“My passion growing up was rapping,” Q Da Fool reflects, in the latest episode of our exclusive On The Come Up series. “Me and my cousins, since we was like five. When we was teenagers, we would smoke weed, sitting in an abandoned car, rap all night. We used to be doing that when we was younger.” He also reveals that the first album he ever bought was 50 Cent’s Get Rich Or Die Tryin, a testament to Fif’s influence on the new era of hip-hop. He also cites Nelly as one of his early influences, claiming the pair made him want to be a rapper in the first place. 

Upon deciding to take rap seriously in the ninth grade (he’s 22 now), Q breaks down his key demographic. “I’m talking to somebody who really going through something,” he explains. “My music uplifts you. That’s why I got the other side, the street side, that’s just like turnt up. I’m trying to show you this the life we could live. I ain’t ever imagined we could live like this.” 

As for his chosen moniker, by his own telling it’s rather self-explanatory. “It just come from me being a fool, bruh,” he laughs. “I can’t even explain it. I do a whole lotta crazy shit out here.” Yet sometimes life throws hurdles, and Q is no different in that regard. “I got locked up,” he reveals. “A whole lotta stuff was switching and changing. When you locked up a whole lotta stuff just change. You come home, it just seem like everything different.” 

Curiously enough, many artists are seldom enamored with their big hits after initially recording them. Q is no exception, as he explains his original response to lacing one of his biggest tracks to date. “When I first recorded ‘Guns & Bells,’ I ain’t even like that song,” he says. “My man like ‘this shit hard as shit, boy.’ I ain’t even paid for it to get mixed or nothing, cause I didn’t really like it. I just dropped it. Everybody go crazy. Something you don’t like, somebody else might love it.”

He also opens up about fellow DMV rapper Rico Nasty before the fame, whom he claims wasn’t initially as confident as she is today. “She was like Q, I don’t know,” he says. “I told her nah, you can do it! I even let her meet my mama, like mom, this is Rico Nasty. She gon’ be a star. I got locked up two weeks, three weeks later and she blew up.” On that note, Q recently earned a co-sign from one of his own favorites, the OG piano-God Zaytoven. In fact, their encounter led to Q securing over 50 beats from Zay, prompting him to express interest in doing a collaborative tape. 

Be sure to check out the new episode of On The Come Up now, and stay tuned for next week’s installment. Have you been bumping Q Da Fool?