Wrap Up And Watch Out: Quadir Lateef
Rapper Quadir Lateef is a refreshing addition to the rap scene, with his eye-opening poetry slowly changing the mentality of must-have materialism within hip-hop culture. After much demand from the underground scene, the ‘anti-industry’ artist has now unleashed his sophomore album ‘Rebel Forces’ to the world. The Wrap Up’s Ra’ed Poetical spoke to Q about his collaboration with Brother Ali, his opinions on mainsteam hip-hop, recording with his family and more…
The Wrap Up: As a relatively new artist on the hip-hop scene, how would you say your new album differs from others?
Quadir Lateef: With ‘Rebel Forces’ I wanted to capture the essential feeling of hip-hop in the early 90’s without copying flows and styles. I teamed up with a really dope producer called Covert. Covert is a real hip-hop head, but he does not use average samples - originality is the key word for this album. It’s old-school yet futuristic and doesn’t follow the average song scheme - I’m kind of ‘anti-industry’ [laughs].
TWU: What was the thought process behind the making of your new album?
Quadir Lateef: My thought process was ‘KILL ‘EM WITH THE FLOW!’ I wanted to make an album that will make people say ‘yo, did you hear what he said?’ [Laughs]
TWU: You've got some powerful features on your album, from Brother Ali to Def Jam poet Amir Sulaiman. Does their lyrical content inspire your sound?
Quadir Lateef: Of course, these brothers are lyrical monsters! I have a lot of respect for their grind and hustle. They stand firm in their foundation of righteousness and I’m honoured that they shared a track with me.
TWU: Can you tell us about the making of the track ‘Maghrib’ with Brother Ali and Amir Sulaiman?
Quadir Lateef: First, I gotta thank DJ Green Lantern for producing such heat! I think we all got amped when we heard the track. Brother Ali came up with the name ‘Maghrib’. It is the name of the evening prayer for Muslims.
TWU: Which track on your album is your personal favourite?
Quadir Lateef: It’s really hard to pick a favourite. One day it is one track, the next day it’s another… the whole album is my favourite! [Laughs]
TWU: You said on track that the 'government be scheming on me' - what do you make of the American political system?
Quadir Lateef: Lies and deception is within the media and the government; innocent lives are just casualties to a New World Order. Even famous rappers are put in the frontline to lead us to death! That’s why I expose dudes in my raps….
TWU: You talk about the detrimental effects of materialism among young people; but can you understand why people get sucked into that mentality?
Quadir Lateef: You can’t blame them unless they know better, so I have to speak out against it! Materialism is not hip-hop - a Bugatti ain’t got nothing to do with rocking a show or ripping a nasty beat. It’s all part of a plan to continue to keep us consuming, thus never saving and building our own.
TWU: Your wife and brother feature on some of your material. How was it working with your family?
Quadir Lateef: Drea D’Nur is not just my wife, but also one of the most dynamic singers and women of this current age - the world will know very soon. I came up watching my brother; he is an inspiration and a problem on the mic! Even my sister Zaimah is dope. You could say it’s a family affair! We will soon be dropping albums from my label, ‘Deen & Dream’.
TWU: Do your kids find it strange hearing both of their parents on a track together?
Quadir Lateef: [Laughs] I have four kids and they are very musical; they are nine, five, three and 16 months. They love seeing their mum and dad rip tracks and kill shows! I’m very blessed to be able to share my talents with my family.
TWU: You finish off the album with the track 'Krush', which talks of the damaging effect for the listeners of the hip-hop scene; can you tell us about that?
Quadir Lateef: The music industry is crushing the people, because it’s lying to them about life and leading them to death. One man can get rich, but one million die trying to get rich. Many young people don’t get rich but die trying - ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
Keep up to date with Quadir Lateef by following him on Twitter.
Words: Ra’ed Poetical (@mrpoetical)