By Pat Gunther
Fresh off of the release of his debut video for “Tropic Blu” and his first show at The Library earlier this year, Baton Rouge rapper Quadry Winters, better known as QUAD, is primed to drop his follow up to 2014’s Dopé. After receiving recognition from indie blog Pigeons & Planes, QUAD has been hard at work honing his skills in an attempt to inject a breath of fresh air in the stale Red Stick hip-hop scene.
“We don’t know each other like any other areas,” the 19-year-old MC said, “Everybody either knows or listens to each other, but here we might know of a guy but it’s so ‘me and my people, fuck everybody else’ but if we came to together we would be way stronger like really a hotspot creatively,” he said in reference to the state of things here in the Capitol city. With that then, QUAD’s initiative is one that has clearly progressed since he began posting his songs to Soundcloud.
“Dopè is my take on classic coming of age movies,” he said, referencing films such as Juice, Boyz In The Hood, and Menace II Society. “The sound is a collection of instrumentals I’ve found over the years since I started rapping seriously that maybe I wasn’t good enough to rap on then, but I progressed and lived with the sounds so long they molded into my day-to-day life and became more diary entries than album cuts.”
With a keen ear for beats and incredible track presence for such a young artist, QUAD has positioned himself to make a huge splash with his sophomore effort, thanks to a broadening of his musical horizons.
“I’m a better songwriter,” he bluntly stated, “before I was just a good rapper and lyricist. I’ve been listening to different stuff like Bon Iver, Mac Demarco & Janis Joplin. They communicate feelings so well, I’m guessing that’s what accounts for my change in style,” he added in reference to his artistic evolution.
With the release of his first video, “Tropic Blu,” QUAD turns the Thelonious Martin track into a personal testament, accompanied by visuals that perfectly encompass Dopé in all it’s wide-eyed, youthful glory. However, it will surely be QUAD’s artistic mindset that will propel him to the top of Baton Rouge’s scene and beyond.
“[I’m] not scared to take an L,” he candidly admitted, I’m willing to take risk with style, subject matter, and production sometimes it doesn’t work but when it does it pays dividends.”
How listeners react to his next project is still on the horizon for the aspiring Grammy winner, but for now, QUAD will continue to diligently work on his craft with the same passion that graces his SoundCloud singles. While he hopes to find sustainability in this crapshoot industry, QUAD continues to display the quiet confidence that helped land him a spot on Pigeons & Planes’ radar. When asked what his next project will be like, he kept it succinct, yet bold: “Visionary.”