An interview with quinn

During her NY trip, the Novagang rapper/producer stopped by for a rare conversation.

Well, it finally happened. We pivoted to video did an interview with quinn. If you follow the blog, you’re very likely tapped in with quinn. Maybe you’ve even heard her NTS set for us. In my opinion, she’s one of the great new artists of the 2020s. A hyperpop star turned budding avant rapper. She makes her own beats, which are on some jittery, humid 454-meets-Slauson-Malone these days, and her pen is relatable, earnest and real.

During her recent trip to New York for a show with Novagang, the internet music collective she rejoined earlier this year, quinn stopped by the No Bells Studio (my Bushwick apartment) for a meandering conversation about where life’s taken her since the last time we chatted last summer. Shoutout Anusha Allamsetty for the help with cameras and Srikar Poruri for cameras, set design and the fire edit. Click the link for the full conversation, read on for some highlights.

Interview Highlights

On the energized sound of her recent tapes like interstate185

Shoutout to 454. Listening to his music, he showed me a way that I could do this whole sampling shit and still do the same shit that I was doing before and maintain a stable image around it, if that makes sense. Especially because he was just getting me through shit because I was going through all that bullshit with my ex and I was like, Yo, this joyous ass music, let me turn up real quick, you know what I mean? And, uh, it got me back into the shit that I’m doing now, and I’m probably going to keep doing it in different crazy ways.

On her upcoming album

I want to reserve time for Album Mode because I want to come up with another album, considering one day Jesse [Taconelli] called me and he’s like, “I propose an idea,” and I was like, “What’s the idea?” He does this a lot, and they’re all really good ideas. I’m like, “Okay, what’s up?” And he’s like, “I think you’re in a time where people would like to hear another full length album from you because you’re in another transitional period, just like how you’ve made albums about them every time. I think you have a lot of material that you can put together and come up with a nice full length album if you put your everything into it.”

And I was like, “Damn, you’re actually pretty, right.” Like, I could create some like pretty like sick and dope shit if I lock in.

On graffiti

I made a tweet a long time ago about how sampling is like audio graffiti. I just like the idea of taking a song and changing it entirely. It’s like taking sound waves and bending it. So I don’t know, I feel like my graphics tie into my music a lot in that essence.

The principle of things that were already there being altered for your satisfaction, such as a building that now has my tag on it, or a sample that now has my drums on it, if that makes sense. That’s the best way I can explain it. Graffiti is literally, like, sampling visually. You’re using the building as your canvas, you know what I mean? The building, the fence, the land. It’s fun, too, it gives you a reason to leave the crib.

On the rise of xaviersobased and 1c

It’s new. It’s all new. It’s an endless underground cycle that we’ve all seen since music was a thing. It’s like, Yo, there’s this new thing and we’re going to push the hell out of it because you’ve never heard of it. Nothing wrong with that, by the way. That’s just how shit goes. It has its exposure and it doesn’t die out, but it solidifies into a legitimate genre or sound or swag. This is just another one that we’re experiencing. 

And I guess it’s super dope because I get to witness it from a third person view. I’m not part of 1c or nothing like that, so it’s super cool to see how people similar to me are going up because it reminds me of me in a way, you know what I mean? And they’re just, like, killing it, bro. That sounded like some little bro shit. I didn’t mean it like that. [laughs]

What quinn hopes for from the next 50 years of hip-hop

I hope people aren’t so scared to be who they are. I don’t see none of that shit at all. The only people you ever see it in are the people who are rising above the tradition. Perfect example would be Xavier and 1c. That’s just who they are, bro. They was doing that sound even when it wasn’t cool, you know what I mean? That’s the definition of a pioneer. And it’s not even for the sake of being a pioneer, it’s just for the sake of being you.

N****s are so afraid of being laughed at. N****s care so much about what someone else who shares the same interests as them thinks. … So when people get on that shit, how people are mad reclusive in their interviews, but not even in a way that’s fuckin’ funny, or not even in a way that it makes sense, or in a way that it’s obvious that they’re trying to reserve their privacy, they’re more so trying to maintain an image, trying to say as least as possible, making the video boring as fuck. Like I get that bleak is some people’s thing, but it shouldn’t be in genres where energy is asked for, you know what I mean? 

I’m mainly talking about that Opium shit. All that getting hype shit. That shit’s dope. Make music, all that, get turnt, why not? But then you got the all-black fits. The fits and shit, The fashion behind it all, It’s all dope. But like, be yourself, bro. Don’t be afraid to put your personality out there, because a lot of people get on the camera and say jack shit, They’re like Yeah, yeah, nah, yeah, yeah. I don’t know, everything around that just feels incredibly Julia Fox-ified, you feel me?

Thoughts? Let us know