“Drake gave me my start. I wouldn’t even be in the conversation without Drake, so I’ll always have a certain respect and loyalty to him”
Quentin Miller became a household name for hip-hop fans back in the summer of 2015, when a reference track he recorded for Drake surfaced, proof for Meek Mill’s claim that the Canadian rapper used ghostwriters. Miller suddenly found himself on the front lines of a rap beef, the ammunition used to attempt to take down one of the biggest figures in the rap game. That particular attempt on Drake’s career wasn’t successful, but as of two weeks ago, Miller has found himself back in the same conversation.
Two weeks ago, Pusha-T released DAYTONA, his long-awaited and critically acclaimed album. On “Infrared,” its final song, he took aim at Drake with a series of slightly under the radar shots, most notably, “It was written like Nas, but it came from Quentin.”
Suddenly, Miller was back in the same beef, though with a different Drake antagonist. Drake fired back with “Duppy Freestyle,” and elaborated on his and Miller’s relationship at length: “And as for Q, man I changed his life a couple times / Ni**a was at Kroger working double time / Ya’ll acting like he made the boy when I was trying to help the guy.” In a since-been-deleted tweet, Miller made light of the matter by correcting Drake that he actually worked at Publix, not Kroger. (Asked about his relationship with Drake now, Miller simply says, “We’re cool”).
Since then, the beef between Pusha and Drake has simmered down, but Miller has released his own response track, and is still forging ahead with his own career – CRSHD Files, Vol. 2, his latest project as part of the duo Wdng Crshrs, came out last month, and he has an upcoming solo project on the way. Rolling Stone caught up with Miller to talk about being dragged back into a Drake beef, his own response to the situation on “Destiny Freestyle,” and how he’s faring since losing his leg in a 2016 car accident.
You’ve mentioned that you’re not taking a side in the Pusha-T and Drake beef. Why is that?
Because there’s a lot of behind the scenes on it.
That the people don’t see?
Of course, there’s always stuff behind the scenes that people don’t see. Ultimately, Pusha has always been a good guy to me. Obviously, Drake gave me my start. I wouldn’t even be in the conversation without Drake, so I’ll always have a certain respect and loyalty to him. It’s kind of like when The Game was shouting out Dr. Dre all the time, because he changed his life. When someone changes your life, that’s how it’s always going to be. With that though, I wanted to stay neutral, because they’re both positive influences in my life.
Loyalty aside, who do you think delivered the biggest blow?
No comment [Laughs].
You writing for Drake has been a topic for several years now. Are you tired of it being brought up?
Yeah, I kind of am tired of it being brought up. People want to give me credit for his whole catalog, but that’s not true. I was inspired by him, just like everybody else. We collaborated, and that’s that. The way things played out, I don’t know if anyone made all the right decisions in all the right scenarios. Ultimately, I wanted people to just see that project as a great project. I didn’t want all that negative shit. That was the first major thing I was ever a part of. It was sort of like my Taylor Swift moment, and Meek Mill kind of Kanye-ed me [Laughs]. I got Kanye-ed by Meek, but it’s all good.
How does it feel when Drake rapped about you again recently?
I’m doing my thing. We doing us out here. Ain’t nobody around helping us out. Honestly, it’s only a select few people that really genuinely fuck with me, and rock with me, and help me out. So without saying too much, I’m doing my thing. People say my name, whatever. I can’t control that.
You recently tweeted everything about the ghostwriting scandal would come to light soon. What did you mean by that?
With “Destiny Freestyle,” I addressed things that were important to me. I felt all other conversations were side conversations. I got some stuff off my chest that I felt like I needed to say at the time.
What was the process of writing the song?
I kind of just woke up with a lot on my chest. My name, to hear it dragged into it again, it was a frustration. I was thinking of reaching out to radio hosts and stuff to tell my side, but in the end decided to just put it into a song or diss.
I actually listened to it a few times, and I really admire your confidence. What made you say it feels like you’ve won already?
Oh, that line [Laughs]. A: I’m still alive after everything. B: I’m still somewhat relevant in music, with a prosthetic leg. C: Outside of all that, just the fact that I can pay my bills off of music. I feel like for anyone, not even just me, everyone has this idea that the only end goal is being the number one, super touring everywhere. But you can pay your bills off of songs.
Speaking of losing your leg, how did you bounce back after your car accident?
The whole time I was in recovery for the accident, all I was thinking about was getting back to making music. I didn’t want use it as a… I didn’t want people to look at me and feel bad for me. If anything, I felt more frustration. And being able to get back and making music was therapeutic, being able to show I could still go. I lost one thing, but I still have my voice. I still got my mind. I can compete.