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QN5 Discussion IT AIN’T OVER - QN5 BLUE SCHOOL RALLY (Comeback & Beyond)

12 years ago…
I was in 8th grade chatting to a friend of mine on AIM. He said he was going to ‘file share’ an album with me. It was the first time someone had sent me an album via the internet. That alone, I remember being a weird experience and also pretty cool that I just had to click ‘accept’ and I would receive an entire record of music.

My friend was a DJ. We were chatting music, and he told me he found this album called Will Rap For Food. He said it was ‘underground’. In 2002, I didn’t know what that meant. I may have thought that he was hinting that it was music about burials and death.

I was open, so I downloaded, pressed play. An hour later, I’m thanking him like crazy. Something opened up in my brain. Like when your senses experience something for the first time. The music just connected and welcomed me to a new world of sound.

Years pass. I’m lurking a record label called QN5. There are other people who also had their minds blown. Awesome. It’s like an online community of people who like shit that you do. Fantasy sports, porn, music, The Wire, Rhymesayers vs QN5, and any relevant label related subject that you could think up. Even the beats on the main page are sometimes a reason to just leave the page open. (That Kno beat tho…)

I dive into the small catalog from Tonedeff. “The guy who rapped flawlessly on that Love Ain’t joint.” Another part of my brain opens up. Oh this guy also started this label? He sings, raps, and produces? Did I really own a Ja Rule album?

Few more years pass, I’m hooked on independent artists. I don’t hate on what’s mainstream. If it’s dope it’s dope. But I grow an appreciation for their creativity, grind, and talents. Their dreamers who take on the biggest mountains. But out of all the adventurous labels - QN5 remains my favorite. With good reasons too…

At this point, Archetype has been released. The album appreciation thread is long. I’ve created an account. Can’t remember what that username was - but it was my first username for anything. I go to multiple shows. I’m not old enough to drink, but my adrenaline can care less after watching PackFM perform every time. Label puts out more and more dope music. I want to help. I start promoting shows in high school during the weekends. I start to feel that I’m not just a fan, but I want these guys to be the folks you’re listening to on these new hip things called iPods.

Pack drops Whutduzfmstand4. One of my favorite albums. CunninLynguists drop APOS. My anticipation is so high I buy 8 copies for friends. Press play. My life is changed. People get tattoos. APOS has a sparknotes. The label is getting recognized more and more. Substantial? I still gotta get more familiar with his solo stuff. Oh my god. This guy has the skills, charisma, and appeal that even closed-minded A&Rs; would like. Momentum from this point on till about 2010 goes crazy. Contests won. Blue Schoolers rally to make sure those winners get their prizes. Megashows are blowing up. I’m housing people from around the world to stay at the crib. For the next four years I’ll be in college. I’m spreading the name. Me and a fellow Blue Schooler get the crew to come perform both at Cornell and Ithaca to perform multiple years. The Blue School head count grows. I got mad t-shirts too, yo.

Activity, but it’s not the same. You get older, that magic isn’t there anymore. It’s just life. You deal with real life. More distractions. More responsibilities. Plenty of great albums. Music videos though are huge as they seem the route for every new artist to blowup. QN5 doesn’t put too many out. Electronic music gets big. I start listening to less hip-hop. By 2013 I haven’t made a post or read one in a minute. That being said, the label is still doing it’s thing. It’s not dead, but momentum isn’t permanent.

July 23rd, 2014.
I listen to the new T&CM; podcast.
LISTEN @ 38:00 -

For anyone who listened to the podcast. A part of you as a fan may have felt what I have felt. The label never reached the apex of the proverbial climb to the top. That 2006-2009 period that Tone alludes to - he mentions that they were SO CLOSE. He really felt something was about to pop. I recommend you all listen to the podcast. This segment of the podcast I’m referring to is an honest reflection of what could have been and what they could have done differently. The feeling I got was, ‘unfinished business’. Especially when Tonedeff says he is in warhorse mode.

I feel like there’s a vengeance. Unfinished business on all our part. The athlete whose stock was high just before draft day but then he got hurt. So close to the apex that when you turned around you were so far from where you started and when you looked ahead you could see glimpses of that goal you so very much desired.

At the end of the day, there’s no fan base like QN5. Time has passed. Circumstances have changed. But I’ll be damned if it ends without the world remembering the name. Two letters. One number. If a few steps have gone in the other direction in the past few years - it’s time to help the warhorse and all these artists who affected our lives so so much and make that comeback. More so than underground, they’re underdogs. Accept this time, it’s not a comeback to return to form, but to get there and go beyond. When most people turn around because the amount of steps is too daunting, we don’t sweat it - cos we always been 5 steps ahead anyways, right?

Let’s try to inject that juice again. Whether it’s more qn5 discussion. More helping on the promo when the new projects come out. Whenever the crew may seem tired or uninspired - help send love their way. Remind them of your appreciation. Bump an appreciation thread of one of your favorite QN5 albums. Perhaps the newer members here never got to share their love on there.

Be motivated by the way Odd Future or Pro Era splashed onto the scene with not nearly the amount of mileage on that journey. Envision QN5 stomping on the top of that mountain with a fucking asterisk gleaming the sky. Some ya’ll might be thinking “Kags - this is real corny. Stop being overly colorful in depicting this dream.” That’s cool. Dreams usually are corny when written down, maybe that’s why we keep them to ourselves. But this is an independent label we’re talking about. Nothing is more ‘QN5’ than fans trying to independently and creatively get their team to that top even when reality or that little hater in your head is saying ‘give up, it’s over.’ “No. Not yet. I’m not done.”

Maybe one day I’ll send that same friend of mine a CunninLynguists’ album. “Hey, I owe you one. Remember that underground group? This is their new Grammy nominated project.”

This thread could be a space to share ideas, love, or anything that can rekindle that momentum and go back on the incline. I don’t have answers. I just want to get the discussion going. There’s still more projects to be released. Let’s rally.

umm ultimate cosign.

Great post.

I love that idea of vengeful warhorse Tone coming back with Polymer to fuck people up. By the sounds of it he’s gonna put a lot of effort into promoting the final product and I’m super excited to get stuck into that process when it happens. I really believe that he has all of the best parts of both his music and his career still to come.

I really hope Pack finds his feet again with music too. I enjoyed IFHR a lot, but WDFMS4 for me was such an intimate and well rounded album that it made me feel very connected to him as an artist and person. We get to hear his personal thoughts on the podcast, often with him sounding a bit deflated with it all, but I want to hear this stuff in his music because that’s what resonates with me the most.

As a commentary about where things are now, the fact that the roster is the smallest it has been and several of the artists are working outside of the QN5 spotlight has made it all feel a bit fragmented. It’s totally understandable in everyone’s case and especially with Tone focusing on himself for the time being, but I feel that’s a major part of the lack of current ‘buzz’, at least on this website.

I have faith things will pick up again, but I’m actually excited about how it will turn into something new. The old days were great and have left me with many lasting memories, but I don’t think it’ll ever be like that again. QN5 in the future looks a very different animal in my mind, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. As fans, we’re still the greatest and when the right time comes, we’ll prove it.

I saw this article the other day and after listening to the last episode of TACM this article seems like it could be the inspiration PackFM was looking for.

Hurry Up, We’re Waiting: The Longest Time Between Albums

Welp, the the four of us might as well start the rally alone for now. I say we start discussing creative ad campaigns for the next projects with the artists. They know plenty of marketing. Maybe we can form an E-team.

I thought hip hop sucked until around 2010 when my brother showed me Tonedeff and PackFM, and I didn’t join the boards until 2012, so I really regret that I didn’t get to be part of this golden age that I always hear about. Luckily there has been no lull that others experience because I had over a decade to catch up on.

But I’d do just about anything to be part of a new golden age and help out!

^ All we have is the present homie. And every rally can always use a ‘Loud Kid’ Smile

I’ll always support QN5, and I’m really rooting for Mr. Deff in particular because I know he’s determined and proactively attempting to make a change. I heard it in his voice; he’s not throwing in the towel by any means and I’m so happy for that fact.

I felt a triumvirate mix of relief, empathy and pride simultaneously wash over me as I listened to him speak on where he went wrong by not focusing on releasing more music as a solo artist over the years. I believe that just having that awareness alone is a big accomplishment and a beautiful thing, because without it, more time could pass and he’d remain in that proverbial purgatory between Tonedeff the artist and Tone the man who puts his friends’ projects and needs before his own. And Blue Schoolers know that that’s one of the self-professed things he’s always struggled with, plausibly in an effort to want to please everybody. A noble effort, but an ultimately futile one at that.

And you know what, I agree with his retrospective analysis 100%. To be completely honest, I always wished he’d focus on Tonedeff music first and foremost instead of dedicating so much time and creative energy to the production and overall creation of other artists’ projects/careers. I felt too selfish to speak up about that though, because I know I’m biased with Tone being my favorite artist on the label and in music period. But as an aside, I’m pretty tired of hearing cats today JUST catching up to what he’s been doing with flow/rhyme schemes/delivery for years, not to mention fusing musical aesthetics that people gave him the cold shoulder for in the past, AND getting all the credit for it. There’s some fucked up injustice about that and it doesn’t sit well with me.

But hey, no more sulking over the past. Now is the time for us all to collectively help usher in a re-emergence of one of, if not THE greatest technical emcee in the history of Hip Hop (I’m not being hyperbolic here; you know it to be true). With Polymer, CATM, Hyperrealism, forthcoming music videos and more all hopefully seeing the light of day in the near future, coupled with the assurance that warhorse mode is now activated, I have all the hope and faith in the world that my favorite artist will get his much deserved shine and grasp that elusive brass ring once and for all. And dammit we won’t even call it a comeback; he’s been here for years.

“Remember the determination of your first step, and keep walking…”

This thread is awesome. WAR QN5!!


time to visit the flag shop

I’m in lets get this board popping again.. lets get QN5 out there again!
Viva La Azul Bebé

2014/2015 goals (feel free to add)

1) Each person get 10 friends to peep a new QN5 album
2) Get anything QN5 related trending on Twitter
3) Next QN5 artist music video we must make sure it gets 1 million views.
4) Get a new QN5 album to have enough popularity to win a new award.
5) Get Tonedeff doing what Mac Lethal does on YT but 20x better just to reel in that many more fans to the actual music.

Pre-2006 were the glory days, let’s get back to it!

I’ve turned 2 people onto QN5 this year. I think over time I will keep showing people, but it takes a special type of music fan for me to even spend my time exposing them to the good ish.

I just hope QN5 stays active forever. I’m still hating myself for missing the last megashow, my plans fell through but I still should have made it there.

But I’ve been down for 10 years, how can I help!??!

CunninLynguists coming to NYC in November. Tri-state crew - we should get that sold out.

Kags said:CunninLynguists coming to NYC in November. Tri-state crew - we should get that sold out.


2 by four said:

Kags said:CunninLynguists coming to NYC in November. Tri-state crew - we should get that sold out.


I’m in! Might go to the Philly Show too.

This thread sparked a fire under me as well! Have had QN5-music running almost nonstop on Spotify since I heard the latest Podcast-ep. QN5-music is also basically the only music I am sharing on social media, but will start being more active. Talk more about QN5-artists with fellow music-lovers, and check in on the forum and website to keep ut with things happening and staying on point.

This is dope! I Havent been on the Boards in years man. But in disappearing for a while i have been surprised with some incredible music by the team lately. It’s bringing me back to my early 20’s and how Qn5 took over my itunes, ipod, all that! Im gonna be honest. Hearing Holograms remix has made me call shotgun on this Qn5 Ride again. A lot of u probably wont remember me. My name is Jose. i used to Dominate Qn5 Shows from like 2003-2008. had some good times wit some of the people in here. Anyway. glad to be back.

QN5 Warhorse with actual blue-faced Blue Schoolers manning the great beast:


^ Nice seeing more people hop on board!

We can geographically try to all link up and be responsible for trying to get the respective CL show sold out for that area.

We should start discussing “Hunter” and how to promote it. Suggestions? Tone what do you think?

I’m down to help with anything we can come up with.

Lol I remember this one promotional strategy I had. I would write the website of the artist on dollar bills so that it would circulate. This was back in 2004. I believe defacing dollar bills is illegal though but how could you get caught? Anyway I’m not sure it helped gain any new fans. I only did a few though. But it probably could work. I mean I don’t normally look at the bills except to check the $ amount of the bill but I do realize that when I get a defaced bill, it’s noticable and stands out, so it could work. In that episode of Seinfeld Larry David wouldn’t accept George’s defaced bill, but I don’t think that would happen in real life. I might have mentioned this strategy in a qn5 post long ago, I feel like I’ve spoken about it before.

Or keeping in the whole money theme, we could put a QN5 sticker on our debit/credit cards so that everytime we give it to a cashier they see it and might be inclined to ask about it, therefore opening the door to promotion.

I think I’m horrible at promoting. Case in point: I have a Strange Famous Records jacket that I’ve worn out hundreds of times for the last 6 years and not once has someone asked me about it, actually there was one person at the place I work but other than that no one and I’ve passed by thousands of people with that jacket on. People just don’t give a shit. Anyway Sage Francis was happy to see me wearing it at a show so that’s cool. Over a decade in this game, it’s hard to come up with a promotional strategy that hasn’t been tried yet.

Has M83 acknowledged Tone’s “Holograms”?

If not, we need to tweet at him (them?) until he/they does/do.

worm9103 said:Has M83 acknowledged Tone’s “Holograms”?

If not, we need to tweet at him (them?) until he/they does/do.

Just did this. Maybe if we can get enough of us to do it they’ll give it a listen.

JTX said:

worm9103 said:Has M83 acknowledged Tone’s “Holograms”?

If not, we need to tweet at him (them?) until he/they does/do.

Just did this. Maybe if we can get enough of us to do it they’ll give it a listen.

Just retweeted what I am assuming was your tweet Smile

Kags said:2014/2015 goals (feel free to add)

1) Each person get 10 friends to peep a new QN5 album
2) Get anything QN5 related trending on Twitter
3) Next QN5 artist music video we must make sure it gets 1 million views.
4) Get a new QN5 album to have enough popularity to win a new award.
5) Get Tonedeff doing what Mac Lethal does on YT but 20x better just to reel in that many more fans to the actual music.

I like these. Gunna start with the 10 friends to peep the new album…. gunna start with spreading Tone’s polymer ep’s more aggressively

I try and do my best to make nice threads on ughh as well, but that place is mostly dumbasses haha.

I’m definitely down to help! Awesome fucking thread!

I just want to say, QN5 seems to be having a lot going on right now:

-Tone about to release Hunter, and then Polymer (with pre-orders closing November hopefully that means late December or early ‘15 release).
-Deacon Solo.
-Natti Solo (Deacon mentioned this on his sub-forum)
-Kno Solo
-Substantial just announced he is making an announcement
-Pack reinvigorated with a livestream & announcement tonight

This reminds me of a few years back (2010?) with all the announced projects. Only difference is this time there is no “out by 20xx”.

Viva La QN5!

Not to mention Kokayi’s forthcoming EP, E-Famm’s second LP and CL’s next studio album. A ridiculous amount of music to be excited about!

This is all too awesome to digest.

I’ll just have to think about one at a time Very Happy

Ha! It looks like someone else had my idea of putting the music on the debit/credit card. This is the cover of an album I love on a credit card. I don’t know how they got that to happen. I was thinking just putting a small sticker on the card but this is better. I wonder how it got done. Edit: actually this is more common than I though.


Tomorrow is an important day with Tone’s “Hunter” release. Let’s do the work.