18 Albums Deep: Here's A-Q's hip-hop journey as revealed by his discography


Today is about the Nigerian rapper Gilbert Bani, popularly known as A-Q. Walk with us as we unveil the tales behind A-Q's discography and Albums.

With 18 projects under his sleeves, A-Q is top three Hip-hop artists with the most valuable catalogs in Nigerian hip-hop scene. We are waiting for God's Engineering 3, which he promised on the Chocolate city cypher which dropped 9th January 2024.

A-Q started professional music quite early signing his 1st record deal in 2001 with Big Leaf Records where he was for two years before he started working on his own in 2003.

Listen and Overstand Album

His 1st single, ‘(W)rap Nigeria’, produced by kraftmatics, debuted in 2004 followed by a music video which exposed the hip-hop artiste to the public for the first time. He subsequently released a full compilation album Listen and Overstand on November 9, 2005.

Listen and Overstand Album cover
Listen and Overstand Album cover

The 15-track project's first single is the critically acclaimed "(W)rap Nigeria" which shook the Hip-Hop community. This is the album that started his Q's journey.

Maga Must Pay Mixtape

In 2006 A-Q put out a mix tape titled Maga Must Pay Vol 1. which sold about 3000 copies. Both works did not get much radio and television rotation because of the developing and lopsided nature of the industry at the time.

A-Q graduated in 2010 and went back fully into the entertainment industry this time co-floating a record label ‘Hustle Inc’ on whose platform he started Black Friday Twitter Freestyles, a weekly online release for free download every Friday.

This became a trending topic on Twitter as track after track were heavy hitters and got him online acknowledgement including from ace producer Don Jazzy who styled him “one of the sickest rappers alive”.

The Past, Present and Future Album

Capitalizing on the new hype he recorded and released "The Past, Present and Future" album in December 2010 which had hit singles Names, and Champagne and Rum. This A-Q's album received critical acclaim and was rated as one of the best hip-hop albums released that year.

The Past, Present and Future Album cover
The Past, Present and Future Album cover

Make Your Best Rapper Look Stupid EP

Now adjudged one of the best lyricists on the scene, A-Q dropped an EP on December 21 , 2012 titled Make your best rapper look stupid which most termed the EP of all EPs.

Make your Best Rapper Look Stupid Cover Artwork
Cover Art work for MYBRLS

The 6-tracks ‘Make your best rapper look stupid’ EP features AQ’s alterego – Gilbert, Vector, Morell, Boogie, Choc city’s Pryse, Â Maytronomy, BaseOne, Milli Mill and several others.

Make your Best Rapper Look Stupid Cover Ep’s Tracklist 

  1. Mind Fuck by A-Q featuring Gilbert and One other Person
  2. Distractions featuring Vector 
  3. A Prayer 
  4. Never Love U feat D-Truce, Pryse and Maytronomy 
  5. Machine Gun Flow (MGF) Feat. Boogey and Morell
  6. True Religion Feat. Milli Mill, Vivi tha Kid, BlaqBones and BaseOne

All tracks produced by Beat by Jay except track 1 (Mind Fuck) by Sleek Amo.

Son of John

On August 8, 2014, A-Q revamped the culture of the Nigerian hip-hop art by showing how gifted he is with the rap genre with the official release of his mixtape Son of John,

Artwork for Son of John mixtape
Artwork for Son of John mixtape

PS: The Son of John Mixtape was a 2-part project I and II

Catch Your Sub Mixtape

On January 1, 2016, A-Q delivered dope punchlines, metaphors and wordplay on some of the best beats in Hip-hop, the last track is however an original track produced by ace Hip-hop producer Benshima.

The 5 track tape features BBJN and Mr. Ji who are artistes he has taken under his wings to develop, he also has Str8 Butta’s Maka

Catch your sub Mixtape Cover
Catch your sub Mixtape Cover

The Definition EP

On March 26, 2016- A-Q dropped an EP, featuring only Ghanaian rappers Jayso and Gemini,with a new Ghanaian dancehall sensation Scatta Bada.

In anticipation for his forthcoming album ‘Rose’, A-Q dropped this EP, featuring only Ghanian rappers Jayso and Gemini,

The Definition EP Cover
The Definition EP Cover

Rose Album

On August 25, 2016, A-Q dropped the body of work which the rapper claims to have been working on for 2 years noticeably has some credible A list features on it, Sound Sultan, Yemi Alade, M.I Abaga, Naeto C, Small Doctor, Jesse Jagz, Ghanian Rapper Edem etc.

The 17 track Album was entirely produced By the artist long time producer Beats By Jayy, except track 17 which was produced by A-Q himself, The rapper surprisingly had A&R assistance from pro hiphop activist Tersoo T-Rexxx Abaagu, and chocolate city boss, M.i ABaga.

Cover Art for Rose Album
Cover Art for Rose Album

Blessed Forever Album

On September 1, 2017, A-Q dropped Blessed Forever. This was another special offering from A-Q where he put more energy in making a done and dusted work. It comprised eleven beautiful tracks which feature guest appearances from GoodGirl LA, Yoye Big Daddy Jayy,Wavy The Creator, Music Mash Group and Maka, who rendered good services in making a successful one. 

From the album, the song "Blessed Forever" appeared as the 1st and one of the most favorite tracks

Blessed Forever Album front cover
Blessed Forever Album front cover
Blessed Forever Album Back cover
Blessed Forever Album Back cover

Crown Album (with Loose Kaynon)

On August 17, 2018- A-Q and Loose Kaynon released their joint album, Crown. The duo are the most unlikely pair to work together. The album was released today under the aegis of the Chocolate City label.

Crown Album cover
Blessed Forever Album Back cover

A-Q once wrote in early June on his Twitter that Loose Kaynon told him he “didn’t like” him. This is what makes it more surprising the two could put out a joint project together.

A-Q's Tweet about Loose Kaynon
A-Q's Tweet about Loose Kaynon

Crown has 9 songs and it has a 33-minute runtime. The album was executive produced by Chocolate City boss, MI Abaga.

Some of the tracks on the album include: “Out of this World”; “Regrets”; “Gang Gang”; “Best Rapper Alive”; “Crown”; “By Your Side” and others.

The album features big names: Show Dem Camp (SDC), Yoye, Chigurl, Blaqbonez, Big Daddy Jayy, and Debbie Romeo.

God’s Engineering Album

March 20, 2020: A-Q released his 5th solo album, "God's Engineering". The critically acclaimed album is regarded as the artiste's best body of work to date. It went on to win the "Best Rap Album" at the 14th edition of The Headies.

God's Engineering Front cover
God's Engineering Front cover

The album's conception began in 2018 but was paused for a year, and then recording resumed in 2020. Production was primarily handled by the late Beats By Jayy with addition from Olumba and Amos Kantiok. A-Q mixed and mastered 90% of the album himself.

God's Engineering Back cover
God's Engineering Back cover

Golden Album

Fresh off winning the Headies award for “Best Rap Album” with 2020’s “God’s Engineering”, A-Q unlocked a surprise power set with little to no warning christened “Golden” on may 21,2021.

Artwork for Golden Album as part of A-Q's Album and discography
Artwork for Golden Album

The 7-track body of work housed collaborations from BadBoyParis & the raved Chike. 

Back cover for Golden Album
Back cover for Golden Album

The rapper announced the album himself that morning on his social media saying;

“Having the most powerful voice in Hip-Hop right now means I always have to live up to it. This project is dear to me, and I hope it travels far and is deeply felt by everyone who listens to it. Ladies and Gents, I present to you, “Golden”

Gibert Bani aka A-Q
AQ's tweet on Golden
AQ's tweet on Golden

The Live Report EP (with MI Abaga)

On April 15, 2020, A-Q released his 2nd collaborative project titled "The Live Report" with M.I Abaga. The album briefly curates several talking points from a year ravished by a pandemic in just 6 songs, leaving room for individual interpretation. It was recorded in 5 days.

Live Report EP Cover as part of A-Q's Album and discography
Live Report EP Cover

The album was inspired by a tweet from a fan who wished they'd collaborate on a project after their stellar performances on Q's "God's Engineering" and M's "Judah The E.P.", released earlier in the year.

The album was solely produced by the late great Beats by Jayy, who registered his trademark production filled with chopped-up soul samples. All three collaborators never met in the same room as conversations were made via Whatsapp.

Ethos Album (with Brymo)

Still on A-Q's Discography and albums rundown, on August 12, 2022, A-Q and Brymo released a new album titled, “Ethos”. The Album is personal stories about Life, Loss and Love, A-Q excited to share the album of the year with y’all.

Built around notions of love, growth and loss, Ethos sees rapper A-Q and performing artist Brymo join forces for sobering reflections of life. Fusing rap verses with alternative sounds that draw from the folksy, traditional and soulful, the duo embellish this offering with personal tales crafted upon Bigfootinyourface`s instrumentation.

Ethos Album cover
Ethos Album cover

Revelatory storytelling ensues ranging from the confessional (“Family First”), longing (“Do You Ever Miss Me”), socio-political (“Baale House”) and cautionary (“Ni Temi”) as A-Q weaves philosophical musings between Brymo’s gripping vocals.

An exploration of themes such as mental health, substance dependence and grief are folded into these ten fluid tracks, with a poignancy familiar to both artists.

With a mix of R&B, pop and African folk, Brymo has balanced love songs and social commentary on a string of albums.

Gilbert ‘A-Q’ Bani who was still enjoying the success of his last two projects; ‘God’s Engineering‘ and ‘Golden‘ out did himself on Ethos.

A-Q and Brymo shooting for Ethos project as part of A-Q's Album and discography

God’s Engineering II

As the follow-up to the sonically varied project that expanded his profile during the pandemic, God`s Engineering 2 is packed with raw thoughts about a trove of issues spread between failed friendships, changes in status and the inner workings of the music business. On it, A-Q assumes the role of a preacher, serving the audience a 33-minute sermon loaded with life doctrines.

Opener “Friction” is built on a blend of twinkling keys and sullen synths that create a solemn mood.

That state of mind is reprised on the freewheeling “What`s Happening”, where A-Q declutters his mind with a recounting of topics that dominated social media. Frequent collaborator Blaqbonez contributes the earwormy hook, softening the mood and emphasising the importance of FAMILY at a time when friends can also double as haters.

God's Engineering II cover as part of A-Q's Album and discography

Official Tracklist of God's Engineering II

  1. Friction
  2. Blueprint
  3. What’s Happening
  4. Family
  5. Mogadishu
  6. King Solomon
  7. PS2
  8. All Paid For
  9. Man Made
  10. Fate Vs Destiny
  11. Outrospection

Flavored with soulful samples, the 11-track tape is a testament to A-Q`s immaculate songwriting and reflective storytelling. On “King Solomon”, he gets vivid, mining his past and slowly divulging bits of his unwholesome experience in the music business.

But as the album's title reveals, it's all God's engineering for Oga Gilbert Bani, whose storied history includes shining the spotlight on Afropop`s emerging voices as a label boss, some of whom he name-checks on the gritty “Ps2

In summary, if you're asked "How many Albums make the A-Q's Discography list?", tell them Gilbert Bani is 18 projects deep:

Listen and overstand, Maga must pay, Love and money, The past present and future, Make your best rapper look stupid, Son of John, Son of John II, Catch your sub, The definition, Rose, Blessed forever, Crown (with loose kaynon), God’s engineering, Golden, The live report (with MI Abaga), Behold the lamb, Ethos, God’s engineering II.


Researched and Written by
Nana Samuel
Twitter Handle: @d_watchtower | Email -
Published on Notjustok by Idris Adeleye

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