JBA: QBGINO thanks for doing this interview. I know you’re a big-time supporter of mine! Can you please introduce yourself to the readers and tell us the background on how you came up with your artist name?
What’s Good, I’m QBGino all the way from Queens NY. Queens Bridge projects to be exact. That’s where I get the QB in my name from. Over time QB has turned out to mean a lot especially as I explore my vocabulary within rap. Also, Gino is my nickname; I’m Eugene the 3rd, and my dad is actually Gino, so I’m LIL Gino. Well, not so LIL anymore [lol].
JBA: You mentioned that you went to GOTHAM professional art academy in Brooklyn NYC for performing arts. What was that experience like for you?
GOTHAM, Was quite an experience. Being that we were the first Class, we started with maybe 40-50 kids, and there was a plethora of talent. From actors and singers to rappers and visual artists, even stand-up comedians. Gotham was where I fell in love with Rap music, I used to sit with the boys who beat on the table and rapped at lunch, and I was 14 when I was at that table, and I said to myself I wanna do that. I don’t want just to rap I want to rap better than these dudes!
JBA: You’re open with your sexuality as a rap artist and you can rap just as good as the “straight boys”. You mentioned that you don’t like the term “gay rapper”. Explain to the readers why you feel that way? Also, why music of all career paths?
I felt like God wouldn’t turn it off. For a very long time, I was a believer that a gay man can NOT be a big RAP artist. I became filled with a lot of self-doubts and I went through a rough time where I thought I wouldn’t be good enough to rap I’m not like Future, Migos, Drake, NBA Young Boy and all the other hot artist out now. How the hell can I fit in? How can I succeed? However, it felt like no matter how low I got, I couldn’t stop hearing the music, I couldn’t stop writing, I couldn’t stop wanting to rap. I don’t want to be put in a box as like nobody else that’s gay in any industry. I don’t want to be good for a gay guy; I want to be the BEST period.
JBA: You’re from Queens NY but live in Tampa Fl. How was that experience for you from being up north to moving down south as an openly gay rapper?
This was a big change and adjustment. I moved here when I was 23, and I’m 25 now, so it’s been a little while. It was kind of hard to transition here, but I felt it was necessary for my success. As I have gotten older, I have seen how congested NYC is. I felt that a slower pace environment would allow me to shine brighter and hustle smarter. Florida has many social disadvantages, but I’m hoping to be the bridge between gay “rap” and “straight” rap. Florida still has a long way to go when it comes to accepting all, but hopefully, I can spearhead that movement. New York guys are way cuter though.
JBA: In one of my articles, I spoke about how hard it is for many of us to be Black and gay. (LINK HERE) In a recent song DOTWAN, your lyrics speak of that issue, “I got 2 strikes now who f*ckin with me/I’m gay, and I’m Black now that’s something to see.” What inspired you to write such a powerful song, while involving many of our truths as far as what many of us as Black gay men deal with on a daily basis?
I was angry when I wrote that; I was in college. I was doing a lot of competitions on campus and winning a lot of them but my “Black Straight” counterparts would hate on me so hard to the point where they would talk shit, while I was on stage. Also, It frustrated me so much that the boys (who weren’t even from the hood) couldn’t accept that I was GOOD, good enough to beat them in a show. I had to write something to say you know what it is so HARD being Gay and then I’m Black but you know what I’m still going to show you I got this; we go this.
JBA: Do you feel those two strikes are present within the Black LGBT community more than most people would even imagine?
It is so hard for Black gay men because we have to appeal to so many audiences. People are okay with gay people as long as it’s not “too much” or “too feminine”; THAT’S NOT FAIR homosexuality is a normal thing, and it should be normalized not censored or defined. You have to act one way around Black people and another way around Whites that’s ridiculous. The gay man has to put on twice as many faces to be accepted in society. We like to break everything down to separate ourselves from each other when all in all it’s not that deep. We are all the same shit just with different blessings.
JBA: I listened to your song Another Day, and this song is incredible. What inspired you to record and release this track?
Thank you so much. I literally wrote most of this song in an hour. Honestly, people are always asking for money and when it’s time to pay back they want “another day” like ALWAYS. So this was just a flexing kind of jam with some real-life hints in it. I’ve been working a lot on pushing my pen and making sure I can give listeners something to think about. I really try to put out music with exceptional lyrics because I want to roll next to the big boys.
JBA: Right now there is a heavy wave of LGBT artists hitting the scene, and many of them are talented. What are your thoughts about your peers in QUEER rap right now? Also, what would be your advice for those who want to follow in your footsteps?
I got mad love for all the LGBT artist coming out. I hope to work with many of them, and we can all shine together. Any young gay boy that wants to rap I say Love yourself and love your art. Don’t let anyone take your happiness and don’t let anyone ever tells you, you can’t do anything. It’s a tough world be tougher.
JBA: With everything that’s happening for the Black LGBT community, how do you feel about all these amazing opportunities that are taking place for our community?
I’m so excited to watch our community grow with opportunities and to see the advancement of Black gay and Trans artists. However, I do feel like the world still has a long way to go. As I said before being gay is natural and normal so it should be treated.
JBA: What would you say separates you from other LGBT artists?
I’m the best rapper if we’re talking about in the community. I haven’t heard anyone with lyrics that compete with mines; now that’s my opinion of course. I’m working on pushing my music to the next level to be the best in the world, but I appreciate all LGBT rappers they all have something special.
JBA: What has been the most challenging experience for you as an artist?
Honestly dealing with social media, I’ve gotten comments on my social media bashing my music, guys telling me I’m ugly. I‘m a little emotional sometimes, so its something I’m still working on overcoming. People can be so mean and when you put your art out there for people to hear they have every right to say what they want, and they use it. We as the artist have to take the good with the bad for every “great job” there is a “that sucks.”
JBA: What motivates you to compete in a very competitive industry especially among the small group of queer artists are out today?
I’m a Capricorn I live for competition, and I want to be the best at anything I do; I’ve always been like that. I believe hip-hop has fallen to a place where Rappers don’t have to rap; they don’t push their writing skills, and I want to be an artist to help bring that back. I hope soon we won’t be considered as the queer artist and one day it will just happen to be the top RAP artist are gay.
JBA: If you could work with any other LGBT artists who would you choose first and why?
Definitely Taylor Bennett; chance the rappers younger brother. He is so strong and proud and extremely talented. I would love to work with him. I would also love to work with Young MA, Frank Ocean, and Big Freedia.
JBA: With the likes of Jaywill (@callmejaywill) and many other LGBT artists out right now. Do you think we will see more artists of LGBT community make it in the mainstream industry?
YES. Gay people have been running things behind the scenes for years now it’s our time to shine, and we are coming.
JBA: What’s one of your favorite moments in your career so far?
Riding in the gay pride parade in Charlotte NC. I didn’t get to Rap, but I stood in the front, and It was the most amazing experience ever.
JBA: Top 5 favorite artists of all time of any genre and why?
NUMBER ONE Nicki Minaj; my favorite artist she gave me the courage to believe I could do anything I want if I work hard enough. She is the Best, the Queen!
Also Panic at the Disco, Ariana Grande, Lil Wayne, and JLo. I look up to all these artists they embody what I aspire to be.
JBA: What’s your favorite song of all the songs you’ve recorded and released?
My favorite would be my song “Work it,” I still remember writing and recording it, I went so hard, and I was very proud. My song “Burn Book” probably had the most impact because it was me standing in who I am and showing that I’m proud of who I am, now watch me Rap.
JBA: Where do you see queer rap in the next ten years?
Queer Rap will be RAP!!! Top Charts!
JBA: Where can the readers find your music and also keep in touch with you?
QBGino is my only handle; it’s for every social media outlet. @QBGINO – Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat/Tumblr
All my music is on SoundCloud, and I’m working on a mixtape that will be on all streaming platforms.
Honorable mentions to my first music video, Please check that out:
“Another day” https://soundcloud.com/qbgino/another-day
“What They Want” -https://soundcloud.com/qbgino/what-they-want
“Work it” – https://soundcloud.com/qbgino/work-it
“Burn Book”- https://soundcloud.com/qbgino/burn-book
“Partition Remix” – https://soundcloud.com/qbgino/partitian-remix
“Road Rage”- https://soundcloud.com/qbgino/road-rage
“D.O.T.W.A.N” – https://soundcloud.com/qbgino/d-o-t-w-a-n