Over the past decade, Tonedeff’s QN5 Music imprint has transformed from a small, under-the-underground independent label to one of Hip Hop’s most critically acclaimed musical families. Now, ten years into QN5’s collective career, the collective decided to give their fans a look into its extensive discography with this year’s QN5 Megashow 2011: Evolution.
This past Friday August 19, hundreds of QN5’s most ardent supporters pack in to the Highline Ballroom on West 16th Street for four hours of indie Hip Hop history. With a set list covering a decades worth of boom-bap hits, this year’s QN5 Megashow proved was a testament to the label’s legacy.
In a departure from previous performances, the show was organized more as a musical narrative chronicling the label’s rich history. Although the show kicked off with the label’s head honcho Tonedeff, the rest of the label’s line-up moved fluidly on and off stage. QN5 balanced its past and present history, as Tone, the CunninLynguists, PackFM, Mr. SOS, Substantial and Kokayi jumped on stage to rock hits with one another.
The show also saw the QN5 crew give blue schoolers a number of surprises. In addition to performances from iCON the Mic King, PH, Sheisty Khryst, Cashmere, Anna Wise, IAmMany, and Steph, Session joined his former group the Extended Famm for a performance, while former CunninLynguist SOS rocked with partners Kno and Deacon to perform hits from their ’03 album Southernunderground.
The music wasn’t the only thing that kept fans’ attention, however. QN5 kept the stage show live with a series of hilarious puppet show videos, while Tonedeff crowd surfed during “Optimist,” DJ JS-1 scratched records with his foot and PackFM tagged a canvas live on stage during his performance of ‘04s “Clik Clak Spray.”
In addition, Tonedeff and Kno gave fans a look into the future of the label by premiering the video to the song “One Thousand Ships,” off their upcoming project together as Chico and the Man (they also announced that evening that the project would drop this December 13).
The trailer for the QN5 Megashow can be viewed below.