Rap is more popular than ever these days. Nowadays, almost everyone with a computer has a dream to make it big. However, not everybody has the talent. Four years ago, Brooklyn native Hugh “Mr MFN eXquire” Allison was a regular Joe with a job—just working and buying lottery tickets with a dollar and a dream. Today, his rap talent is his ticket to ride.
He rapped over beats in his living room as his homeboys sipped tall bottles of beer and cheered him on. Now, his moniker rings bells with some of the biggest names in the game. While he’s been compared to other Brooklyn rap greats like the Notorious B.I.G and ‘Ol Dirty Bastard, eXquire is busy blazing his own trails with lyrics that are both visual and arresting, projected by a voice that can command a bloodthirsty platoon.
There is a spectacular rap renaissance happening in the state of New York, and Mr MFN eXquire is at the top of the food chain. He’s not greedy though. He basks in the glow of his neighbors and friends in rap and makes the art form shine that much brighter. Nobody can articulate the phenomenon that is Mr MFN eXquire better than the man himself, so read on…
Mr MFN eXquire on his essence:
The hipsters like me, and the hood niggas like me the same way. When you’re from the projects, there are some people who work every day. There are some people who smoke crack. There are some people who hustle. Some young niggas play ball. Some draw. Some read comic books. Everybody is different. I’m not a street nigga—that’s not what I do. I know street niggas. Nevertheless, I’m respected where I’m from for what I do, which is rapping.
People say ‘oh, eX is like ODB.’ I’m nothing like ODB. I went to college. ODB was walking around barefoot in Brooklyn. I’m nothing like that. I’m a nerd. I’m not a gangster, but I do gangster shit. There’s a duality living inside of the name I’ve chosen. ‘Muthafuckin’ is a word you shouldn’t say. It’s something that has a crazy negative aftertaste. eXquire is a word that means prestige—a young noble man. It represents the balance of the two things. I can show you the good, or I can show you the bad. I can be ‘hood. I can be intelligent. I can be your best friend or I can whip ya ass!
I represent the new Brooklyn. If you look at Brooklyn now, there are coffee shops and boutique toy stores. If you walk down a few blocks, there are the projects and niggas still get shot. I roll with everybody—hood cats, white people, bugged-out rap groups like Das Racist—but I’m a hood dude. I’m the bridge between Williamsburg and Brownsville. Biggie represented the Brooklyn that existed when he was rockin’. So when people compare me to Biggie, I look at it like…we both represent Brooklyn, but neither of us were really street cats. We knew what was going on in the street. We touch it, we deal with people who are in it, and we might do our little shit on occasion. We’re more musicians than anything else. All of this shit goes on and you need someone with the inside scoop to tell what’s happening and why. That’s what a rapper is supposed to do.
Mr MFN eXquire on how he became who he became:
Sometimes I write, sometimes I don’t. It depends on how I feel. If I feel brave enough not to write that day, I just go rap. A lot of songs I just rap. I just rapped “The Last Huzzah.” I didn’t even write it. I didn’t really care about it. It’s always like that. The biggest songs are the ones you never want to do.
Before I was a rapper with a record deal, I was working. I had a stable job. I was a good boy. I wasn’t bugged out yet. Then, I went through tough times. My grandmother had a stroke, and I caught my girl fucking some nigga in her dorm room. Then, I lost my job. After all that shit happened, I just got to a point within myself where I started doing wild shit like selling a little weed here and doing this and that. Fuck it. I felt like I didn’t have anything to live for. That’s how Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire was born. Out of all the hard shit that I went through, I just threw caution to the wind and said, “You know what? I’m going to try my best to be a rapper. I’m going to rap my ass off.” Fuck everything. Four years later, I’m signed.
I used to be Mr. eXquire: A skinny lyrical dude that nobody wanted to sign. My first mixtape, The Big Fat Kill, came out in 2008, then Lost in Transition last year and Merry eX-Mas & Suck My Dick last year, too. There’s one more, an EP called Cheap Thrills. Nobody ever heard it though. Nobody paid me any attention until now. Conceptually, I feel like everything I’ve done has been a demo to me. I did all that shit in my apartment. This is my first real time in a real studio and the first time I ever worked with a producer.
Mr MFN eXquire on why he’s the ONE:
I think people should love me. I’m the nigga who lost his job and made his dream happen. I think everybody wants to do that shit. Whatever you want to do, it takes that courage to pursue your dream and make your vision come to fruition. And that’s what I did. That’s kind of my message: make it happen.