Being a competitive surfer actually has something in common with rapping for a living – being a dreamer. It’s practically a prerequisite in either profession. Everyone is going to tell you that it can’t be done, you shouldn’t even try, and that you’d better settle down and get a real job. Learn a trade, they say. Go to college, they say. Enter food service – people are always going to need to eat. You can’t make a living doing THAT. The ones who are going to succeed have to have the vision, the inner-belief, the self-confidence and even arguably the arrogance to believe they’re just that good. Forget what the naysayers have to say about it – they’re just old and bitter – go out and pursue that dream.

San Francisco’s own QM, from the Rec League crew, is definitely a dreamer. “I Shoulda Been a Surfer” may give people the mistaken impression he’s not serious about his hip-hop, but after listening to the four track EP you might think it’s the exact opposite and wonder if he was serious about surfing. Perhaps in the end he decided there was only one profession he could make a living at by living out his dream, and if he picked hip-hop as that one I don’t get the impression he chose wrong. Neither do his peers, who pile on plenty on this short release, such as the posse deep cut “#REC” featuring Proe, Maclane and Richie Cunning.

It certainly doesn’t hurt QM to be rolling with capable talents like Cunning and Proe, who have both received good reviews on RR befo’, but QM has a hard time establishing his presence given how thick this 13 minute sampler is with voices OTHER than his. The only track where he gets to completely stand alone is the appropriately surfer-esque laid back “Relax Your Mind,” with a hypnotic backdrop and computerized voices that give QM a very Golf Wang-esque aesthetic.

“Beaches & Bridges” might be a better example of his style though, a song that by the intro’s admission links “Texas to the Bay” between the Ben Waid production (Austin) and QM’s rap, but once again he has to share the spotlight with a special guest – Eddie K. Q seemed personally interested in the RR audience getting to know him based on the fact we had previously featured some of his friends and peers, and although I enjoyed “I Shoulda Been a Surfer” I wound up wishing that we DID get to know him better. Four songs wasn’t enough to figure out where he’s coming from or even relate to his dream, especially when he gives up so much of the spotlight. If rapping is his passion and not riding the waves, then be the Big Kahuna and don’t let anybody get between you and the mic.

QM & Ben Waid :: I Shoulda Been a Surfer
6.5Overall Score