Get To Know Philadelphia Rapper Quil Smith
The good people at EarlyBBQ had a chance to sit down rising rapper Quil Smith as we talked about his motivation behind becoming a musician, growth as an artists and his future goals. Check it out below and get to know the man behind the music.
EBBQ: what made you want to transition from creative writing to song writing?
Quil Smith: Well as a kid I’ve always had a wild imagination, so I saw it has a chance to be the architect of my own world. It was an escape from reality for me. As I grew older I was really into looking for new music on YouTube and shit. After that I was hooked. My earphones were practically glued into my head 24/7.
EBBQ: that was your introduction to creating music of your own?
Quil Smith: Yeah. When I was 13 or 14, I started listening to instrumentals of songs I liked and would write my own verses for them. One day I came to school and showed my friends just to fuck around. My homie bet me 20 bucks that I couldn’t record a mixtape before spring break. Using just a shitty mic and a MacBook I made it happen. That jawn’s deleted now though.
EBBQ: You were a biochemistry major, right? what was going through your mind when you decided to leave school and pursue music full-time?
Quil Smith: I was already in a really dark place before I dropped out. I was struggling with coping with depression and anxiety, all while trying to figure out who I was and what I wanted to do with my life. I thought leaving would bring me peace, but at first it just made me feel worse. I felt like I let my family down. After that, I found myself going down a really bad path. Once I hit rock bottom, I decided that it was either sink or swim. I thought to myself, “I can continue to dwell in the past and give up on life. That’s the easy way. Or, I can take advantage of being in a new chapter in my life and make something happen”. I’m glad I didn’t take the easy way.
EBBQ: Explain the growth in your sound and style from the release of Welcome 2 Vice Land and the upcoming “Demons & Distractions”?
Quil Smith: I really see Vice Land as more of a demo than an actual debut. I was really excited to experiment with production that I wasn’t particularly familiar with. I always like a challenge. In terms of the lyrics, I just wanted to put everything out there, the good, bad, and the ugly. My favorite part about performing is having people come up to me after like “Bro your bars are crazy, but I would never have the balls to say that out loud.” I always tell them, that’s the point. Moving forward, I’m focusing on defining my sound and really showing people what I can do. Better production, better mixing, crazier flows. Thematically, Demons and Distractions and Vice Land won’t be much different. However, I plan on making it a lot more personal. Now that I’m actually starting to build a following, I want to create something that other people can connect to.
EBBQ: One of our favorite tracks of yours is Codeine Consciousness, what’s the back story behind that song?
Quil Smith: I was literally on codeine when I wrote that cus I had a prescription at the time lol. I had tonsillitis so I was just at the crib for a few days, all lonely and shit. There wasn’t anything to do but write. That sense of loneliness made me reflect on what I was feeling when I was still on a slippery slope. I felt disconnected from a lot of my friends from college. I couldn’t tell who was fucking with me and who was just around to get fucked up with me. I couldn’t make any kind of relationship work cus I was still afraid of who I’ve become at that point. Its a really sad song that just sounds pretty lol.
EBBQ: Where do you see yourself in five years?
Quil Smith: I see myself either being on an independent label or starting my own. A lot of people just want to get put on and take a shortcut, but I’m not trying to sell my soul until I know it’s the right time lol. I don’t need to be the most popping rapper out there, I’m more focused on sharing my art and seeing it resonate with everyone who really supports what I’m doing. I also want to go on tour and see the world. Life’s short so I’m just trying to make as many memories as I can.