Quanstar Mr Blue Collar
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Quanstar Mr Blue Collar

| Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

| INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
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"Do It! Documents a Hustler ’s Struggle By Charley Lee"

Southeast Performer July 2008
Do It! Documents a Hustler ’s Struggle By Charley Lee

Atlanta indie rapper Janale Harris, better known as Quanstar,
knows exactly how to get his hustle on. And if there’s anyone
who knows what struggle is all about, it would be him. Quanstar began his rap career as most rappers do, freestyling in front of mirrors and writing lyrics. He soon delved into the underground rapbattling scene and in 2001 he hooked up with Evaready RAW to start First Team Music. The band dropped two mildly successful albums but couldn’t breakthrough. Since the inception of First Team, Quanstar has been on the grind developing his style and becoming a shameless self-promoter. He has released five albums, booked six national tours, and is holding down two jobs. Not to mention this has all been done amidst housing foreclosure and Quanstar ’s duties as a father.

“After 10 years of progression as an artist, regression as a
student and unhappily functioning in society, working places
that I hate for people that I despise,” says Quanstar, “I
decided to step in the game.”

The process of trying to break through and become a recognized artist has been well-documented on Quanstar ’s latest project, Do It!: A Documentary. The project chronicles six months in which Quanstar and crew devote all their time and energy to promoting, touring, recording and trying by any
means possible to get the word out.

“Anthony Neal [the film’s co-producer] and I worked for
Starbuck’s at the time,” recalls Quanstar. “I knew he had a
production company, and he knew I rhymed and toured all of
the time. One day I pitched the idea to him, and we started
recording the next week. We did the whole film on a $1500
budget. The funniest thing about the movie is that 60 percent
of the camera work was done by me. I carried that camera
everywhere for six months. I think we had over 100 hours of
footage between the both us, and Anthony went through all of
that himself to cut it down to the best three hours. Then I
came through, and we chopped it up some more until the finished project was ready.”

Borrowing a little from old school hip-hop and politically conscious rappers such as dead prez and Common, Quanstar ’s message isn’t necessarily politically motivated. Quanstar is
more so on a mission to change the rap game rather than the
world. Quanstar along with his friends from the Hip Hop Congress (HHC), is putting out a message to evolve hip-hop
culture by inspiring social action and creativity within the
community through local music events.

“When people want more, they’ll get more,” explains Quanstar. “The entertainment industry is the only 100 percent consumer controlled industry in this country. If people want these companies and stations to change, they have to speak a language that they understand: money. Buy shit that you want mainstream to reflect. Don’t listen to or watch stations that promote music that is unacceptable to your standards. Stop going to clubs that play a lot of the music you don’t like, and stop buying music from artists that send messages you don’t approve of.”

The low-budget documentary features songs from the soundtrack that it’s paired with. Jazz singer Chanel Mosley adds a little flavor to the song “Drunken Man’s Prayer,” and Lena Moon provides the beats for the track “Back in the Day.” A lot of the music on the DVD is from concert gigs and improv shows from on the road. Do It!: A Documentary takes a pointed look at what it really takes to make it in such a fickle industry. Do It! is in no way a feel-good story. At many times, it looks as though Quanstar should just call it quits — especially when his tour is cancelled due to lack of sponsors — but it’s that drive and determination that make him an underdog worth rooting for. One gets to see the ugly side of
everything in this DVD, from troubles with personal and professional finances, to the sometimes futile process of promoting and the struggle to maintain a regular life amongst the chaos. It’s a realistic view of the music industry and what it takes to keep one’s artistic integrity. The DVD which is available online at Quanstar ’s MySpace and CD Baby, as well as at Criminal Records and other local music spots, features appearances and performances from Evaready RAW, Metrognome, Akil (Jurassic 5), D.R.E.S. tha Beatnik, Cypher Linguistics, Ricky Raw, Bboy Fidget, Lotus Tribe, Lady Maverick and several other up-and-coming artists. Quanstar hopes that with the release of the DVD, more avenues of opportunity will open up for him.

“We live in a multimedia society,” he says. “No one wants
to buy just CDs anymore. So it’s the job of the artist and
the company marketing the artist to find their new angle to fans and adapt. Do It! is just the tip of the iceberg. We’re going to film two more documentaries within the next year.”

But this is only the beginning for the 32-year-old father of
one. Quanstar will also be playing The - Southeast Performer July 2008


"Hip Hop Scene Goes Jurassic"

by Bryan Gibel

Daily Lobo



Albuquerque underground hip-hop fans rarely get a chance to see well-known rap acts, much less for free.

But, on Friday, anyone over 21 can catch a free show with Akil of Jurassic 5 at Burt's Tiki Lounge, at 313 Gold Ave. S.W.

Akil said he'll perform solo work he's been writing while not recording or touring with Jurassic 5.

"I've got a project called My Collection of Expressions," Akil said. "It's a collection of all the things that didn't necessarily fit within the J5 format. I'm expressing the other sides of myself."

Akil is a legendary MC and a hip-hop pioneer, and his performance at Burt's is crucial for Albuquerque's hip-hop scene, said Phillip "Flux" Torres, a local MC producing the concert.

Jurassic 5 released Feedback in 2006, but is not currently working together, Akil said.

"Right now we're on hiatus," he said. "Everyone is doing their own thing. We need some time away from each other to regroup and rethink what we want to do as a group."

Torres said having Akil is a blessing for the Tiki Lounge.

"He's not someone you would normally see at a venue like Burt's, because we usually don't bring out big acts like that," he said. "He's going to throw a dope show, performance-wise and lyrically."

Jurassic 5, formed in Los Angeles in 1994, is renowned for its soulful beats, positive lyrics and harmonized raps, Torres said.

Hip-hop artists from Atlanta - Quanstar, D Labrie and Metrognome - will also perform.

But don't expect to hear crunk music just because they're from the South, Quanstar said.

"It's strictly old-school hip-hop," he said. "We've played Albuquerque before, and it's always off the chain. We're going to bring it, have a party and enjoy ourselves - hip-hop style."

Torres said many people don't see Burt's as a hip-hop venue, even though it is home to Vinyl and Verses, a Wednesday night hip-hop show.

He said he's trying to change that by booking acts like Akil.

"A lot of people who haven't been to Burt's to check out hip-hop on Wednesday nights don't know that it transforms into an underground hip-hop venue that is unique to Albuquerque," Torres said. "If people come out and show support, we'll be able to keep getting national acts to smaller venues like the Tiki Lounge." - Daily Lobo


"V Club Hosts "Bring Your 'A' Game Tour"...."

DAVE LAVENDER

The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON -- If you need any more evidence that it truly is a hip hop musical planet, Akil The MC (ATM) of Jurassic 5 just rolled his solo tour into Cambodia in January, then rolled through those, uh, hip hop havens of Eastern Europe -- Croatia, Bulgaria and Macedonia.

Now out on "The Bring Your 'A' Game Tour, titled Bennington Bound," Akil and tour leader Quanstar have been rolling through Ben and Jerry's strongholds of Montpelier, Bennington and Burlington, Vt., on this cross-country tour bringing the best of indie hip hop to hip hop fans from Brooklyn and Philadelphia to Huntington.

Now in its sixth year, "The Bring Your 'A' Game Tour Series" rolls into the V Club, 741 6th Ave., Huntington at 10 p.m. Saturday, May 16, with an array of underground hip hop artists from around the country.

Headliners are Akil, who is promoting his new solo release of "Collection of Expressions," and Quanstar, pushing the hip hop movie and soundtrack "Do It!: A Documentary."

Also on the tour are Evaready RAW, promoting his album "Appliable Adaptability;" Ghani Gautama with his new release "Few Against Many;" Oakland emcee and activist DLabrie The EOG; Vermont "Hip Pop" band, Strength In Numbers; and "indie" super producer and DJ Metrognome.

Opening the Huntington show is Charleston's two-man rhyme-spitting team Rabbles Rousers (B-Rude and Meuwl), who are also opening for Freekbass in Charleston on Friday night.

Cover for Saturday night's V Club show is $8 advance or $10 day of the show.

Akil, who spent 1997 to 2007 with Jurassic 5, one of the mainstays of the 1990s alternative hip hop scene and a group that played Lollapalooza, and did projects with Dave Matthews, Nelly Furtado, SouLive and others, said it's been beautiful to see the way people around the planet have taken hip hop and made it something of their own.

"I think it's cool that hip hop is everywhere and that you can't just put it in one place in New York or L.A.," Akil said by phone, after a gig in Philly. "We are going to off-the-wall places. I'm not dissing on Vermont, but it's not the first place people would say to perform hip hop. But it's been cool and I think that says a lot about the acceptance of hip hop. I have been around from the beginning of it first being on radio and commercial and to see if grow from that to where it is relevant in Vermont and Cambodia is a testament to hip hop itself."

Akil, an L.A. native whose real name is D. Givens, said this is the seventh year for Quanstar (Janale Harris) to tour his "The Bring Your 'A' Game Tour," a yearly celebration of underground hip hop connecting audiences with some of the most talented acts they will not see through mainstream media channels.

Akil, who's on the tour for the second year, said that face-to-face networking and sharing the music is what he is all about.

"I have found some of the dopest artists from all over which made me create a movement called the Unified Skills District," Akil said. "It's a movement of artists from all over the world who want to link and network together. We are trying to unify them where they are at. I started a movement in my own backyard in L.A. with Los Angeles Unified and we've taken that around the world. I run into a lot of talented people in some of the most remote places. They are looking for a way out and they see me maybe as the closest thing to them being able to make it out. I try to give them as much advice as I can and try to boost them up."

Akil said his new CD, "Collection of Expressions," showcases his writing which he honed fighting for a line and rhyme in Jurassic 5.

"I like to describe the CD as I am going down the same street but stopping at a different house with different stuff in that house," Akil said. "It's still the same street, me a solo artist, but encompasses more who I am and where I come from. I get to state more things than I did in a group setting. I couldn't do that. With four bars here or there I had to really say what I had to say. That built my style. I had to write with more meaning on every line. That's worked to my benefit and enables me to write faster in many different styles. I grew up listening to hip hop when it had a variety to it."

Akil, who grew up listening to everything from Public Enemy and KRS-1 to Masters of Ceremony, The Fat Boys and DJ Jazz Jeff, said that is one of the strengths of "Bring Your A Game," in that it showcases the diversity of hip hop, something not readily available on commercial radio.

"I think that is the natural progression of hip hop and of music in general," Akil said of so many different musical styles mashing up. "It picks up everything that comes close to it. The music has brought everything together. R&B is hip hop and rock is hip hop and hip hop is rock. It has brought all these vibes, and it has brought everybody into it and everybody tries to add their own distinct tastes." - Herald Dispatch


"'Bring Your A Game Tour' stops in Bennington"

By PATRICK McARDLE STAFF WRITER - Published: May 9, 2009

BENNINGTON – This year's "Bring Your A-Game" tour will make stops in Brooklyn, Philadelphia and Raleigh, N.C., but the only town that gets top billing for the underground hip-hop event is this small town in Southern Vermont.

Playing at Bennington College today as part of SunFest, "Bring Your A-Game: Bennington Bound" is an eclectic tour featuring such diverse musicians as Akil the MC, formerly of Los Angeles-based, alternative hip-hop group, Jurassic 5; Akron/Family, a folk-influenced experimental rock band; and Break Science, featuring Adam Deitch, whose music has been described as "club music in the vein of a 'live mix tape,' blending live trip-hop, broken-beat, dub, drum & bass and hip-hop."

But it's alternative hip-hop emcee Quanstar who turned the annual tour into a Bennington-named event.

Samuel Clement, assistant director of student life at Bennington College, said Janale Harris, who performs under the name "Quanstar," had asked the college last year to host a screening of his film, "Do It: A Documentary."

On his MySpace page on the Internet, Harris, who is based in Atlanta, Ga., describes himself as someone who tries to stay true to the "golden age of hip hop" in the early 1990s.

"He paints vivid pictures with conscious, heartfelt lyrics which is a feat that few can achieve in the current hip hop arena that is now saturated with 'bling and booty.' Quanstar's approach is to bring hip hop back to where it used to be...about the people," he wrote.

Clement said there is a strong culture of hip hop among Bennington College students with fans who were "almost hip hop connoisseurs." The screening in October at the student center proved to be popular and Clement and Harris stayed in touch about future collaborations.

With the college's SunFest approaching and students looking for more hip hop music, Clement said he approached Harris about doing a local performance.

"He thought that was a great idea. In fact, he planned the tour around the Bennington show," he said. The result is an all-day festival beginning today at noon which will combine music from student bands and the line-up of the "Bring Your A-Game" tour.

Starting at noon, and performing for 30 minutes each, will be student bands Twigz, Twyler Trombly, Happy Clapping Monkey, Wench, Billiken, Yeesh and the Pittsburgh Stealers.

At 4 p.m., New York City-based Cuban salsa band Cachimba will play followed by two more Bennington College student bands, She at 5:30 p.m. and Grib Lok Zlik at 6 p.m.

The tour begins at 6:30 p.m. with Strength in Numbers, Break Science at 7:30 p.m. and the Akron/Family at 8:30 p.m.

Quanstar's set begins at 10 p.m. and Akil the MC will wrap up the night starting at 11 p.m.

Clement said the student bands are as eclectic as the tour members including a percussion ensemble, a rock band and the Pittsburgh Stealers who only perform punk rock songs that originated in Pittsburgh. - Rutland Herald


"Akil The MC w/ Quanstar, Fuzz & Mac, U.F.O."

Jurassic 5 got busy as one of the more progressive players of the new rap underground of the late ’90s. They debuted in 1995 with a single titled “Unified Rebellion.” Their biggest albums — 2000’s Quality Control and 2002’s Power in Numbers — earned a big following in the hip-hop and rock world. After releasing Feedback in 2006, the group split apart. Since then founding member Akil has been touring and recording as an animated one-man DJ, and with different rappers, DJs, and producers. This week, he returns to Charleston on the “Bring Your ‘A’ Game Tour: Bennington Bound,” featuring Quanstar and other guests. The tour supports the release of Collection of Expressions, and a hip-hop film and soundtrack titled Do It!: A Documentary. Akil calls it a “celebration of underground hip-hop whose purposes are to be an outlet for independent hip-hop culture by connecting audiences with some of the most talented acts in the nation that they will not see through mainstream media channels.” —TBL - Charleston City Paper


"The real side of the music business"

For Janale Harris, the music business is not all fun and games.
"You turn on MTV, you turn on BET and you see all these shows," he said. "It's no disrespect to any of these shows, because there's a market for it, and that's what happens. But you have a whole generation of aspiring artists that come up and think that that's the business, and it's not the business. The business is sometimes you got to sleep two hours a day. Sometimes, you're going to sleep on somebody's floor. Sometimes, you're going to wake up, and you're going to hustle." Harris, who's known as the hip-hop artist Quanstar, will release "Do It!: A Documentary" on Friday. The film will be played at The Stove on Saturday as part of the Hip-Hop Film Festival presented by New Mexico Hip-Hop Congress.

The documentary follows Harris for six months. Throughout the film, he works two jobs, records the soundtrack to the documentary and goes on his annual "Bring Your 'A' Game Tour."

"It's really like an honest-to-God look at my life," he said. "It deals a lot with me having two jobs. It talks about me being a father. There is a huge segment on me and my son, and it happens around his birthday, and my family flies out. We interview my mother, my sister and my son's mother. It has us going on tour."

Harris said the documentary doesn't just capture the good part of the six months.

"There's no glamour to it," he said. "There are things that go wrong. My house got foreclosed during this movie. So, this is the real deal."

Harris said he had to learn different approaches to making money in the music business.

"I've been in the game professionally since 2001," he said. "But all my life, people at school or something like that. I'd walk around with, like, $50 and battle somebody for 50. That's how I'd pay rent a long time ago."

Harris said making a documentary along with an album gives the audience a visual effect.

"They get to see even more in-depth what we talk about our experience is," he said. "It gives them a more personal effect of who Quanstar is. Quanstar is a real dude. Quanstar is a person that wakes up and has to go through the things that everyone else does and sometimes doesn't get as much out of it as someone might in their everyday job. But I get up. I work. I come home just like everybody else."

Harris he would like to make more documentaries like "Do It!"
"We live in a multimedia society, and I think it's a natural progression for all media to go towards mixed media," he said. "Pretty much every album that I drop from now on will be paired with a documentary." - The Daily Lobo


"48bars.com"

There are two people other then crew that has influenced me profoundly on my hip hop quest, DJ EZ Eddie D in Dallas TX and Quanstar. Back in 2003 I was managing “Central Division” a hip hop act out of Chicago. New to Atlanta, I gave the true meaning of the word grind, out hustling every night of the week on the underground circuit. While on the grind I kept running into this kid that called himself Quanstar, reppin' “First Team”. New to the town and hungry for knowledge, I was peppin' dude's style-his moves were always precise, a quite person but his actions were loud. We began to have conversations about this hip hop shit in the ATL, he once told me that the “underground market in ATL is only about 300-400 people that will buy your shit, take it to the road”. Since that conversion Quanstar has put together a tour consisting of Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Alabama, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, California, Nevada, Idaho, and Montana. His documentary “Do It!” will be screened at University of Arizona, University of Georgia, Art Institute of Atlanta, and Bennington College this fall. - 48bars.com


"Do It!: The Quanstar Chronicles"

Issue date: 10/22/08 Section: Life
The documentary Do It will screen at Idaho State University on Wednesday, Oct. 29, and Thursday, Oct. 30. The film chronicles six months in the life of Janale Harris, aka Quanstar, who is a well-known rapper in the underground scene. Quanstar serves as a producer on the film, as well.

"I wanted to make a movie that was real to life," Quanstar said, "not some garbage about some superstar, I wanted to connect with people."

If Quanstar's intention was indeed for the film to be brutally honest, his goals were met. Most of the 85 minute film are interviews with Quanstar, in which he rants about his two jobs. "People think that because I've had some success as a rapper that I must have it made," Quanstar said. "Truth is there are some months that can I barely pay my rent." In the film, we watch Quanstar cope while he sees the first leg of his upcoming tour fall apart, due to a major sponsor falling out.
Even when he finally gets on tour, the film depicts his troubles getting from point A to point B. The final scene of the film is the most telling. The camera is jammed into Quanstar's face as he walks to work. He is laying it all out about what he feels about his most recent tour. He is
distraught and on the verge of tears, but at the end of his rant, he comes to the conclusion, "If it wasn't for music, I'd probably kill myself." At which point, the words "Do it" appear on the screen.

Not "do it" in the ominous way. As depressing as the film can be, the film is ultimately a celebration of hip-hop culture and hip-hop music. "It really keeps me going," Quanstar said. "It gives me a purpose." The film observes underground rappers spitting rhymes to nearly nonexistent
audiences in some cases. But they do it because they love the music so much, that's all that matters.

Quanstar clearly has a love for the game. "When I'm not working, I spend a lot of my day on the internet trying to find new acts," Quanstar said. "I'm addicted to it." Quanstar was raised in a house where music was played all day, but he was the only one that could play an instrument (the violin). But it was at the age of seven when he knew hip-hop was his thing. "That's when I heard Radio by LL Cool J for the first time," Quanstar said. "I said to myself 'this is rap.'" After that, it was Public Enemy. "I grew up in Compton in the 80's," Quanstar said. "Police would seriously beat you for no reason. But Chuck D kept me out of the streets, and he made me look at rap in a different way." Public Enemy's influence on Quanstar is undeniable, due to some of the political content of some of his songs.

Do It was shot on a budget of $1,500, which wouldn't even cover the catering costs for one day on the set of Transformers. "We only used two cameras," Quanstar said. "We did all of the shooting ourselves." The director who helped Quanstar out was Anthony Neal, a co-worker of Quanstar's at Starbucks. "I'd been wanting to make a movie about my experiences for a while," Quanstar said. "Anthony had been looking to make a movie too, it worked perfectly." The film is representative of the youtube generation: low-budget, shaky photography but personal and meaningful. "I'm really proud of how the film turned out," Quanstar said. "The response has been great." Quanstar plans to continue working in the film arena; he plans on starting up a video blog next year, which at some point will film his trip to Africa. "I don't mind being on camera so much," Quanstar said. "I'm pretty comfortable with it." Although Quanstar keeps an easy-going persona on screen, that did require some editing. "There were a couple of things we shot that made me look horrible," Quanstar said. "It didn't take me too long to cut those parts out." - Idaho State Bengal


"'Do It!: A Documentary' Film by hip-hop icon teaches valuable life lessons"

Janale Harris, a.k.a. Quanstar, is a man of many talents, and he is working his tail off trying to get others to realize it too. An underground hip-hop artist, emcee, author, publicist, promoter, booking agent, the father of a little boy with a second one on the way, and working two jobs, Quanstar could easily be called the hardest working man in hip-hop. One thing is for sure: Quanstar’s life proves that trying to make a name for oneself in the world of entertainment is indeed a hard knock life.

Despite the big load that is on his shoulders, Quanstar strives to keep his spirits high with good friends and a caring family, who appear in the film, to support his dream of “making it” whether that is in the lights of a concert hall marquee or in the eyes of his sons. He is determined to go the extra mile in all of his endeavors, and he has produced a documentary that shows exactly that. On Nov. 24, his film “Do It! A Documentary” will be shown at University of Puget Sound’s Rausch Auditorium at 6 p.m. Admission is free.

Directed by Anthony Neal, “Do It!” is a real-life account of Quanstar’s life over the course of six months as he works to balance all the things that are going on in his life with his desire for personal achievement. It is gritty, not glamorous, and refreshingly honest. Whether he is in the studio laying down tracks, on the phone trying to line up sponsors for his annual “The Bring Your ‘A’ Game Tour,” almost running out of gas in the middle of nowhere trying to get to his next gig, or relaxing at home celebrating his son Janale Jr.’s birthday, the camera is there recording it all and the results are fascinating and at times heartwarming. Seeing this film, you may easily find yourself caught up in his journey to the point that you are rooting for the guy to succeed. Above all, it teaches a real-life lesson to believe in your dreams and to never give up on yourself.

“If you want it, you gotta get it no matter what it is,” Quanstar said from his home base in Atlanta. “You have to get up every day and be committed to it.” He said one reason he made the film is to help younger artists just starting out. “They don’t understand that it’s hard…it’s a business. I wanted the movie to talk about the day-to-day struggles.”

The film also clearly shows how much the genre of hip-hop music is an unabashed expression of life. Just as a graphic artist picks up a paintbrush to share their view of the world around them, so does Quanstar but with a microphone. The lyrics he writes are said to bring hip-hop back to where it used to be during its golden age in the early 1990s, that being music by the people and for the people rather than so much “bling and booty” content that is heard today, according to the Compton-born artist.

Quanstar has already released four albums, not including the 12 song CD soundtrack that accompanies “Do It!” His book “Water From Turnips: The Book,” about his life of perseverance starting from childhood, was released this past September and he is about to start recording an album to go with it. His second book, “A Rapper’s Words: The Graphic Novel,” is due out in early 2009. He is also working on a third novel, “Message From a Single Dad,” which will be a compilation of essays written by single fathers to help counter the unfair stereotypes about black men’s lack of involvement in their children’s lives.

Active in the non-profit Hip Hop Congress, Quanstar said this organization is an excellent resource. “If you ever want to make a difference and get around positive people in hip-hop no matter what you want to do, go to www.hiphopcongress.com,” he said.

Quanstar said he is looking forward to the day when he can sit back, watch his film and smile about the way things used to be, perhaps even with a sense of melancholy for those crazy times. “I can’t wait to look back at this and laugh at it,” he said. But in the meantime, “Where I am right now, even though it’s hard and trying, I’m grateful where I am because it makes for a better story and I can help myself and more people the way I’m doing it now.”

Learn more about Quanstar, download his music and writings and order his CDs at www.ftent.weebly.com. Also check out www.myspace.com/Quanstar. - Tacoma Weekly


"How "The Underdog" came out on top"

The story of balancing a lifelong dream and the responsibilities of a family, “The Underdog” is the refreshing break away from mainstream we get from the Atlanta based artist Quanstar. The Compton native uses his fourth solo album to reject the calculated formula of flashy cars, women and money set in a hot spot night club running rampant in the current industry. He instead takes his experience and becomes something everyone can relate to, Mr. Blue Collar. And while one reality is never a more worthy experience than another, Quanstar brings integrity to his craft by embracing everyday life and layering it atop a melodic mix of feel good tracks. From Cleansing the past, wanting to Raise the Bar for his children, to remaining honest about the socioeconomic strife in chasing American Dreams, there is no exaggerations. No sugarcoating. No scripts. No giving up. Just one man’s journey from no other point of view than his own; for this “The Underdog” comes out on top. - Melle Mels


Discography

Men, Women, and Everything Else, July 2011
The Bootleggas Mixtape Vol 3, June 2011
4/11, April 2011
The Underdog, 2010
The Bootleggas Mixtape Vol 2, 2010
Do It!: A Documentary and soundtrack, 2008
2: The Alias and Eardrumz Saga, 2006
Sometimes You Gotta Stand Alone, 2005
Life Is..., 2004
Anti-Social, 2003

Photos

Bio

An emcee, publicist, self promoter, booking agent, movie producer, author, father, and visionary. The master planner and CEO of First Team Music, Quanstar aka Mr Blue Collar, lives by one motto: Work hard, and rest when I die.

The Compton, Ca native attributes his earliest exposure to hip hop culture to his cousin. It was through him that Quanstar found out about artists like Run DMC, The Sugarhill Gang, The Fat Boys, and Kurtis Blow. From there Beat Street, Breakin', and Wild Styles took over; however, the one single moment that made him a bona fide hip hop head was seeing LL Cool J perform Radio in the movie, Krush Groove. At that point he got it, and knew that's what he wanted to be.

In the years following, whether it was showing off his fancy footwork on cardboard, rhymin on the street corner about cars driving by, or taggin up his notebook in class when he should be listening to the teacher, Quanstar was completely immersed in hip hop culture. By the time he was 16, he was known as the fiercest freestyler in his neighborhood, and winning competitions all over the Los Angeles area.

In 2001, Quanstar along with Evaready RAW, whom he'd befriended at Clark Atlanta University, started the hip hop group and eventual band, First Team. After two successful independent releases and national tours, the band split and the two emcees founded First Team Music, the management company where he serves as the corporation's CEO.

Through FTM, Quanstar has released 4 solo projects, the hip hop film Do It!: Documentary, the book Water From Turnips, and embarked on eight national tours using The Bring Your 'A' Game Tour Series. The Juice Crew, Akil The MC of Jurassic 5, Black Sheep, Immortal Technique, The Clipse, One Be Lo, and The Souls of Mischief are some acts that he's shared stages with.

Quanstar calls himself the American Dream, because he is a first hand example of what happens when you man-up, work hard, sleep as a hobby, then show someone else how to do the same. His music, his work-ethic, and his ideology are reflections of growing up a back-packer in the old school and making it happen in the now.

Band Members