In an era where rap music has become pop and dominated by African Americans, it is refreshing to see a Puerto Rican artist stake his claim in this genre. Many forget that over 30 years ago when Hip Hop was born in the Boogie Down Bronx that the scene was dominated by African Americans and Puerto Ricans. Decades later the music industry has given a blind eye to Latino artists trying to catch a break in the rap scene. Then along comes Q-Unique.
Paving his way in the music scene for over a decade this artist has had songs on soundtracks, full-length albums with the Arsonists, and countless compilation singles. Therefore, one cannot say that Q-Unique is a new up and coming artist. He's been here before, and he's here to stay.
His debut solo album "Vengeance Is Mine" shows us the dark and harsh side of Hip Hop music at its best, when it goes internal. Q-Unique takes this opportunity to therapeutically and artistically wrestle with demons that he has held at bay for quite some time by channeling these emotions and experiences into music. Many artists claim to be killers, ballers and players. Q-Unique makes no claim. He takes the path less taken in Hip Hop and places himself and his pain at the center of his work. With songs like "The Set Up," "Diamond in the Ruff" and "Father's Day" Q-Unique paints a picture of Hip Hop that many inner-city youth experience year after year: poverty, struggle and abuse. Yet, Q-Unique does also give voice to the struggling guy from the hood with crime inspired songs like "The Ugly Place," "Stone Cold," "Me, That's Who" and the ironic take on Hip Hop style with "Fashion Victims"
The album comes full circle at a high note when he delivers his last "One Shot." This unapologetic jab at the music industry, which held him and other Latino artists back, is a masterpiece in and of itself. However, one cannot give a complete review without mentioning the Young Lords Party inspired revolutionary attack on conservative media and the Bush administration "Psychological Warfare."
As a whole, this CD delivers powerful, poignant and masterfully crafted Hip Hop for an audience in need of an artist that is not influenced artistically by a corporate machine or media entity. This is Hip Hop at its best and truest form.