Many recognize AJ McQueen for his smooth poetry and continuous activism on behalf of the black community. Now on his ever-evolving journey of life, McQueen is ready to show the world he has BARS with the debut of his new EP, The Gr8 Progression.
At a private listening party, AJ McQueen gave the first reveal of this special project which he put a lot of work and effort into. This EP features all new and original music from the young creative, and is a piece of work that is meant to keep listeners engaged and thinking. McQueen combines clever wit and relative experience to bring positive, thought-provoking messages throughout the entire project.
With the intro song, McQueen prepares listeners for what’s to come through his signature spoken word. The track gives an old school blues feel as McQueen challenges himself and listeners to be better and move forward. All of the songs share a genuine and heartfelt tone. You are able to tell the project was very personal to McQueen and he’s able to evoke those same emotions to listeners.
“Pray For Me,” “Fireflies,” “Hard To Tell” and “Cloud 9” are all records McQueen uses to reflect on his close relationships with family and friends, all promoting a deeper meaning than what the title leads on. “Fireflies” featuring Mic Tunez is a somewhat nostalgic track where he is able to go back to his childhood when everything was a bit simpler and catching lightning bugs were priority. Now as he has matured, he is able to measure growth and the change he’s experienced. “Hard To Tell” is an encouraging record, reminding us that regardless of anything we face, we will overcome even though it’s hard to tell when you’re going through that situation. Other tracks include “Before The Progression,” “Progression,” and “Black Matter,” all of which take a stand socially and keeps listeners conscious of self and conscious of community. The lead single from the EP, Move That Aside” is definitely a banger with trap feels, yet the lyrics keep you grounded and encourages you to remove all of the negative energy to move forward. It’s LIT!
Produced by Mic Tunez, the entire EP is a force and a refreshing side of hip-hop that mainstream is lost on. The Gr8 Progression is a journey to a better self, and to better relationships with the community that surrounds each day. The tracks are [enter excessive amount of flame emojis] and are fronted by lyrics that you have to repeat to make sure you heard that right…in a good way!
The Gr8 Progression drops in full on May 20th and the official release concert will be held that night at Vanguard Warehouse so be sure to support! McQueen has begun working on his debut album, Three Pounds, Six Ounces and expects to drop that sometime in 2018 along with a new book. To check out more of AJ McQueen’s music, poetry, taco tips and more, follow him on IG @ajmcqueen, visit his site, or check out the Writer’s Block Open Mic every other Thursday at Cafeza.