow. But, he didn’t. At first, it threw me off. I was like, “don’t he sing?” And, then I thought about putting him on the remix. Unofficially.

TSS: That’s big when you’re the artist behind a song and someone else brings something to the table that makes you look at it from a different point of view.

Que: Yeah, he went crazy. I ain’t gon’ lie. He killed these rap n*ggas.

TSS: Beyond the song, how are you and your team going to branch out with your sound? I know you got the “Vato” record with Mustard. What else is going on with Que?

Que: I got a lot of stuff. Who’s Que DVD, coming out March 25. The Who Is Que mixtape, dropping in April. DJ Scream just dropped his single and his album coming out, Hunger Pains. The single called, “Always,” featuring me, Gunplay, Waka Flocka and Tracey T. I got that coming out. I just dropped two songs actually. One is called “Time Police” by my brother Sonny Digital. We shot a video to it and that’s on Live Mixtapes and Trill HD.

Then, I put out another song called “Jungle Fever,” produced by 808 Mafia. Actually, I put that out a week ago and it’s already…it remind me of “Bobby Johnson,” how the beginning of the high…you know, big people tweeting and talking about it. Quoting lines and stuff. The same feeling as “Bobby Johnson” I’m getting with “Jungle Fever.” I can feel it.

TSS: That’s a good feeling, I bet.

Que: That’s a great feeling.

TSS: Will signing with Atlantic help take your game to the next level?

Que: [Laughs] Yeah, definitely. It’s a little more work. Same thing. I still gotta’ work and do the same grind I did. Now, it’s just different. I got a machine behind me. A powerhouse behind me. A stamp. A say-so. I don’t have to work as hard to get the records out. That’s they job. My job is to deliver the records. Still campaign, but deliver the records. They take a little pressure off me, basically.

TSS: I bet it lights a fire under your ass, too.

Que: Yeah, it definitely does. Definitely. It’s dope. I love it.

TSS: Any recommendations for artists trying to break out of ATL? It’s a pretty saturated market.

Que: You took it right out my mouth. Atlanta is saturated as sh*t. There’s so many rappers in Atlanta. Everywhere you look. Right. Left. Behind you. Forward. As a rapper, you just campaign your sh*t. You gotta’ believe in it. You can’t half-ass this sh*t. You can’t come out here with no bullsh*t. When you sleeping, there’s 50 other rappers out here waiting. You come out with some bullsh*t, you gotta’ think, the next man coming something harder than that. You can’t fall into it. You really gotta’ campaign it.

Recording? Anybody can record. That’s not work. I hate when people say, ‘I’m working.’ How you working? Anybody can record a song. You gotta’ do everything. No sleep. Make your rounds. There’s sh*t you’re going to have to do for free. A lot of people think they can just do a show. You gotta’ be requested to do a show. You don’t just automatically get paid for a show. For what? What should I pay you for? You gotta’ earn this sh*t.

Follow Que on Twitter, @WhoIsQue.


TAGS"FIFTEEN MINUTES WITH..."interviewsQueSMOKE BREAKsxswSXSW 2014

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