Rating: 8 / 10
QuESt has come a long way in his independent/underground grind as an artist. From the quick (and now defunct) affiliation with Jermaine Dupri (remember the Tag Records emcee search? He won that) to being sponsored heavily by 2DopeBoyz.com and a couple of other sites, the Florida native has been working diligently to secure his name as one of the best to do it, but while spreading his overall positive message as well. Dubbed the #NEATO movement (acronym for “Never Ever Allowing The Obscene”), QuESt has paved notable mixtapes that show off the abundance of his talents ("How Thoughtful", "The Reason"), but recently has turned that into making complete, full projects. However, his gift may very well be his curse; he’s constantly evolving his sound, and his latest release “Fear Not Failure” may prove to be the opening door for him to greater things, or the one that deadbolts the same door.
That’s not saying it isn’t a great project; far from it. Lyrically, QuESt is still one of the best rappers thriving right now, and his flow and cadence is borderline ridiculous. He can still flip flows like light switches, he still includes incredibly dope punchlines, and the subject matter is still deep and thought provoking like his previous outputs. In theory, there’s not much to hate here; the project is even mastered by Grammy Award-winning sound engineer Chris Gerheinge (Drake, Rihanna, Madonna), but as mentioned before, the evolving sound could serve as a double-edged sword.
The album/mixtape is unlike anything I’ve ever heard, and it’s truly genre-bending in a sense. Mixing several different sounds together to create this fluent, progressive soundscape (mainly Dubstep and Electro) that assaults you when playing Fear Not Failure is incredibly risky, and if anyone else had tried they would’ve failed miserably. Fortunately for QuESt, he doesn’t fail at all. From rhyming double-time over tracks with the Dubstep vibe (“Gambler”) to throwing a classic, riding track with a Hip-Hop essence to it (“Nowhere To Go” feat. Logic), to even traditional Hip-Hop rhyming alongside Mickey Factz (“Something To Prove”), it all fits here perfect somehow (and to be honest, his video series should've been a clue of what to expect on the project)
The only real bane to how well put together Fear Not Failure sounds is, ironically, its initial sound. However, QuESt’s rhyming is charismatic enough to tie it all together, and FNF is an incredibly original project that’s truly worth the download. QuESt has seemingly put his all into recording it, and it shows on every track. It won’t be long before this one gets more people talking about his diversity, but I don’t think he’d mind that at all. For the people who say they want something different and original…look no further.