At a time of year when abundance takes center stage, Joel Q keeps giving the people more, this time with passionate EP The Trophy Room. This newest offering sees the Southside, Chicago emcee in top-form, putting an exclamation point on a highly successful 2022.
In a year that has seen Q open for Kota the Friend at Chicago Flight Night, rap for Big Sean, and pull an MFnMelo feature; the rapper has ended 2022 the way he should. With the attention pointed back on himself. Q has truly separated himself through his work ethic this year. And while features and industry co-signs are an important part of the game, The Trophy Room is his artistic masterpiece.
Like most great hip-hop projects, the conversation should begin with production. The Trophy Room is exclusively produced by Chicago producer/barber Logic Cinematic. With explosive soul chops, effortless tempo switches, and big time production value, Logic’s beats grab our attention. But it’s Joel Q’s sparkling mic presence, and lyrics that capture our hearts.
The EP’s first track, Hall Of Fame might just be the project’s magnum opus, with ridiculous production and important songwriting from Q. His delivery on this joint feels especially reminiscent of early J.Cole, and the production fits that mold too. The 1:45 mark sees a big switch up on the beat, and Joel Q switches up with it. He effortlessly moves from more of an introspective, storytelling style to attack mode.
There are two separate sections of songwriting in Hall of Fame which are worth highlighting, because they show Joel Q’s versatility as a writer.
“I won’t come up until I got it, I’m a scuba diver./ I’m at a level mentally where people scared to go./ Get out that comfort, go somewhere you never been before./ Go reach that business, start that project, write that story,/It get shaky when you start, but trust me God gone’ get that glory.”
“Bar’d up, bout a minute/N*gga I’m a Tracfone.”
Whether it’s a hard hitting punchline or meaningful, inspirational writing Q Can deliver on either.
Law of Attraction 2 again relies on soulful productions, potent bars and a nice, full hook, adding depth to a complete vibe. In the final bars , Q raps about his experience linking up with Big Sean. And ultimately, how it was all done for his daughter.
Q hits a more introspective and chill vibe on Greatest Ever, sharing a love story in a heartfelt manner. The song shows how sometimes when partners meet the right person, they are not ready for each other yet. Greatest Ever shows how with patience and persistence, that can all change. Right Now falls more into the mold of Hall of Fame, seeing Joel Q preaching how it’s his time to shine. He has the right momentum, the right people around him. Q takes the time to shout out many members of the Chicago underground who are ready to eat with him. More and more, it’s looking like that prediction couldn’t be more true.