(AllHipHop Features) Going viral on the internet in 2017 is nearly the equivalent of having a music video break on MTV or BET back in the day. One trending social network clip can turn anyone into an overnight celebrity.
Q Money may not be a household name at the moment, but a vid of the Cleveland rapper dancing to his own song “Work” did ignite the #QMoneyChallenge. After millions of views, it wasn’t long before established stars such as Meek Mill, Teyana Taylor, and Tony Romo were acknowledging Q’s social media impact.
The “Never Had it” rhymer is now giving fans the chance to win $5000 in cash and $2000 of Popular Demand merchandise. Q Money partnered with Live.me’s Cheez for the video maker’s Dance Off feature. Users can enter for a chance to win the prize by downloading the app and submitting their own #QMoneyChallenge performances.
"We're having a lot of fun creating different features for Cheez that allow us to develop unique partnerships like the one we have with Q Money. It's great working with an artist who is so excited about new technology, and isn't afraid to experiment and create unique experience to their fans," states Khudor Annous, Head of Marketing and Partnerships for Live.me Inc. "The Dance Off feature in Cheez has been a huge hit and users are going to love seeing some of the surprises we have planned for them in the future."
Find out more about Q Money and his online ascension in the latest edition of the Conversations series.
AllHipHop: How did you first get started making music?
Q Money: I first got started rapping about a year and a half ago. I used to sell drugs. Me and my partner used to always go to the studio. That’s where we conducted business and had people meet us because he was really into rapping. There was a time where I caught a case. So I was like, “I’m done with this. I have to stop selling drugs and find something else to do.”
So I’m just in the studio, and one day I was just like, "Let me hop on this song.” They were struggling on the last verse, so they said, “Okay, go head.” So I hopped on there and spoke my piece. Everybody was surprised like, “How long you been rapping.” I was like, “This is my first time.”
Then I let my momma hear it. She said, “That sounds good, Q. I think you should make a song yourself.” So then I ended up making a song. I started getting addicted to recording. Every time I got like $25 I would record a song. I just had money, but I went broke ‘cause I caught this case. I had to pay for lawyers to fight the case. It was to the point that I was scrambling to get that $25 to go to the studio.
AllHipHop: At that point, did you just start putting music online?
Q Money: Nah, I never had the courage to put the music up. I was sitting on all that music. I didn’t know if people were really gonna listen to my music. One day I finally got the courage to put my song up. I’m thinking when I put my song up I’m about to crash the internet with 700 followers. I finally put the link out and only got 130 views on the song, so I was disappointed. I was thinking I would at least get 1000 views.
I saw the result from just putting “click the link in my bio.” So I said I gotta find something else to do to separate me from the rest of the people. I found something else, that was dancing to my own music. I was known for turning the whole club up, so I started doing that to my own music on Instagram.
AllHipHop: At what point did you realize “Work” and the #QMoneyChallenge was taking off?
Q Money: When I got out of jail, I started recording more music. I recorded “Work” and then did a dance video to it with a real mirror in my hand. It went viral.
AllHipHop: What was your reaction to seeing Teyana Taylor and Tony Romo talking about your dance and your music?
Q Money: That was big for me. That was the last two people I would expect to see talking about the dance and the music. I was like, “Wow. That’s crazy." It motivates me because I’m thinking, “If I got legendary people talking about me, then I’m going to be legendary.”
AllHipHop: There was also a video going around of Meek Mill checking out your music. Did you get the chance to talk to him?
Q Money: I actually talked to him right before he sent that video and right before he went through everything that he's got going on with court. I talked to him right before that. He was telling me he was gonna see if the judge would let him come down to Atlanta. If he did come down to Atlanta, we were gonna link up. I wrote him a letter. I’m waiting for him to respond. They confirmed he got the letter, so I’ll still be keeping in touch.
AllHipHop: You put out a collaboration with Cuban Doll. How did that come together?
Q Money: We was in the studio. The first day I met her, I was feeling her. We put the beat on and it just went down like that.
AllHipHop: Did you shoot your shot?
Q Money: I definitely shot my shot. You know I shot my shot.
AllHipHop: How’d that turn out?
Q Money: [laughs] We don’t kiss and tell. You know females like when somebody can dance.
AllHipHop: Do you have any other collaborations on the way?
Q Money: I got a few with Money Man. I got a few with my fellow Cleveland artists - my brother Chrisbo185. He’s from my area. We got some stuff coming. I’m going through a tracklist right now to see what other people I should put on my songs.
AllHipHop: You talked about working with other Cleveland artists. Cleveland has a long history in Hip Hop with acts like Bone Thugs, Kid Cudi, and MGK, but the city hasn’t seen that big wave like you’ve seen with other cities. What are your thoughts on the Hip Hop scene there right now?
Q Money: It’s on the rise.
AllHipHop: Do you see the city having its breakout moment like other cities in the last few years?
Q Money: I definitely do if we all support each other and stick together. We got a lot of different artists. There are signed artists coming out of Cleveland.
AllHipHop: What’s your relationship with TIG Records? Are you signed to them?
Q Money: No, I’m not signed. I’m weighing my options. But I knew somebody on TIG that’s close to the label that I trust, but I never did nothing like that. It was one of my friends that I been had a relationship with.
AllHipHop: So you are open to possibly signing with a label?
Q Money: Yeah.
AllHipHop: How did you connect with Cheez for the dance challenge?
Q Money: I met them when we were out in LA. We were throwing ideas around. We came up with an idea to do a Dance Dance Revolution type thing. Then we said let’s make it happen and we went from there.
AllHipHop: Have you played the game yourself?
Q Money: I was just playing it. I’m about to hop back on there.
AllHipHop: What were your scores like?
Q Money: I got like a 5000. It’s up there.
AllHipHop: Can we expect more from that partnership with Cheez?
Q Money: Definitely. Everything’s going good right now. A lot of people are engaging with the app, so it’s looking like it definitely could be more on the way.
AllHipHop: Earlier, you talked about going through a tracklist to decide collaborators. Does that mean you have plans to release a full project?
Q Money: Yeah, I’m releasing a full project real soon. I don’t know the exact date, but it’s gonna be within the next two months or next month and a half.