E 14th Review
♫ Album Review ♫
Title: E 14th
Production: Khrysis, Nottz,9th Wonder, Kash, S1, E. Jones
Oakland native and former UNC college basketball champion GQ recently dropped his debut album E 14th. GQ has a fairly interesting back story with him navigating the rough streets of Oakland, California escaping that to earn a basketball scholarship and winning and national championship with the legendary UNC. In the latter years of his college career GQ succumbed to a knee injury that pushed him toward working with 9th Wonder and pursuing a rap career. Carrying on the legacy of a style of music similar to Little Brother, GQ is an emerging talent from the Jamla camp headed by the legendary 9th Wonder and Young Guru. Both Guru and 9th seem to be interested in artist that bring lyricism and content going against the grain of what is desired in artist today.
GQ’s lyrical ability is top notch and its easy to see why 9th describes him as the secret weapon of Jamla. With both GQ and Rapsody; Jamla is slowly building a potent roster of MC’s looking to challenge the current status quo. Similar to Laila’s Wisdom the Jamla producers came out in full force for E 14th. The album features production from Krysis, Nottz, 9th Wonder, Kash, and S1. GQ lays verbal punches all over these beats taking full advantage of the caliber of creators he has in his arsenal. Throughout the album GQ speaks on growing up and putting on for Oakland as well as speaking on his college experience. One of his most vulnerable moments was on the final record of the album “Away from Here” where GQ speaks on the murder suicide that his friend committed. His willingness to share such a deep moment will allow listeners to connect with the Jamla artist. GQ also has moments where he can draw comparison to Rapsody which only make sense due to them being label mates and working with the same creative team. This unfortunately may have also taken away from E 14th. Laila’s Wisdom is a critically acclaimed album with a huge buzz that got Rapsody a Grammy nod. The Jamla team really swung for the fences with Laila’s Wisdom and they connected to hit a homer. With E 14th the Jamla team hit more of a double. It has really good moments but it doesn’t seem to have the same energy or present the different layers that we seen on Laila’s Wisdom. Despite that E 14th is a great starting point for GQ the he can build upon hopefully hitting one out of the park in the near future. We at Critix Music give E 14th 3 ½ out of 4 X’s.