Our Q Answered: TAG Records Reveals First Artist

Brooklyn Beatmaker Appears in Artful Print, TV Campaign Beginning Tonight

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The gods at P&G were obviously listening last week when I asked who TAG Records had signed as its first artist. It's Q, a nigh unGoogleable rapper from Brooklyn whose mother probably still refers to him as Kareem Savage. Anyone who's heard of him is probably familiar with his former group Da Franchise or saw "Drumline," where he worked with Jermaine Dupri on the song "Been Away."

Q is getting the red-carpet treatment for his signing to TAG Records: a national TV spot that gives a sampling of his lyrical skills and announces the nascent label to the masses. If you couldn't tell from the making-of clip we posted last week, it's full of epic bombast and allusions to art history. Some may bristle at the metaphorical image of label head Dupri crossing the Delaware -- the Brooklyn Bridge, in this case -- in search of new talent, but we're guessing that the rest of the homages included here will go over most people's (read: our) heads.

Here's a tour, courtesy of the release:
The first spot, "Ghostride," harkens back to Roman and American history, as captured in famous paintings. From a production standpoint, each scene in the spot is composed like one of those paintings, and the use of slow-motion helps to drive the epic painting idea. The first scene opens in an apartment reminiscent of one of Vermeer's paintings. The second scene or battle scene is inspired by "The Combat of Mars and Minerva" by Jacques-Louis David, "Liberty Leading the People" by Eugène Delacroix and "The Death of General Wolfe" by Benjamin West, and for the very last scene of them on the car is "Washington Crossing the Delaware" by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze. The first piece of print, which will appear in August magazines, features a commissioned painting from Brooklyn-based artist Tim O'Brien and depicts Jermaine Dupri in a setting inspired by "Washington Crossing the Delaware." In it, Dupri, instead of George Washington, stands front and center on the car, searching for the next great artist.
All of that is to say that it looks cool, and the choir chanting "I Am Him" increases the scope of the grandeur. But seriously, kids, don't try ghostriding at home. You're setting yourself up for an epic fall.

This Arnold, Boston, spot breaks tonight, and a print campaign featuring the "Jermaine Washington" shot will be part of an accompanying print push. According to a rep for the campaign, Q is expected to release his first single under TAG Records in August.

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