Quan: Most Anticipated (Mixtape)

Remember Quan? The Newport "Bad Newz" Virginia native made his artistic debut on "Just a Moment," from Nas' 2004 Streets Disciple. His rise to Hip-Hop prominence would be delayed with an arrest in late 2005. He did a little time but eventually beat the case. Now no longer signed to God Son’s Ill Will records, Quan moves forward with Most Anticipated (Kingz Nation); a mixtape/DVD package boasting twenty cuts of music, seventeen full length videos, and thirty minutes of previously unreleased footage. With plenty of life experiences under his belt, including a seven year jail term, Quan offers listeners a glimpse into the mind of a worldly individual.

Most Anticipated starts off with an eerie, old Negro spiritual themed intro where Quan, rebuking the haters, plays the part of the disobedient slave. "Shh massa gone' whup you... you can't be no gangsta, sang, and rap...stop.” On "Might be The Day (I Ride)" he separates himself from the dubious realities of what has become a large majority of tough talking rappers: "Defiant giant I play marbles with the universe / Beef they put you in a verse / My beef will put you in a hearse.”

On "Can't Tell U Nothin," a poignant adaptation of Kanye's "Can't Tell Me Nothing," Quan journeys through the true story of a young man lured into, misguided by, and eventually ruined from life in the streets. "I practically raised lil homie couldn't stop him from thuggin / He did a lil' bid and came home buggin / Gave him 20 plus years for that ride / He got hit with a spear after a year on the inside." Far from being preachy, tracks like the galactic funk of the Jazze Pha orchestrated "If You Want It," the soulful strings of "Simply Riden," and the aptly titled "Girl U know" bring a fresh breath to this offering. A lot of rappers' thug repertoires are bolstered by the hood notoriety of their clingons. Quan is a walking testimonial.

While the overload of footage might be monotonous after the first couple of videos, Most Anticipated's ability to successfully weld insightful gangster testaments with detailed cautionary wit, is a tell tale sign that Quan's forthcoming album Until My Death is going to be something that shouldn't be missed. Listen carefully and you'll understand why Nas said "Quan it's to him I pass the baton / To carry this on."