QBoy (born Marcos Jose Brito on 10 October 1978) is a UK-based rapper, producer, DJ, writer and presenter. One of the original few out rappers in hip-hop circa 2001 that became pioneers of the new sub-genre colloquially known as "homo hop". QBoy is currently DJ, producing, remixing and performing dance music under the name Sam LeMans.
1 Early life,
2.1 2004-2006: Beginnings,
2.2 2006-2008: Remixes Don't Count: The Mixtape and various singles,
2.3 2009-2010: Moxie,
2.4 2011-present: New project and moniker,
3 Other ventures
3.1 Interviewer and writer,
6 External links,
Brito was born to an English mother and Gomeran (Spanish) father. He studied at De Montfort University in Leicester and received his Contemporary Dance, Acting and Performing Arts B.A. Hons degree.
Brito was originally in a group with DJ Mistermaker and rapper Ill Form, recording under the name of Q-Form. Their first recordings, "Dirty Dirty" and "3 Different Stories", were featured on homo-hop CD collections Phat Family volume 1 and Phat Family volume 2, respectively. He was also part of the gay hip-hop DJ crew Pac-Man, which featured DJs NineBob, Gideon, Mistermaker, and fashion artist Noki.
Q-Form changed its name to Q-Fam (for Queer Family) and its status from a group to a collective, to include Pac-Man members NineBob, Gideon, Noki, and lesbian rapper Mz Fontaine, with whom they recorded the track "New Era." Later members of Q-Fam included singer-songwriter/producer Wayne Latham, rapper Icykal, and vocalists Grace Orlando and Katanya. UK gay magazine The Pink Paper featured the Q-Fam Collective with QBoy and Mistermaker on the front cover.
QBoy's initial recordings had a tongue-in-cheek sexual humour which was inspired by his then current influences of artist such as Lil' Kim, Foxy Brown, Notorious B.I.G. and Trina, with the notion "if they can be sexual explicit, so can I" making a political stand point on his prominent sexuality.
In 2004, QBoy released his first extended play "Even the Women Like Him". His first soulful and conscious track Quarter Life Crisis sampled long time idol Neneh Cherry's hit Buffalo Stance and featured singer and producer Wayne Latham with lyrics inspired by his childhood, explaining the transformation from child to adult and drawing from his readings of the book Conversations With God by Neale Donald Walsch. QBoy shot his first music video, Quarter Life Crisis, in September 2004 in London. The video also features the track "Bent Spittin" and is directed by Khalid Laith.
He continued writing in this style with the track "A Deal With God" which originally cleverly used Kate Bush's Running Up That Hill and covered his experiences of homophobic bullying when at school. This propelled him into a more political stratosphere, performing for the Home Office, UK Government in 2006, and making him a patron of the charity Beatbullying and the LGBT Excellence Centre Wales for which he is involved in a programme that goes into schools and breaks down the ideas of homophobia to teenagers.
In 2005, QBoy received a nomination for "Performing Artist Of The Year" at the 2005 GALAs. In August 2005, QBoy organised PeaceOUT UK, the first gay hip-hop festival in Europe. He also co-organised the following year's event in 2006.
2006-2008: Remixes Don't Count: The Mixtape and various singles:
In 2006, he released his first mixtape "Remixes Don't Count: The Mixtape". In July 2006, he was featured in the homo-hop documentary Pick Up the Mic and toured with the film, performing at film festivals in Los Angeles (Outfest), Chicago (The Gay Games) and Philadelphia. Later that month, he shot his second music video, Q.B.O.Y. (Is Just So Fly) in New York. This video was directed by Jarrah Gurrie and fashion photographer Nicolas Wagner. Later that year, he was featured Channel 4's live TV discussion show 40 Years Out.
In 2008, QBoy released two singles "Oh Boy" and "Faggot M.C.'s". In late 2008, he toured the USA for three months, making New York City his temporary home where he shot the music video to his single "Coming Out 2 Play" with previous director Jarrah Gurrie. He also played extensively with over 30 live dates in New York City, Seattle, Fort Lauderdale and Key West in Florida, and Chicago where he also shot a music video with Johnny Dangerous to their single Hotline which also features rapper Soce and he made a cameo appearance in Johnny Dangerous's video Wan Dat (Ass Is). Plus he got extensive media coverage in HX, Next and interviews with Jonny McGovern, Daniel Nardicio, Shawn Hollenbach and Feast Of Fools.
In July 2009, QBoy released his first album Moxie. The album's lead single and music video to "Coming Out 2 Play" reached #6 in the US LOGO Click Chart and was nominated as one of the best new videos of 2010 by LOGO. In February 2010, he released the singles "Keep Keepin' On" and "Yellow Flower". In March 2010, he released the fourth single "Bounce Rave". The DVD release of documentary Pick Up The Mic in which QBoy is one of the featured artists was also released.
2011-present: New project and moniker:
QBoy is currently working on a dance project with NYC producer/DJ, Larry Tee under the name of Sam LeMans.
Interviewer and writer:
In his early years, Brito was a journalist and editor of the website gayhiphop.com. He has written for Gay Times, attitude, The Pink Paper and Exprezo, and has interviewed artists Salt-N-Pepa, Princess Superstar, Beverley Knight, Mark Ronson, Blu Cantrell, Mica Paris, Nicole Wray and Five Star.
In 2005, he also presented a radio documentary on "The Rise Of Homo-Hop" for BBC Radio One.
In February 2007, he presented the much acclaimed TV documentary Coming Out to Class for Channel 4 where he looked at his own experiences of homophobic bullying at his school and investigating what today's young gay teens are experiencing and demonstrating the lack of support they currently have. The personal and political nature of the film prompted an immediate response from British Parliament the day after its initial screening where an Early Day Motion was passed in favor to look at the subject brought up in the film. He supported the TV documentary with two radio podcasts for Channel 4 Radio which he also presented. In December 2007, he interviewed his long-time idols, rap super group Salt-n-Pepa in New York City for a radio documentary he created and co-produced with Made In Manchester Productions which was aired on BBC Radio 1Xtra.