Ah Valentine’s Day. It’s a time for hearts, Hallmark and… Hip-Hop? One of those things is not like the other, but according to PackFM of QN5 that third “thing” most definitely belongs. In fact, PackFM and his friends over at QN5 Music have created an EP, Baby Blue For Pink, that’s not only for Valentine’s Day, but also the appreciation of women in general. The album, which hits online retailers on the 14th, features songs about the realities of dating and love, which is why it seemed appropriate to catch up with PackFM this week to discuss some of his best V-Day moves, what inspired him and his team to make Baby Blue For Pink, and how they went about making sure the project didn’t turn out corny.

Adam Bernard: First off, for those who might not be familiar with your team, give everyone the Cliff’s Notes version of who QN5 is, when you all linked up and how long you’ve been together.
PackFM: Well for all of y’all who are new to the team, QN5 Music is an indie Hip-Hop label. The roster is Tonedeff, who’s also the CEO, CunninLynguists, Substantial, Session, Mr. SOS, the group Kynfolk out of Kentucky and of course, me, PackFM. We’ve been putting out music under the label for about seven or eight years now and we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. So, what’s good?

AB: Your upcoming release is a Valentine’s Day EP, Baby Blue For Pink. Valentine’s Day doesn’t seem like the kind of holiday normally celebrated by emcees, so what inspired this project? Be honest, did your girlfriends / wives make you do it?
PackFM: Well, that’s one thing I want people to know off the bat, this EP isn’t strictly for V-Day. It’s got a love theme and we felt that Valentine’s Day was the best day to drop it, but the songs are all real dope, so if it’s the middle of May and you feel like picking it up and playing it while chilling with your significant other it will be totally appropriate. As far what inspired us, it’s just that we felt there was a need to take a different approach towards the subject of love. People usually either go the emo break up route, or the standard “I love you” dedication and there’s just way too much ground left uncovered on the subject. We are trying to fill that void.

“People always say keep it real, right? Well I think love is a very real part of life, even if it doesn’t hit everyone in the same way…”

AB: What I found interesting is that the songs are actually about love, not sex. LL Cool J occasionally takes some heat when he rhymes for the ladies. First of all do you think this is fair, and second what do you feel is going to be different for you?
PackFM: Yeah we even addressed this on the record. Women are a big part of our lives, and not just for us, for every one of us on this earth, you know? People always say keep it real, right? Well I think love is a very real part of life, even if it doesn’t hit everyone in the same way it’s still real. So fuck it, keep it real, give your woman a hug and rap about it. Ha ha. But I don’t think we’re going to get that kind of heat because none of it is done in a cheesy generic way. It’s all very entertaining.

AB: You already have an established fan base. Is Baby Blue For Pink going to take them by surprise? Is it going to make them say “whoa, wait, this is QN5!??!”
PackFM: Not at all. I think people will be pleasantly surprised. Each song has a refreshing approach to it because each artist brought their own signature flavor to the table. It’s like even though you’re doing something new you still have to give the people what they want.

AB: How is the album being distributed? How are you getting out there to people?
PackFM: Baby Blue For Pink is the first exclusively digital release for QN5 Music, so people can get it from iTunes, Rhapsody, Amazon or any pay download site out there. I mean one of the real reasons people download in the first place is because it’s convenient and we totally understand that, so now it’s just as convenient to actually pay for the music. There’s really no reason to not purchase it if you really want to support. If you can register for a porn site you can pay for a digital EP.

“The average person doesn’t think of Hip-Hop as being sexy [..] so hopefully with this project we can change that misconception.”

AB: What are your goals for the project?
PackFM: The same goal we have for every project, to spread good music around. Also, the average person doesn’t think of Hip-Hop as being sexy, especially on an underground level, so hopefully with this project we can change that misconception.

AB: Since Baby Blue For Pink is dropping on Valentine’s Day hit us with some of your personal Valentine’s Day moves? You know, other than recording EPs. Chocolates? Flowers? How does PackFM pack away the ladies on February 14th?
PackFM: Ah man, it always depends on the woman. Different things make different people tick, so I try to do something that lets them know that they’re special and I recognize that there’s nobody like them. It may sound sappy, but I’m trying to get laid.

AB: Finally, is an Arbor Day album in your future? C’mon, Hip-Hop loves foliage!
PackFM: Ha ha! Maybe we can work that out just for you, but don’t count on it.