Saudade

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Saudade  Explicit Content
Saudade.png
Studio album by
Released November 8, 2014
Recorded December 2013–October 2014
Studio Skid Row Productions
Genre Hip hop · experimental
Length 69:41
Label Skid Row Productions
Step Aside Records
O.P. Entertainment
Producer
Q-Lo chronology
I Called But You Didn't Answer Me
(2012)
Saudade  Explicit Content
(2014)
OPEN SEASON
(2016)
Singles from Saudade
  1. ""Broken Glass""
    Released: September 1, 2014
  2. ""A Melancholic Friday""
    Released: September 19, 2014
  3. ""Overdose""
    Released: October 2, 2014
  4. ""Momentarily""
    Released: October 16, 2014
Saudade (sawˈdadʒi) is the fourth studio album by Sierran hip hop recording artist Jermaine Carter Williams, under his stage name Q-Lo. It was released on November 8, 2014 by Skid Row Productions and Step Aside Records under the distributor company, O.P. Entertainment. The album was created in response to Williams' personal issues with his estranged then-wife, whom he had just married the same year the album was released. He alongside fellow artists from Skid Row Productions helped produce the bulk of the album's tracks and audio from his private residence in Kauai from April to October in 2014. Williams also remixed previously recorded, but unpublished tracks he had made earlier in the year, and repurposed them into the album, releasing four of them early as singles, including "Broken Glass", "A Melancholic Friday", "Overdose", and "Momentarily".

The album has been widely regarded as Williams' greatest work yet, and received universal acclaim among critics, and mixed responses among fans. Saudade dealt heavily with themes of confusion, depression, heartbreak, and hopeless romanticism, while also exploring the continued exploits and injustice of the people living in the Styxie, his home region, and was noted for its extensive use of two non-traditional instruments in hip-hop: the percussion and guitar. The album's style drew influence from trap music, alternative rock, synthpop, and trance.

The longest album by Williams to date, it features 19 songs as well as 3 bonus tracks, and was heavily promoted by Williams for three months leading up to Saudade's release. Saudade debuted at number one on the Sunset 100, selling 420,000 copies in its first week of release, and topped the charts in 17 other countries including Brazoria, Astoria, and the United Commonwealth. It received widespread appraisal and critical recognition, and won eight awards from four major award organizations, and named the best album of the year on numerous polls and lists conducted at the end of the year. By March 2015, Saudade had been certified Platinum in five countries: Sierra, Brazoria, Astoria, the United Commonwealth, and finally, Superior.

Background[edit | edit source]

Jermaine Carter Williams
Q-Lo
Jasmine Marx
Jasmine Marx
The theme and lyrical content of Saudade were heavily inspired by Williams' strained, and ultimately failed marriage with his ex-wife Jasmine Marx.

Hoping to replicate the success of his album, I Called But You Didn't Answer Me, Williams began preliminary work in December 2013 although held off serious commitment for a while in order to spend more time with his fiancé, Sierran fashion model and clothing designer Jasmine Marx. They married on January 6, 2014, after just three years of dating, and four months of engagement. Williams and Marx's marriage attracted heavy media attention, particularly due to the expensive, lavish wedding they had. Entertainment sources and celebrity trackers asserted the two were a "power couple", and pressed the false rumor that Williams actively pressed Marx to have children. By April of that year however, after spending their honeymoon at their private residence in Kauai, Marx returned to Porciúncula alone without explanation to the public. The two's silence on the matter stirred controversy, with the media speculating a rapid deterioration in their marriage. Later, Williams admitted that their relationship had begun to experience problems back in February, mainly Marx's concern with Williams overworking himself with too many projects, some unrelated to his music. That year, he landed the role of Atticus Freeman in the 2015 historical drama film, Landon, the role of Michael Sparks in the television comedy series, The Styx 100, and a voice role in the Sierran anime series Boku no Koi as the main character, Marvel. He frequently stayed at friends near his project's sets instead of returning home, much to the ire of Marx. Marx herself was involved in her own projects, and became frustrated when Williams seemed to value his career over her. In an effort to reconcile, Williams booked an extended vacation as their official honeymoon to their summer home in Hawaii, and the two left in March.

In Hawaii, it appeared that the two had rekindled their relationship, and were photographed by paparazzi, apparently happy along the beach. Few tabloid sources ran the assertion that the two went to Hawaii to repair their relationship, news which were dismissed at the time, as the media maintained that the two were an inseparable supercouple. Pressures to complete his projects eventually compromised the purpose and quality of their vacation, and nightly arguments completely derailed the relationship. Marx made the independent decision to leave Williams, returning to their Porciúncula residence on April 26, unwilling to remain with her husband. Meanwhile, Williams elected to remain in Hawaii to save face, fearing returning home would provoke Marx into speaking out. The two mutually agreed to reveal nothing to the public, and it was initially believed by both that the relationship would heal after a few weeks of separation.

During the initial week following Marx's return home, Williams and Marx's silence on their separation caused widespread speculation and curiosity. Meanwhile, Williams spent most of his days locked up in the residence, which he later admitted in interviews, he spent smoking cannabis and anti-depressants. Having stalled off work on his upcoming album, Williams decided to dedicate it to his wife, to convey the emotional distress and turmoil he had endured due to their fights. Williams decided to begin proactive recording and production of this new album with his fellow artists at Skid Row Productions, the record label he founded.

Recording and production[edit | edit source]

For the first few weeks, Williams restricted his correspondence with crew members with SRS and executives from O.P. Entertainment, and contacted Iranian-Sierran artist Stephacide to help him produce music for his album. Recording sessions began at the Diamond Head Recording Studio in Honolulu, Oahu, before expanding to include one in Pasadena and Grands Ballons. He was inspired by the music sounds of Styxie rap, pioneered by Genesys). He assembled a team of producers in order to carry out his vision for the album. Williams eventually whittled down the producers to Stephacide, DanceDanDance, DJ Glock, Da Payout, and Bodacious B. Williams also had Sierran conductor Henry Fritz to help incorporate and remix instrumental ensemble into his songs. Fritz himself had worked with Williams before, as he was the leading producer behind Williams' first studio album Coup de Grâce.

In a February 2015 interview with Divergent Beats, Skid Row Production's producer Evan Kot explained that although Williams was visibly distraught over his problems with his wife, he channeled his grief and frustration into his music. Williams was "always willing to push the boundaries and wouldn't settle with shortcuts. Q-Lo will be the only one at the end of the day to say, 'This ain't the one. We gotta have to try better than this. We have to redo it,' and then spend all night into the morning, perfecting it, only to scrap it for something even better." In an interview with the Sunset 100 in March 2015, Terry Faust of The Huntington Boys said, "My band and I were just one of the many, many people who were called in to pitch-in this grandiose project Q-Lo was making. He wanted everyone in, and I got in and like, I just sang, and then just like that, we did our job. Done. We all got to contribute a small part to this amazing piece of art we got to hear months later."

Emma Chae from the Sierran K-pop girl band 4OUR, was enlisted as a writer, producer, and vocalist for the production of Saudade and would heavily influence the culmination of the final result.

Determined to give the album a unique sound as he had done with his other albums and mixtapes, he decided to experiment with various musical styles ranging from trap music, alternative rock, synthpop, and trance. He worked extensively with Stephacide whom he named as his key sounds producer, and insisted in "deviating from the norm", hoping the content and sounds would be very distinct from typical hip hop without fully detracting from it. The recording during the later stages of the album were described by James Rubio as "hyper-focused and precisely handled" by Williams, who continued to spend hours in the studio with his staff and other artists, recording and editing music.

By August, Williams' relationship with Marx had completely collapsed, with Williams, through an official spokesperson, finally acknowledging that he and his wife had "irreconcilable differences". At this time, he began getting romantically involved with Sierran K-pop artist Emma Chae who befriended Williams in 2014, and was invited to work with Williams on Saudade as a producer, writer, and singer. Their new relationship, along with Williams' file for divorce with Marx in August, set the final stages of the album. Many songs which were practically completed were revisited lyrically and musically, with new input from Chae and others. Sandy Goldstein, who participated in recording sessions as a writer and vocal supervisor, stated in a September 2015 interview, "Q-Lo and Emma just clicked, and she gave Williams hope and joy again, something he was sorely lacking throughout the creation of the album initially because of Marx. Chae helped inject some much needed optimism and life into an otherwise bleak, deliberate it may be, but austere work that reflected the pains of an emotionally drained man of talent."

Nearing completion, Williams continued to make significant tweaks to the album, calling in Da Payout and Bodacious B to remix some songs further, and assist in inserting samples into some of the tracks. Despite internal complaints and concerns of overworking, Williams persisted, even through a severe cold that strained his voice, and at one point, instructing his producers to record him singing from the sauna. In September, Williams released two tracks from Saudade as teasers to the public: "Broken Glass" and "A Melancholic Friday", two singles which proved to be extremely popular and topped Anglo-American charts.

With the subsequent releases and positive reception towards "Momentarily" and "Overdose", Williams eased the pressure, and concentrated throughout October mainly to refine and polish his tracks, re-writing and re-recording lines he thought were weak. Taliyah Payne, a creative director hired by Williams during the final weeks explained, "The set was really laid-back by the time I was called in and the first thing they tell me, they fucking tell me, 'Hun, take a joint or some shit'. I was confused and shocked–there was definitely an air of satisfaction, victory, and assurance amongst everyone because they were fucking done–Q-Lo said so. I didn't even get to see the shit they went through the many months before, though I guess I was pretty fucking lucky."

On the week Saudade was to be released to the public, Williams personally thanked all of the individuals who helped contribute to the album, and threw a rave party at his residence. Unbeknownst to him, an unknown insider leaked parts of the album on November 5, 2014, just three days before the release date. When Williams discovered this, he threatened to delay the release until the leaker confessed. However, despite the leaks, it heightened hype and anticipation for the album, and Williams made last-minute tweaks on some tracks, omitting explicit references to Jasmine Marx (who was still legally his wife at the time) on the songs, "Hell to Pay" and "Every Single Time".

Composition[edit | edit source]

Music[edit | edit source]

According to Newstar magazine, Saudade is an example of "new wave hip hop album", while The Unionist described the album as an "emotionally-charged synthpop album" and Sunset 100 recognizing the album as an "innovative, insightful work spiked with raw emotion and angst, huddled underneath the quiet storm". Various writers agreed that Saudade was a progressive album which adapted and incorporated elements of his past albums and mixtapes, including the gritty, political cynicism found in No Second Chances, the unabashed boldness of Coup de Grâce and Hoosier's Man, and the raunchy, sex-crazed energy of I Called But You Didn't Answer Me.

Jim Chapman from The Porciúncula Times noted the diverse styles of music Saudade managed to successfully blend in to the album, and noted an underlying, nuanced influence from Southern hip hop. Everyday Hip Hop acknowledged that the album was exceptionally complex, and was strong evidence in the musical genius of Williams and the potential capability of hip-hop artists to self-actualize if only achieved through dedication and passion, an example of the "Sierran dream". Divergent Beat's Andy Won noted the prevalent presence of sampling throughout the album, and their contrast with the actual songs, and asserted this trend "brilliantly imitates the helplessness we feel by seeking escapism with worldly pleasures and manmade idols". Despite nearly universal acclaim and praise for the album, few noted some issues. Lana Porcher from The Pawnee Register expressed that although the album was wonderfully and beautifully created, "at times, it seems Williams is just so overwhelmed by his emotions, it takes a toll on his rapping and singing", stating that there are points in the album where his tone drops "flatly stifled, rather awkwardly as if he was choking back from his tears", although acknowledged that this may be intentional. Monte Negrete of La Brea Media was less enthused, dismissing the album as "shamefully overrated and astoundingly dull" compared to Williams' previous works, and did not appreciate Williams' experimental styles in the album, calling it "ill-contrived and painful to listen to–'jack of all trades' in the musical form".

The album has been regarded as Williams' best work yet by many critics, and one of the best albums from Sierra of all time. Saudade handles themes of depression, heartbreak, failed romances, empty promiscuity, drugs, wealth, and even suicide. In addition, though the songs have been analogous to Williams' own emotional problems, they have also simultaneously shed further light on Williams' frustration at the plight of the Styxie, particularly its African-Sierran community, likening the government to his ex-wife–initially caring, but increasingly distant and apathetic to the struggles of black Sierra and ignorant of the suffering in urban neighborhoods. Jon Dyson describes the album as "deeply profound and blows up the emotional baggage Q-Lo has suffered for all to see like a modern parable".

Lyrics[edit | edit source]

Williams carefully ensured that his album had a chronological, sequential narrative that would allow the listener to follow the rapper's emotional journey. He incorporated storytelling into his songs, reminiscent of folk stories often told in his homeland Styxie, a tradition he himself experienced in his childhood. Saudade is predominantly introspective and self-aware, although Williams ensured that it could be universally understood, and frequently incorporated allegorical material in his songs. In the heavier, slower songs, specifically those dealing with sadness and heartbreak, the lyrics were subdued in terms of assertiveness, and were more inquisitive, critical of himself, and laced with melancholy. The faster-paced and emotionally aggressive songs was much more emotive and passionate, and critical of his enemies and detractors, leading critics to see a parallel with the experience in bipolarism although Williams stated this was not his intention. Narratively, the album can be divided into three distinct parts reflective of the artist's emotional stages during the creation of the album: Williams' descent into deep depression after his separation from Marx ("Summer by the Styx" to "Hot Flashes"), Williams' passive, detached melancholy during the album ("A Melancholic Friday" to "Come Back"), and then Williams' freedom from Marx and renewed sense of purpose ("Sex G.o.D." to "Overdose").

"Summer by the Styx", the opening track of the album, begins with a sampled rendition of the popular Styxer folk song "Cashews on the Morrow" by Sierran folk musician Donna Hennessy, followed by Williams' calm, nostalgic lyrics, filled with childlike wonder and appreciation of life. It presents the perspective of a man, recounting his youthful years, picturing himself walking hand-in-hand with his childhood sweetheart along the Styx carefree and enthused. The picture grows fuzzier as the man returns to reality, and remembers what has become of the two of them. By the song's end, it becomes noticeably downcast, thus setting the main tone for much of the rest of the album. Williams raps near the end, "And I know girl you've been on my mind/But face it, love's getting hard to find", highlighting his emergent doubt in their "perfect" relationship (a nod to the popular belief at the time that Williams and Marx were a loving power couple). "The Door is Closed" carries on the growing sadness Williams feels, and worsens as the background vocals of Shana Brennan and Christopher Yates imitate the sound of ghostly sirens mock Williams, suggesting his fear of infidelity of Marx and his concern with his own betrayal. "Vengeance" takes a sharp detour from Williams' saddened confusion with anger and ferocity, detailing a man's disgust with betrayal, and his desire to see his lover receive her comeuppance and downfall for her wrongs. The samples of "Screaming Maniac Rampage" and heavy use of percussion enhance the atmosphere of rage and spite that has engulfed Williams in the midst of genuine sadness.

Williams in the music video for "The Three Puppeteers".

"The Three Puppeteers" progresses Williams' mood and emotions as much more manic, as it tells of three past lovers of Williams who wrecked his sanity, and emotional well-being through their manipulation and his disillusionment with Marx becoming one as well. "Broken Glass" highlights the beginning of Williams' rapid decline in lyrical and thematic stability in the album, as he is audibly broken, using abrasive, off-putting annunciation and irregular flows to carry his lyrics. The song narrates a heartbroken man who wrecks his personal belongings, angry at his lover, and their dying relationship. "Darkest Night" continues the narrative of the heartbroken man, who is now in his bed, calmer but exceptionally depressed. It is the only track in the album to make extensive use of the saxophone and include heavy elements of jazz, which play alongside Williams' hymnic, but defeated words. "Hell to Pay" returns Williams to an angered state, similar to the spite in "Vengeance", and harshly chastises his lover and her flaws. Williams' energy regresses once more, although there are sporadic spikes of mania throughout the song, "Hot Flashes", as the narrator is filled with anxiety on a sleepless night as a romantically torn insomniac.

"A Melancholic Friday" signifies a shift in Williams' perspective and feeling, as it begins drearily while Williams interjects his rapping with mused vocals and soft humming, reflecting the artist's newfound resignation. "I HATE QOQO!" and "A Fucked Up Intermission" are excerpts from two separate, but related televised interviews Williams appeared on, playfully critical of the rapper in a self-deprecating manner. A self-analytical and tongue-in-cheek depiction of his own self, the two pieces relieves the tension the album had built momentarily. After the interlude, "Every Single Time" features Williams begrudgingly recount all the times he tried to save his relationship with Marx, and admits his wrongs, and criticizes Marx for failing to do the same. Williams laments, "Little Miss Ann you never ever return the message/For all I know, yeah this really just ain't us", and wonders why Marx has refused to show any signs of reciprocation or concern of their relationship. "Waikiki Freestyle" is a live recording of Williams doing free verse at a public beach. Blunt but collected, he narrates how not even fame or "all the bars in Hawaii" could keep him happy, but relishes the little moment he has to bond with others as onlookers and listeners cheer him in the background.

"Bureau of Introspection" serves as a relapse into Williams' depression, as it is melancholic and reflective in nature, with lyrics discussing Williams' own regrets, blaming himself for not spending more time and valuing his wife more. A verse in the refrain repeats hauntingly, "And I know that we will never be the same/And we know that only I am to blame". "Come Back" serves as the cathartic climax of the album, as Williams expresses all his sorrow in a heavy-laden, emotional outpouring, with scant rapping, and rich in R&B singing, the narrator Williams is playing, begging for his lover to come back to him, in a last-ditch attempt to win her heart through this song. Throughout the song, Williams' own rapping and the sampling of "Not the Same" by The Huntington Boys serves as a means to convey Williams' inner, rational thoughts on the matter, in contrast to Williams' singing narrative, hinting his preparation to fully move on the flawed relationship.

"Sex G.o.D." signals the final developmental stage in Williams' attempt to come to terms with the end of his relationship with Marx, and the track returns to a more familiar, confident mood Williams established in his previous albums. He flaunts about his own sexual prowess, and womanizing abilities, although there is a nuanced sense of hesitation and uncertainty within Williams, indicating the escapist nature in pursuing a hedonistic sex life. "Juno Slash" displays Williams' incredibly fast dexterity in rapping, and likens himself to a manic, serial killer, not hesitant to destroy his enemies, and readiness to return into "the game", now that he has overcome his own personal troubles. The track was later confirmed by Williams to be a precursor to the subsequent album, OPEN SEASON. "2 4give & 4get" is the officially the last track on the full album, and is a summation of Williams' entire experience, as he has emerged renewed, and fully independent emotionally and mentally from the turmoil he had endured from Marx. No longer spiteful or saddened, he has come to full acceptance, and hopes that the two can remain on good terms as they part their ways officially.

The three bonus tracks which accompany the main album, "Clam Jam", "Momentarily", and "Overdose" were singles that were produced and released independently from the album, and were not contrived thematically in the same sense or purpose of Saudade. However, the inclusion of these tracks in the deluxe version of the album was reasoned by Williams as highlighting his life after the entire controversy with Marx. "Clam Jam" features Williams and Emma Chae, whom he began dating the same month he field for divorce against Marx, and is a love song with lyrical dialogue directed towards each other. The song itself is quite sensual in nature, and reveals a new, flourishing relationship. "Momentarily" is a more traditional Williams track which addresses issues regarding superficiality in Hollywood, all while ironically and intentionally touting that he has all the riches, fame, and popularity in life. "Overdose" echoes similar concerns from "Momentarily" but portray the fame in a much negative light, with Williams claiming that too much of it has caused him stress, and likening it to a drug, hence his symbolic death at the end from "overdosing".

Release[edit | edit source]

The album's release generated publicity over the apparent competition he had with rapper Simba, who released his album, Pride & Prejudice, that same week. The two were bitter rivals, and the media speculated that there would be a "sales arms race" in the making as a result of these concurrent releases.

For months leading up to the release, Williams heavily promoted the album, telling fans on Twitter and other social networking sites that he was nearing "perfection" and would release at least four singles from the album prior to the official release date. The four tracks which he would release would be "Broken Glass", "Vengeance", "Momentarily", and "Overdose", the latter two which wounded up being relegated to the album's deluxe edition. The album had several "release dates" announced, the earliest being in August 15, before it was postponed to September 19, then October 17, and finally November 8. The motive behind the postponements were on Williams' part, due to his decision to include more tracks and more time to refine existing tracks. Released on November 8, 2014, the album sold over 32,000 digital and physical copies within the first hour, despite the parts of the album leaking a few days earlier. By the end of the week, the album had amassed record sales of 420,000 units.

Reception[edit | edit source]

[Williams] is unapologetically polarizing, and rightfully can attest to being the messenger of the new generation. He is an intrinsically embedded into the collective consciousness as a common man with a vapid, biting aggression only tamed by his own crushing self-awareness and anxieties. Deluded by the world and tormented by his own inner demons, Williams is Atlas in full rebellion, thrusting the world away in favor of a new order. [Saudade] is so beautifully livid and spontaneous, it's actually carefully crafted by a man of two worlds, naysaying the hypocrites including himself. His own saudade has erupted into a fiery inferno of emotions in the lyrical form.

The Underground review of Saudade, November 2014

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 91/100
Review scores
Source Rating
Divergent Beats 5/5 stars
Ebonics Digest A+
The Huntington Beach Post 4.5/5 stars
La Brea Times B
Newstar 5/5 stars
The Porciúncula Times 8.5/10
Sunset 100 10/10
Sierra Media 9.73/10
The Unionist 5/5 stars
Zeke Media A-

Saudade debuted with rave reviews by critics, although had a much more modest reception among fans and the general public. According to Metacritic, which aggregates reviews, gave the album a score of 91 out of 100, based on 52 reviews, essentially equating to "universal acclaim". Tony Magnuson from The Unionist called the album, a form of "new wave hip hop which lavishes in self-awareness, honesty, and craftsmanship." According to Jim Chapman from The Porciúncula Times, the album represented "Williams' greatest work yet" due to its "unnerving and awe-inspiring precision and attentive, seamless art". Monica Pharr from The Underground praised Williams and his work, claiming he was the "messenger of the new generation" through "his own crushing self-awareness and anxieties" in the music that he "carefully crafted".

The album was not without less enthusiastic reviews, as was the case with Monte Negrete from La Brea Times who dismissed the album for attempting to pass as provocative and philosophical. Negrete called the album, "shamefully overrated and astoundingly dull" compared to the other works of Williams, and was unimpressed with the musical style choices, finding it awkward and mediocre at best. He believed that although Williams worked hard on the album, Saudade "tried too had to be something it shouldn't–being an inconsistent, fatiguing, drawn-out, and often times, redundant rant".

Accolades[edit | edit source]

Saudade was listed at number one on several lists including the Sunset 100 Critic's Best Album of the Year. A year-end poll conducted by The Unionist cited Saudade as the best album of 2014, and was listed as the second and fourth best by The Underground and Zeke Media respectively. Divergent Beats declared Saudade as the second best album of the decade, after Kelly Graves' All of Me. It was placed at twenty four out on Sierra Media's 50 best albums of the 21st century.

In 2014, Williams received a total of 16 nominations across 4 major awards organizations, including Sierra's Choice Awards' Best Male Hip Hop Artist, BAM Award's Best Album, and Best Song for "Broken Glass", "A Melancholic Friday", and "Vengeance". He also received nominations and awards from Percy Awards, Trident Awards, RBS Music Awards, and Point Dana Awards. Of the 16 nominations he received, Williams won 12 of them and was hailed and recognized as the best artist of the year by several major organizations and critics.

Commercial performance[edit | edit source]

During the first week of release, Saudade sold 420,000 units, and debuted at number one on the Sunset 100 chat, grossing over 1 million copies by the end of November, and becoming the third consecutive studio album of Williams to top the charts. It also topped first in at least 17 other countries. "Broken Glass", which had been released two months prior to the album, had remained within the top 20 of the Sunset 100, and had sold over 600,000 digital downloads by the time the album was released. Saudade had the second highest first week sales in Sierra in 2014, after Liter Parade's Ground Zero , which sold 490,000 when it was released during that year's Christmas season. It also surpassed the opening weeks of his previous albums, including Coup De Grâce, which had sold 320,000 copies during its first week.

Saudade's placement at first in terms of sales ended three weeks later, when it was overtaken by Chloé's Beautiful Morning. It continued to decline in sales gradually, selling about 55,000 copies by its sixth week, just before Christmas, and rebounded, selling over 80,000 just before Christmas Eve. By New Year's, Saudade had fallen out of the top ten, selling less than 30,000 per week. As of August 2016, it has sold over 4.3 million copies and units, and is certified Platinum in Sierra, Brazoria, Hudson, and the United Commonwealth.

Track listing[edit | edit source]

Saudade
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Summer by the Styx" (featuring Donna Hennessy) Jermaine Carter Williams · Kareem Abdul · Jesse Klein · Trevor Young Williams · Stephacide[a] · Jay Fresco[b]3:33  Explicit Content
2."The Door is Closed" Williams · Christina Abrams · Abdul · Mariam Kang · Klein · Young Williams · Stephacide[a] · DanceDanDance[a] 2:12  Explicit Content
3."Vengeance" Williams · Abrams · Kang · Young Williams · Stephacide · Fresco · DanceDanDance[b] 3:47  Explicit Content
4."The Three Puppeteers" (featuring Fren-Z, KitKat, and Yeeda) Williams · Abrams · Tyler Allen-Woods · Peter Clarke · Young Williams · DanceDanDance[a] · DJ Glock[b] 3:33  Explicit Content
5."Broken Glass" Williams · Abdul · Abrams · Allen-Woods · Clarke · Kang · Klein · Young Williams · Stephacide[b] · Fresco[b] · DanceDanDance[b] 4:11  Explicit Content
6."Darkest Night" Williams · Allen-Woods · Emma Chae · Young Williams · Stephacide[a] · Da Payout[a] · DJ Glock 4:32  Explicit Content
7."Hell to Pay" Williams Williams 5:01  Explicit Content
8."Hot Flashes" Williams · Rebecca Bernard · Walter Davis · Kang · Klein · Young Williams · Stephacide[a] · Fresco[b] · DanceDanDance[b] · Chae[b] · Da Payout[a] · DJ Glock[b] 4:32  Explicit Content
9."A Melancholic Friday" (featuring Fren-Z, KitKat, and Yeeda) Williams · Abrams · Abdul · Elijah Addams · Allen-Woods · Chae · Clarke · Davis · Kang · Klein · Young Williams · Henry Fritz · Stephacide[a] · Fresco[b] · DanceDanDance[a] · Da Payout[b] · DJ Glock[b] 5:55  Explicit Content
10."I HATE QOQO!" Williams · Rosaline Everett Williams · DJ Glock[b]
0:56

 
11."A Fucked Up Intermission" Williams · Everett · Barry Howitzer · Margaret Ingram Williams · Stephacide[b] · DJ Glock[b] 1:11  Explicit Content
12."Every Single Time (Interlude)" Williams · Abdul · Klein · Young Williams · Fritz[a]
1:00

 
13."Every Single Time" Williams · Abdul · Klein · Young Williams · Stephacide[a]  · DanceDanDance[a] · Da Payout · Bodacious B 6:08  Explicit Content
14."Waikiki Freestylin'" Williams Williams · Stephacide[a] 3:07  Explicit Content
15."Bureau of Introspection" Williams · Abdul · Addams · Allen-Woods · Chae · Kang · Klein · Young Williams · Stephacide · Fritz[b] · Da Payout[b] 3:49  Explicit Content
16."Come Back" (featuring Elijah Addams) Williams · Abdul · Addams · Allen-Woods · Chae · Clarke · Davis · Sandy Goldstein · Richard K. Humphries · Ingram · Kang · Klein · Young Williams · Stephacide · Fritz[b] · DanceDanDance · Da Payout[b] · DJ Glock[b] 6:51  Explicit Content
17."Sex G.o.D" (featuring Emma Chae) Williams · Abdul · Chae · Clarke · Davis · Martin Hernandez · Humphries · Klein · Young Williams · Stephacide · DanceDanDance[b] · Da Payout[b] · DJ Glock[b] 4:58  Explicit Content
18."Juno Slash" (featuring Fren-Z, KitKat, and Yeeda) Williams · Abdul · Addams · Allen-Woods · Chae · Goldstein · Kang · Klein · Young Williams · Stephacide[a] · DanceDanDance[b] · Da Payout[b] · DJ Glock[b] · Loopy[b] · Carpool Custard[b] 5:06  Explicit Content
19."2 4give & 4get" (featuring Homeboy $teph and Blair the Shepherd) Williams · Abdul · Addams · Allen-Woods · Klein · Young Williams · Stephacide · DanceDanDance[b] · Loopy[b] · Carpool Custard[b] 9:20  Explicit Content
Total length:69:41
iTunes Store bonus tracks
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
20."Clam Jam" (featuring 4OUR and Emma Chae) Williams · Chae Williams · Chae[b] · Stephacide[b] · DanceDanDance[b] 4:44  Explicit Content
21."Momentarily" Williams · Abdul · Allen-Woods · Davis · Klein · Young Williams · Stephacide · DJ Glock[b] · Bodacious B[b] 3:25  Explicit Content
22."Overdose" Williams · Abdul · Klein · Young Williams · DanceDanDance[b] · DJ Glock[b] 5:09  Explicit Content

Track notes[edit | edit source]

  • ^a signifies a co-producer
  • ^b signifies an additional producer
  • "Summer by the Styx" contains samples of "Cashews on the Morrow", written and performed by Donna Hennessy.
  • "The Door is Closed" features additional vocals by Shana Brennan and Christopher Yates.
  • "Vengeance" contains samples of "Screaming Maniac Rampage", written by Sylvester Sharp and performed by Theosophy; and excerpts from Diablo Dean Live at Juno, PL, 1998.
  • "The Three Puppeteers" contains elements of "Parisian Rhapsody" performed by The Mountaineers.
  • "Broken Glass" contains samples of "Love Can Be Hard" written and performed by Rita.
  • "Darkest Night" contains a sample from "Don't Trust Em" performed by Reaper-22.
  • "Hell to Pay" features additional vocals by Hank Posner and Jake Lambert; and contains a sample of "Inferno in Hollywood" performed by SKRM.
  • "Hot Flashes" features background vocals by Emma Chae.
  • "A Melancholic Friday" features background vocals by Emma Chae.
  • "I HATE QOQO!" contains an excerpt from Rosaline Everett, Episode: "November 13, 2013" (Season 7, Episode 2)
  • "A Fucked Up Intermission" contains excerpts from Rosaline Everett, Episode: "November 13, 2013" (Season 7, Episode 2) and The Barry Howitzer Show, Episode: "Margaret Ingram/Q-Lo" (Season 34, Episode 33).
  • "Every Single Time" contains interpolations of "Why Baby Why?", written by Mikey Reagan and Ike Duke, and performed by California Dropouts.
  • "Waikiki Freestyle" contains background vocals by Fren-Z, KitKat, and Yeeda.
  • "Bureau of Introspection" contains interpolations from Boku no Koi, Episode: "Another Super Super Sunday Huh Michiko-Chan?~" (Season 1, Episode 4), and contains additional vocals by Bodacious B, $WI$H, and Y-50.
  • "Come Back" contains samples of "Not the Same" performed by The Huntington Boys.
  • "Sex G.o.D" contains elements of "Show Me Dem Moves" performed by Mo Way.
  • "Juno Slash" contains samples of "Summer Teenage Nightmares" performed by Orange Mill.
  • "2 4give & 2get" contains interpolations of "What Happened (With Us)?" performed by Yvana Lopez.
  • "Clam Jam" features additional vocals by Hyori, Priscilla, and Yuna from 4OUR and Sunny Pop!.
  • "Momentarily" features background vocals by Stephacide.
  • "Overdose" contains elements of "Died at the Altar" written by Jacob Chung and performed by Marvelous Mitch.

Personnel[edit | edit source]

Credits were adapted from liner notes:

  • Q-Lo (Jermaine Carter Williams) – executive producer, main artist (All Tracks), producer
  • Fren-Z (Kareem Abdul) – featured artist (Track 4, 9, 18), additional background vocals (Track 14)
  • KitKat (Jesse Klein) – featured artist (Track 4, 9, 18), additional background vocals (Track 14)
  • Yeeda (Trevor Young) – featured artist (Track 4, 9, 18), additional background vocals (Track 14)
  • Emma Chae – featured artist (Track 17, 20), additional vocals (Track 8, 9), producer (Track 20)
  • Stephacide – additional vocals (Track 21), producer (Tracks 1-3, 5-6, 8-9, 11, 13-21)
  • Jay Fresco – producer (Tracks 1, 3, 5, 8, 9)
  • DanceDanDance – producer (Tracks 2-5, 8, 9, 13, 15-20, 22)
  • DJ Glock – producer (Tracks 4, 6, 8-11, 16-18, 21, 22)
  • Da Payout – producer (Tracks 6, 8, 9 13, 16-18)
  • Henry Fritz – producer (Tracks 9, 12, 15, 16) , piano, violin, percussion, strings, cello, organ, horn arrangements
  • Bodacious B – producer (Tracks 13, 21)
  • Loopy – producer (Tracks 18, 19)
  • Carpool Custard – producer (Tracks 18, 19)

Charts[edit | edit source]

Chart (2016) Peak
position
Anglo-American Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums (Sunset) 1
Australian Albums (ARIA Charts) 1
Austrian Albums ((Ö3 Austria) 21
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders) 5
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia) 16
Canadian Albums Chart (Billboard Toronto) 1
Czech Albums (ČNS IFPI) 23
Danish Albums (Hitlisten) 1
Dutch Albums (Megacharts) 2
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista) 1
French Albums (SNEP) 3
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100) 8
Han Albums (Sunset Hanyang) 15
Hellene Albums (IFPI) 17
Irish Albums (IRMA) 2
Italian Albums (FIMI) 4
Japanese Albums (Oricon) 24
Korean Albums (Gaon) 21
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ) 1
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista) 1
Portuguese Albums (AFP) 7
Rainier Albums (Sunset Seattle) 1
Russian Albums (2M) 1
Scottish Albums (OCC) 1
Sierran Albums (Sunset) 1
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan) 1
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade) 5
Brazorian Albums (Sunset Houston) 1
UK Albums (OCC) 1
UK R&B Albums (OCC) 1

Certifications and sales[edit | edit source]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[1] Platinum 70,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[2] Platinum 0^
Hudson (RIAA Hudson)[3] Platinum 1,000,000
Missouri (RIAA Missouri)[4] Gold 500,000
Rainier (RIAA)[5] Gold 500,000
Sierra (RIAA Sierra)[6] Platinum 1,000,000
United Commonwealth (RIAA United Commonwealth)[7] Platinum 1,000,000
United Kingdom (BPI)[8] Gold 100,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]