NaQuia Chante and PwiththeDrip are on the precipice of becoming Cincinnati’s most prolific female rap duo with the release of “Push Up (Freestyle).” The pair dropped their inaugural offering along with a self-directed music video on Friday, after performing together in Detroit on the Streets Most Wanted Tour. The nine-stop trek, led by Big Heff, wraps up in Wichita, Kansas on Sept. 14.
For those who haven’t caught them on stage yet, NaQuia and P’s “Push Up (Freestyle)” makes a fierce first impression. The Buddy Ball-produced track is laced with clever, self-assured lines from the two MCs and scathing rebukes aimed at anyone who dares stand in their way.
“We’ve been doing kind of a boot camp almost – meeting every week, getting together, getting the beats and making fresh hooks,” NaQuia tells Audiofemme. “Then we meet up the next week, get the verse done and record everything at the house. So, we’ve built up a lot of music for our catalog just over the last two months.”
Besides new freestyles and official singles, which NaQuia says fans can expect to hear in the coming weeks, the pair is also working on their debut full-length project: The Bag Lady. The duo’s rapid-fire recording sessions seem to be a testament to their artistic chemistry. NaQuia, a bridging force behind Cincinnati hip hop, has had a self-taught hand in nearly every aspect of the Queen City’s music scene – from artist management and video directing, to marketing and visual art. When her longtime friend P returned to Cincinnati from Atlanta, the scene was finally set for the pair to join forces, ironically becoming the equally ambitious partner that the other one needed. Both say they are “obsessed” with one another.
“When I went to Atlanta, I was building and doing my thing, but I was watching what [NaQuia] was doing in the city, since like 2014, all the way to 2020,” PwiththeDrip explains. “So, I have been watching her and I was like, I need to get back to the city. I believe in her and her vision, and I knew that she needed somebody who was gonna have her back and help her do what she’s doing.”
“It’s the amount of energy, the talent and working hard – and I have all that, too. I work hard and I can match her energy,” she adds.
“We’ve always thought about doing things together,” NaQuia agreed. “I be doing so much, and she’s doing it with me!”
On the solo front, NaQuia will soon begin the rollout for her long-awaited debut compilation album, Church Girls Love Trap Music. The gospel-influenced rap record, which features an array of local voices – NaQuia’s included – was recorded last year.
“The manager I was working with went back in the studio and added a few songs to [the album] with just me singing, and we recorded some new songs with [producer] MamaNamedMeEvan and a DJ from Cleveland, DJ Ryan Wolf,” she says. “That added a little time before it could be released, but it’s in the mixing process now. [Cincinnati producer] Natown is mixing the record. I should have a [release] date by the end of this tour.”
“It’s my baby, so I’m mad it’s taking so long, but I’m also okay with it because I want it done right,” she adds.
Catch the Streets Most Wanted Tour at one of the remaining dates below and follow NaQuia Chante and PwiththeDrip on Instagram for ongoing updates.