The New EP (PRE)ESH From San Antonio's Up-And-Coming Rapper, AQ!

AQ gives us a preview to his highly anticipated sophomore project, PREESH (which is scheduled to release this fall) with a three-pack EP called (PRE)ESH. AQ, holding it down for the Southside of Texas, San Antonio to be exact, is a young 23-year-old rapper who has been penning rhymes since high school. AQ has learned to be at ease with being uncomfortable, evident throughout his rule-breaking three-track EP. AQ's rap style is effervescent and youthful; he raps with an appropriate seriousness that allows the song to be energetic and spirited. This song brings the three-pack collection to a close with a bang.

The rapper describes his journey in the hip-hop game, from his early discovery with Pusha-T to linking up with some prominent names in the industry. His usage of double entendres highlights that the times within the music industry have changed, and the norms held prior now require a reset. He name-drops celebrity figures such as 21 Savage, which relates to his betrayal, hypocrisy, and gaslighting struggles. The instrumental of the track hits hard, and it successfully projects in tandem the urgency with which AQ pens down the flaws and shortcomings within the world he has experienced.

The song's chorus contains the title: kick the bucket, followed by a series of quotable lines which entail the rapper's journey from rejecting the world to accepting himself. He reiterates the lines "trying to come to terms with who I am before they kick the bucket." These lines dictate the urgency aforementioned and set a precedent that knowing the self must be done briskly to avoid circumstances where one may find themselves entrapped within the same judgments they tried to escape. Throughout the second verse, AQ's attempts at braggadocio are often quite quirky and unique, with examples such as "no suit about to represent me and it's a break every time Shaq O'Neal." They aid the listener in his struggle for success and provide them with a mirror that reflects a much larger ethos, one where the perception of one's carefree and mentally strengthened self must be prioritized above the opinions and ignorance of others. The chorus ends this dichotomy between the individual and society while providing an entertaining yet thought-provoking record within the confines of the post-modern hip-hop era.

AQ began composing music in high school, adopting his pseudonym from his initials. Sharing his tracks on SoundCloud aided in the development of an original hip-hop sound. However, it wasn't until "Plug," a collaboration with San Antonio rapper "Madjik tha SoulRebel," earned over 150k SoundCloud streams that AQ seriously considered a music career.

Be sure to be on the lookout for AQ. He doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon. With his consistent song releases, I project he will be a household name by the end of the year. AQ joins artists like Mike Dimes, who's putting a spotlight on San Antonio's music come up. Be sure to check out AQ's newest EP (PRE)ESH and follow him on all social media platforms.

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