Gilbert Bani (born August 1, 1986), popularly known by his stage name A-Q, is a Nigerian rapper and songwriter.[1][2] His single "Agu Ji Ndi Men" was nominated for Best Rap Single at The Headies 2016.[3][4][5][6]

A-Q on the set of 'ETHOS' photoshoot (2022)
A-Q on the set of 'ETHOS' photoshoot (2022)
Background information
Birth nameGilbert Bani
Also known asA-Q
Born (1986-08-01) August 1, 1986 (age 37)
Abia State, Nigeria
  • Rapper
  • Songwriter
Years active2000 – present
LabelsHustle Inc, 100 Crowns

Early life edit

Born into a family of six as the last child, A-Q real name Gilbert Bani was raised in Surulere where he has lived for most of his life.[7][8]

Education edit

A-Q attended Kings College Lagos, and had his tertiary education at the University of Lagos. At a young age he started collecting hip-hop tracks, learning the lyrics and miming them. It didn't take long before he started writing his own lyrics.[9]

Music career edit

A-Q signed his first record deal in 2001 with Big Leaf Records where he was for two years before he started working on his own in 2003. His first single "(W)rap Nigeria", produced by kraftmatics, debuted in 2004 followed by a music video. He subsequently released a full compilation album Listen and Understand in 2005 followed by another single, "Things That We Do", which got him an international online distribution deal. In 2006 A-Q put out a mixtape titled Maga Must Pay vol 1.

A-Q took a break from music to finish his education in University of Lagos but still managed to release a single, "Make Money", and accompanying video in 2008 produced by Laylow and featuring Morachi and Xtrim off an online mixtape titled Love and Money.

A-Q graduated in 2010 and returned to the entertainment industry, this time co-floating a record label, Hustle Inc, on whose platform he started Black Friday Twitter Freestyles, a weekly free download release. This got him online acknowledgement including from producer Don Jazzy who styled him “one of the sickest rappers alive”.[10] He recorded and released The Past Present and Future album in December 2010 which had the singles "Names" and "Champagne and Rum". He released more music including "Distractions" featuring Vector in 2012, "Machine Gun Flow", "555 (5beats 5verses and 5blessings)", and "Why" featuring Pamela.

He released an EP in December 2012 titled Make Your Best Rapper Look Stupid. He is currently working on his sophomore album titled G.I.L.B.E.R.T (Grace and Glory).

In 2018, A-Q was part of LAMBAugust, a rap campaign in Nigeria,[11] and released an album with Chocolatecity rapper Loose Kaynon called Crown.

A-Q won Lyricist on the Roll for "Crown" at the 13th edition of The Headies.[12]

He left Chocolate city record label in 2020 and said “I had a wholesome experience at Chocolate City, and I’m happy to have been part of the label’s journey to profitability”. He went further setting up a music incubator for African artistes.

In February 2021, A-Q won the Best Rap Album award [13] for his 2020 album "God's Engineering" at the 14 Edition of The Headies awards.

In September 2022, A-Q won the Lyricist on the Roll award for his performance on "The Last Cypher" single off the "Behold The Lamb" album at the 15th Edition of The Headies Awards in Atlanta, US.

2023 saw the release of God's Engineering 2, which was described as "excels in the quality of its lyricism and delivery...".[14]

Discography edit

Studio albums edit

  • The Past Present and Future (2010)
  • Son of John 2 (2015)
  • Rose (2016)
  • Blessed Forever (2017)
  • Crown (with Loose Kaynon) (2018)
  • God's Engineering (2020)
  • Golden (2021)
  • Behold The Lamb with M.I Abaga, Loose Kaynon and Blaqbonez (2022)
  • Ethos (with Brymo) (2022)
  • God's Engineering 2 (2023)

Mixtapes and EPs edit

  • Listen and Overstand (2005)
  • Maga Must Pay Mixtape (2006)
  • Love and Money (2008)
  • Make Your Best Rapper Look Stupid (2012)
  • Son of John (2014)
  • Catch Your Sub (2016)
  • The Definition (2016)
  • The Live Report (with M.I Abaga) (2020)

Singles edit

  • "(W)rap Nigeria" (2005)
  • "Make Money" (2007)[15]
  • "Names" (2010)
  • "Champagne and Rum" (2011)[16]
  • "Why" (2012)
  • "God's Work" (2019)
  • "L.A.M.B Cypher" (2019) with M.I Abaga, Loose Kaynon and Blaqbonez
  • "You Must Feel Am" (2020) ft Oxlade
  • "Breathe" (2021) ft Chike

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Solanke, Abiola. "Rapper AQ"s new album "Blessed Forever" is out to touch a life". Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  2. ^ [1] Archived 2017-08-09 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ " - Nigeria's Top Website for News, Gossip, Comedy, Videos, Blogs, Events, Weddings, Nollywood, Celebs, Scoop and Games". Nigerian Entertainment Today. Archived from the original on 2017-10-29. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  4. ^ "Headies-nominated rapper, A-Q, drops 'MMM'". 13 December 2016. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  5. ^ "The debut of Nigerian controversial Rap Artiste; A-Q". Trendy Africa. 19 November 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  6. ^ ""My Strongest Competition In The Rap Single Category Is Olamide"- AQ". 16 December 2016. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  7. ^ "A-Q Profile and Discography | African Music Library". Retrieved 2023-11-04.
  8. ^ (2021-09-15). "Gilbert Bani: biography, age, family, net worth". Retrieved 2023-11-04.
  9. ^ "9jaolofofo Meets Rapper 'A-Q' (Exclusive Interview)". Archived from the original on 2013-07-14.
  10. ^ "one of the sickest rappers alive (Don Jazzy calls A-Q one of the sickest rapper alive)".
  11. ^ (2018-08-11). "#LAMBAugust: Chocolate City Music to release 3 Albums "for the culture of hip-hop in Nigeria" in August". BellaNaija. Retrieved 2019-06-19.
  12. ^ Gbenga Bada (October 20, 2019). "Headies 2019: Here are all the winners at the 13th edition of music award". Pulse Nigeria. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  13. ^ "See di full list of winners for di 14th edition of Headies". BBC News Pidgin.
  14. ^ "A-Q speaks from the top in 'God's Engineering 2'". Pulse Nigeria.
  15. ^ "Video: A-Q - Names Ft Xtrim + Making money + 123 Shots :: Notjustok.c…". Archived from the original on 27 July 2013.
  16. ^ "champagne rum". 8 October 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2018.

External links edit