Rising rapper/songwriter Quinn Essential shares his new project titled eQuinnox, a 10 track LP that is centred on life, growth and how time changes one’s perspective.
The project opens up with “The One” which exudes anthemic aesthetics with its punchy drums and scenic soundscapes. Here, Quinn gets down to business with an impassioned performance peppered with candid bravado-driven bars like “I’m always on the hunt so I’m always chasing rainbows/So when I play the field, I play the field at all angles/At a snap of a finger, you disappear like I’m Thanos- I am the one”. “No Love” starts with a soulful horn pass and jazz-infused instrumentation that switches into a gloomy and sombre backdrop that sets the tone for Quinn’s insightful bars that dwell on his journey as a young black man in an unforgiving world where nothing is given. He acknowledges his faults and the detractors who try to throw him off balance but he is wise enough to avoid the trappings of the world. He closes the track with lines like “I’m just keeping it brief/Even if you think it’s cap, there is still facts underneath/And I will raise hell before I ever rest in peace/So when the day comes it better be back in the East”. This is followed by “Free”, a reflective track that sees him teaming up with fellow emcee AAFIUMUSZIK, who provides the hook on the chorus. The instrumentation has a retro R&B vibe ripe with solemn piano riffs, sublime pads and soft percussions underpinned by Quinn’s socially conscious lyrics that dive into the daily struggles that many like him face and the never-ending search for mental and financial freedom.
“Time” sees Quinn dwelling on the concept of time and making the best of whatever time we have left while “FYM” is a display of rap skill as Quinn reminds us of his versatility with some deft defying rap schemes and a catchy hook to buttress his point. “Where Do I Go” turns down the energy levels and ventures into the sentimental and introspective side of things. Quinn takes us through the ups and downs of his journey as an artist and a young black man and the many experiences that have helped shape his worldview. Lines like “How we drawing up comparison while all they doing is tracing/Got their heart racing, we will never be adjacent, we equinox mehn, I’m really making a statement” explore his go-getter mentality as he weaves through the hurdles with ease. “Water Runs Dry” is another soulful piece made up of moody violins and melancholic strings that form the right canvas for Quinn’s retrospective lyrics. Here, he looks back at his timeline from the past to the present to the future and how sometimes one just has to live with no regrets no matter how difficult it is.
“North Star” is a jazz-infused track that is peppered with Quinn’s affirmative perspective as he digs deep into his life to find his true North while the edgy “Demon Time” with its dark and punchy drum groove. Here, Quinn flexes his verbal biceps with lines like “I outlasted all of my little bastards/Slave to the numbers but own all of my masters/And every project is a masterpiece, ask the streets/There is only one for one in this master suite” which is a blend of bravado and insight. The project closes out with “Off Into The Sunset” which is made up of a sentimental flute-driven soulful soundscape and fits the bill as the closer. Quinn sounds more than comfortable as he once again delivers an impassioned performance ripe with edgy lyrical schemes like “Why on Earth would you try this Earth sign/Have you walked the face of this Earth/Yo the Eart’s mine/This ain’t my first time most likely won’t be my last/You about to fall victim to the spell I’m about to cast” and a befitting hook that recalls the title and gives listeners a vivid picture of the young rapper riding off into the sunset after attaining victory.
Overall, eQuinnox is a sound and cohesive body of work that balances heartfelt lyricism and topical issues that many can relate to. The production is quite solid too and the bend of soulful, jazz samples all work well with Quinn’s distinct style.