Here’s Why You’ll Never Be Q.Guyton
I’m just going to get straight to the points.
You probably don't believe in yourself as much as you think you think you do.
I had the privilege of interviewing Q back in 2015. During that interview he shared something that I thought was absolutely crazy at the time. He quit his job. Not just any job, but a job where he was and as he put it, "making plenty bread" as an engineer. He gave that up to be a rapper.
If you're asking, "Why in the f*ck would he do that?"
First, he did so because he wasn't happy as an engineer. He just did it because of the pressure from his family and society. Sounds familar? In other words it wasn't something that he was passionate about. The engineer money was good, but the freedom to be able to do what he truly wanted to do, for Q.Guyton, brought way more satisfaction than that dollar did. And that was to do music.
He adopted what author Cal Newport describes as the, “Craftsman mindset" where you create something meaningful to offer the world. As opposed to the "passion mindset" where you're focused on what the world can offer you.
Back in September I had the privilege of attending Q.Guyton’s grand opening of, “The Media Block.” It’s a multimedia complex that offers a wide range of media services and where creatives can go to express themselves. Whether you’re a rapper, singer, comedian, model, podcast host, and so on. Q. Guyton not only created something to offer the world, he created a space where others can offer their creativeness to the world as well.
Secondly, he believed in himself and his craft. He had to. I can't think of any other reason he would leave a stable job to become something that very few people (rappers) become successful at.
When I first met Q.Guyton it was on a radio show I was producing. The hosts of the show were beyond excited to have him on the show. They were so excited that I got annoyed by their excitement and thought to myself, "He's probably no even all that good." I thought Q was just another aspiring rapper they were using for content.
But.....and I say this proudly, I was all the way wrong. The host played his song, "Kandy Kangaroo" and I just lost it. Then the video was even better. I was blown away. I felt bad having for those preconceived notions aforementioned above by the end of the interview.
I had seen Q.Guyton again (and to my surprised he remembered me) at an event, so I asked him to be guest on show I was co-hosting. He agreed and gave me his "Blue Heart" album. Which is one of my favorite albums by him. Bias? Maybe.
I was excited to listen to it and not because I had heard "Kandy Kangaroo" but because of the quality of the physical album - inside and out. He had artwork that he hand painted himself printed on the CD. Of course the quality on the outside matched the music. I played that album almost everyday - no lie. That's rare for an upcoming rapper, in my opinion.
That showed me that Q took his craft as a rapper serious and in turned it took him serious. He helped me separate the rappers who really loved rap from the ones who are/were just doing for the fame and money.
You're probably not willing to put in the work.
From my first interview with Q.Guyton until the second one, was roughly 5 months. In between that time it felt like he was everywhere and doing everything. He was. He'd hosted his own fashion show, entered his video "Kandy Kangaroo" in the A3C Music Video competition and won, shot videos, worked on a new album (Black Magic), and was performing at what seemed like at almost every event and venue throughout Houston.
In July of 2016 he released a short film "Cold Summer,” in a movie theater featuring rapper Doughbeezy. The film was also accompanied with a joint mixtape. After that Q, and Dough headlined the "Cold Summer Jam" show featuring other Houston artist at the popular Warehouse Live. He recently released another film this year, “Rumination.”
By Q.Guyton being an independent rapper these things require commitment, time, working smart, using your own money and resources, sacrifices, and a lot of long days and nights. Him doing what he do lets me know he understands that what he wants to do and where he wants to go doesn't happen over night. And that no one is going to give you anything. Thus, he's willing to do what is required because he knows his work ethic is going to work to his advantage.
You probably think you’re too good for certain platforms.
One night me and my co-hosts were at a music showcase watching local artist perform. One rapper in particular stood out to us, so we went over and reached out to him about possibly being a guest on our show. He agreed.
When we contacted him to work out a day and time, he gave us the run around. So we just left him alone. Couple weeks later I seen him at an event hosted by one of the well known radio stations in Houston. He thought he was Mr. Big Shot. It all made sense as to why he was giving us the run around. He thought he was "too big" for us or we were "too small" for him.
One reason I admire Q.Guyton because he embraces every single platform - big or small. The first time I asked Q to be a guest on our show he immediately said yes and stuck to his word, and came back a second time. I even see him doing interviews with a lot of other underground media outlets. No matter how much recognition he gets he's never gotten "too big" to do "small things," so to speak. And honestly, I haven't heard anything else or seen the guy who gave us the run around. I’m just saying.
I learned that, when you're trying to get your name out there just about every platform can benefit you in some way. Even if that platform just have one listener that's one more listener than you had before. That one listen can put you on to ten other people.
Like Gary Vaynerchuk stated in his article “Why 1 View Is Everything:”
One view is better than zero.
You’re scared to put others on.
While building his career Q.Guyton has a team of artists (rappers, singers, public relations) around him under the A.N.F. (Ain't Nobody Fresher) brand that he's very supportive of. That's surprising to me for two reasons:
First, most of the time when you're an artist - one who is trying to make it - your main focus is yourself. Not trying to put other people on when you're trying to put yourself on.
The second reason it surprises me because often times I see an artist who's already "made it" that aspiring artist usually flock to. Not someone who’s in the same boat as them. That is just a testament of who Q is a person, a leader, and his vision.
You're limiting yourself.
When I watch some of my favorite rappers give interviews they all say how there isn’t money in rap or there isn’t longevity in rap (for most). That’s why there are rappers acting, with their own clothing line, own clubs, franchising businesses, and doing endorsements.
Q.Guyton isn’t just a rapper he’s a master video editor, creator, and fashionista. One of the reasons he became a video editor because the video directors around Houston were too expensive. So he took it upon himself to learn how to edit videos by watching YouTube tutorials. If you watch one of his videos you’d think he went to school for it.
Also, if you ever see Q he’s almost always dressed up, hence his company name ANF (Ain’t Nobody Fresher). He’s committed to his brand and his brand has been faithful to him.
You’ll never be Q.Guyton, but you’ll be the best [Insert Your Name Here] if you truly believe in YOU, what you have to offer, your voice, do the work that is required, and be willing to make sacrifices that may have uncertainty attached to them.
Im not an aspiring entertainer but I’m going to take some pointers from his blueprint, and apply them to my career and life where applicable. Will it work? Who knows but it doesn’t hurt to try though, right?
**Turns Up “BlueHeart” **