IQ Talks Biggest Lesson Learned & What Help He Received While In Jail

Los Angeles emcee/producer IQ presents his new self-produced single “Faded,” hot on the heels of previous singles “Magic Tricks” and “Everywhere I Go” IQ’s last full-length release was IQ Test. “This one actually was written over the course of a few weeks,” IQ says about his new single. “I added new rhymes as I thought of them, and adjusted the lines to make sure I’m not just rhyming, but actually saying what I want to say. But for the hook I just got faded and freestyled off the top.”

What’s the number one thing you want people to know about IQ?

The number one thing I want people to know about me is that I don’t think I’m smarter than everyone. The reason my name is IQ is because I respect intelligence and want to promote it.

There are a lot of people out there that are smarter than I am in a lot of ways, and I’d be surprised if I was even the smartest rapper out there. The way I got the name was actually when I was in jail, I was rapping but didn’t have a name yet, so the other inmates helped me choose it out of a bunch of ideas we all came up with.

Your slogan is “hip-hop for the advanced listener.” Can you expand on that?

Because I’m never going to say that you are a star but I’m a whole planet (look it up if you don’t know who said it. Ok fine it was French Montana). My listeners most likely know that a star is bigger than a planet. I’m not really trying to say me or any of my listeners are any smarter than anyone else, but well ok, yeah I am.

What song of yours do you recommend people listen to first and why?

If have to choose one song for people to listen to, of course it’s going to be some of my newest work, so it would be “Faded” for now, but I have a lot more coming. I spent a lot of time on those lyrics and I think it’s a good example of what I do lyrically. Plus it was a big step up for my mixing skills at the time.

You started off writing poetry that eventually segued into rap songs. How and why did you make that transition? 

I wouldn’t really say I transitioned between poetry and hip-hop. I used to write the poems when i was about 6 years old, and when I was 10 I was getting into hip-hop for the first time. I was actually in that DARE program in 5th grade, and the officer teaching us about how terrible drugs are asked if someone would write a poem or rap for the DARE graduation, so I raised my hand. The whole class had to recite my rap, and I kept going from there, writing songs to instrumentals and showing my classmates.

You’ve been through a lot in your life and career. What do you think was the biggest lesson you’ve learned and what experience taught you that lesson?

I used to have some silly and arrogant beliefs when I was younger. I thought I would be as famous as Eminem by the time I was 25. I was the best rapper at my school so it made sense.

What I learned was there are a lot of schools. And an unbelievable amount of people on the planet. And hundreds of thousands of them were thinking the same thing as me. As an adult I’ve met many amazingly talented rappers, and I can’t say I’m any better than they are. 

Yoel Molina Law

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