The first time I met Sun was on a sweltering afternoon at C Mo Greens studio in Long Island City (Shout to the big homie Jerry Fam!). Lush Life co-CEO and resident asshole Mike Heron and I were splitting a 24 hour studio block down the middle, trying to save a penny or two while pursuing our respective musical joneses.
I’m winding up a rough mix of my last joint when he calls me to the lounge outside the main room. I grab the Henny bottle and stroll over, and see a young dude dribbling a basketball and muttering verses under his breath. “Yo, G this Joell. Joell this is Greg.” We exchange pounds as I give Mike the “Who the fuck is this dude?” grill. “He’s gonna spit over that beat I played you the other day.” “Oh, okayyyyy. What’s your name duke?” “Niggas call me Quick!” he sneered through Sour Diesel tinted slits. “Aiight, show me what you got.” He looked at me with clenched fists, dropping the basketball that he was dribbling, and opened his mouth. Before he could get a consonant out, Mike intercepted laughing, “Nah chill nigga, we don’t do this for free! C’mon let’s get in the booth.”
We walk into the main room and the engineer (Shout out to Maxzzzz the original Cabesa de Plastico!) hands me my work DAT. He loads up Mike’s beat as Quick walks into the booth. After a few starts and stops, Quick shakes off the first timer’s apprehension and lets it go. What I see for the 45 or so minutes that it takes him to lay down his 3 sixteen bar verses, hooks, bridges, and ad-libs, is a young beast in the booth unlike any that I’ve seen or heard at that point in my career in rap music. Now believe me, I’m not the one to throw hyperbole out on general principal, but this kid really had something special with him. I’m not sure if it was the Ginsu sharp details in his darts, or the subtle phrasing that turned innocuous streams of consciousness into compelling observation, or the nigga’s voice: an N Yitty Cipher combo of a ringmaster’s halting boom and a hustler’s gritty tone. Whatever the fuck it was, I knew Mike, Dennis and this young lion from the streets of Brooknam were onto something. It was only a matter of time………….