gq-rated-oakland

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Bay Area native and Jamla Records representative GQ is back with a brand new album, the aptly titled Rated Oakland. Clocking in at a stellar 14 tracks, Rated Oakland is the story of a man who's been through it all and not only lived to tell the tale, but tell it dopely.

In addition to rhymes from GQ, vocals on the album come from Badd Lucc, HaLo, Heather Victoria, Nipsey Hussle, Problem and Rapper Big Pooh. Production on the album is provided by the legendary 9th Wonder, Sinopsis, The Soul Council and more.

Fans and supporters can stream and directly purchase Rated Oakland via The DJBooth. All files are high quality audio (320 kbps MP3s). Enjoy.

Rated Oakland Album Review

I think I'm getting old. Three drinks automatically means a hangover, I can't eat McDonalds after 11 PM without getting heartburn, and I have no problem staying at home on a Friday to watch Netflix. It's carried over to my sports watching too. Back when I was a younger NBA fan I hated the Spurs. I wanted dunks, crazy three pointers, and a whole lot of flash- when I was a kid "swag" wasn't a word yet- and the Spurs were the complete opposite. I'd would've sooner watched paint dry. This year, however, I couldn't get enough (after my Wizards were out at least). They are the antithesis of what the league is now. They aren't about hipster glasses and big dunks, they play smart, team-oriented basketball. They are all steak, very little sizzle and it works. Where I used to hate it, their fundamental, team oriented play left me in awe. It was so refreshing to see a team get back to basics like that.

"Okay, so, what's your point?" Well, it's the perfect analogy for GQ's new, Rated Oakland album...and not just because he's a former basketball player...but totally that too).

I've written about it a few times these times the past few weeks, but I'll say it again. Lately, I have been looking for something different. My search has taken me from EDM to contemporary bluegrass, and while I have found some gems (word to Glass Animals) only few projects have really stood out.

If I have learned two things in my time as a rap writer, it's that nothing in this industry is guaranteed unless it's actually happened and artists need to have a unique hook, something different to stand out among the sea of submissions and SoundCloud links. I am always on the lookout for that new, unique edge but, like the Spurs, GQ gets his unique hook from being so traditional. Where others test the sonic limits of hip-hop, Quentin Thomas, gets back to basics and, in the age of synth and swag, that is a different kind of originality and is also the strength of Rated Oakland.

For the full review of "Rated Oakland", click here.

DJBooth Rating - 4.5 Spins

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