The Birth Of The Queensbridge Rhyme Style

If you caught the Special Edition of Marley Marl‘s In Control Vol. 1 then you would have caught the commentary from the man himself introducing each track. According to Marley, Tragedy’s second verse on ‘Live Motivator’ was the official birth of the QB style:

Marley Marl – ‘Live Motivator Intro’

I’ve always had an appreciation for just how influential Trag was to Bridge Rap, but to be able to pin-point the exact moment that it actually began on record is fascinating….it’s all about the second verse:

Marley Marl feat. Tragedy- ‘Live Motivator’

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Comment by realrapshit 06.01.10 @


Comment by SANTANA 06.01.10 @

Its so true…..Nas wants to be tragedy….even stole his shout outs from the Rebel…..Trag gets no credit at all for what he did. He reinvented himself like 4 times and then created the whole ThuGGed out CNN style. If anybody doesnt think so they r buggin

Comment by mercilesz 06.01.10 @

QB >>>

Comment by hl 06.01.10 @


You have interesting points that for the most part I agree with, but “Nas wants to be Tragedy”, makes you sound like a hater. You can make your point without mentioning Nas’ name.

Comment by Sublime 06.01.10 @

hater? u sound young and silly. 30 year olds like me dont even care about rap that much. Nas always wanted to be tragedy and so did Havoc(where do u think he got the name from)…Tragedy was hot when they were children B. Trag dropped in 86 and Marley just sed he gave birth to everybody style from the Bridge. How could he do that if they didnt wanna be him? Why do they copy him? Nas stole Tragedys shout outs at the end of Rebel which dropped in 88…Represent didnt come out til 94….u sound like ur kinda slow and just got up on rap.

Comment by mercilesz 06.01.10 @

Big UP to TRAG! Watch Tragedy the story of Queensbridge. Prolly the dopest
Doc I’ve seen in a minute.
He did a joint with my crew Makeshift Deluxe right b4 he got bagged last time! Peace to Khadafi!

Comment by brutalLee 06.01.10 @


First: For the record, I know the history of QB, so educate someone else “B”

Second: The Same shoutouts would come from having alot of the same fuckin’ crew, “40 Busters ring-a-bell, Vernon Posse ring a bell”

Third: Im 37, and unlike you I do care about rap or I wouldn’t be on a site like this.

I’m not an Internet Thug, so I won’t commence with the “I’ll slap the shit outta ya” tactics, but just say, I’ll agree to disagree with you.

Comment by Sublime 06.01.10 @

That documentary was dope

Comment by BIGSPICE 06.02.10 @

30 year old rap argument. These dudes are probably from Canada.

Comment by nastyrnb 06.02.10 @

I remember seeing an add back in 96 for a Iron Sheiks LP…what happened to that?

Comment by nastyrnb 06.02.10 @

Canada No…Newark Nj Yep…Call it Hate…I guess Marley is hatin on all QB rappers too. When did people over 30 start calling people haters? funny stuff. What is there to hate on? I been sayin what Marley sed for years..and people still act like Nas is their boyfriend or sumthing. get a life

Comment by mercilesz 06.02.10 @

man, live moitvator is too ill.

Comment by tareq 06.02.10 @

Ill be so obvious once you hear it haha! Thats the blueprint no doubt.

Comment by PAS 06.02.10 @

just watched the documentary this weekend, seems people in the QB hate Nas too

Comment by keatso 06.02.10 @

I got Fam in QB, I’ll be in LIC this weekend actually…
NOYD is my thunn, my thunn richie stay with grand wiz at the moment, alot of niggas on 41 is crew…Im out there on the reg…
Trag birthed ALOT of shit..true..but nobody said MC SHANs name…and your over 30?
Drug dealers influenced trag and the millions of other street MCs out there!
For the record ANY NIGGA from ANY p’s that got on BACK THEN was influenced they hood/Boro, is what it is…
Nas aint no street cat he an MC from the streets, thats what he does, nas was influenced by the streets just like he was by Rakim and g rap etc… niggas like Trag is a street nigga that rap, plus he was already around g rap and kane and them….
Nas cant fuck with him on no real life thug shit, he wouldnt be NAS, one of the illest writers of all time…
its like Cormega…son was official but he wasnt keepin up with esco…
you cant be a killer with stripes AND be an ill MC like Nas, AND last long?
not in NYC u cant…
As far as biting his shout outs? LOL…not even sure what to call that but I do know that QB is tight knit and back then 40-41st side had STOOPID drama, shootin from the roof and all kinda wild shit.. so niggas on 41 was cliqued up, grew up together, regular shit…
…so if trag shouted out wallet head then here comes nas shouting him out too….I wouldnt say its biting…were talkin what 88-94? NAS woulda got STOMPED OUT on the block if niggas felt like what your assuming…trust me…

“queensbridge dont make no herbs”
-Nas “shootouts”

Comment by QUNYC 06.02.10 @

Im sayin Nas gave the same shoutouts in the same order…as if to big up Tragedy as an influence…and yeah thank u for ur logic.

:For the record ANY NIGGA from ANY p’s that got on BACK THEN was influenced they hood/Boro, is what it is…

Comment by mercilesz 06.02.10 @

enjoy…Juice Crew…The Best Crew of all Time

Comment by mercilesz 06.02.10 @

Why didn’t Marley hit Trag with more joints during ’87-88? Imagine Trag (pre-Intelligent Hoodlum) on a joint with G Rap at that time? Better yet, imagine if Marley wound have hit Trag with “I Pioneered This”. Trag would have mutilated that. Khadafi is one of many unsung dudes in Hip-Hop, no doubt. Hopefully, when he comes home (dude stays on them iron vacations, don’t he?) he can hit the streets with some heat.

Comment by oskamadison 06.04.10 @

Tragedy is the most underated mc whose been in the Rap Game as long as he has(1985 he actually had a single out about Pepsi or some shit)I believe since Tradgedy is soooo lyrical and unique,that if so many mcs bit his steez,why are none of them near his level lyrically? There’s a few and NAS included in that but to me Nas doesnt sound anything like Tragedy at all in my opinion.
REMEMBER TRAGEDY became Intelligent Hoodlum (which was his best work in my opinion and all his lps are bangers)Than he became Tragedy Khadaffi again and was contridicted everything he said as ‘THE INTELLIGENT HOODLUM”.But he’s soooo dope who cares.As much as I love Tragedy and I got everything he ever dropped and I stopped fucking Nas yrs ago.
Tragedy never made a lp as brillant as “ILL MATIC”! Who has though?Rakim,BDP,P.E.,RUN-DMC,3RD BASS,DE LA SOUL, LORD FINESSE AND EPMD? THE BEST LPS EVER MADE!
With that being said…I dig Tragedy’s resume of albums much more than NAS.
Oh the reason Tragedy did do a lp in 87,88,89 was because he was locked up.
FUCK WHO IS MORE STREET OR NOT. AND “HATING” is the corny-ist word ever used.

Comment by DJ DAVITO 06.04.10 @

Davito..Trag was in jail for a bit as well all know and never got the time to drop anything as rounded as Nas 1st album however he did name it for him. “Forget Ill I get IllMatical” : Rebel 1988

it is what it is

Comment by mercilesz 06.07.10 @

I remember playing Live motivtor for cats when Nas first dropped and it shocked dudes. The evidence is right there. Was it biting? I don’t know. What I do know is that QB had some ill mc’s. MC Shan, however, birthed the QB rap style in my opinion. “The Bridge” was real gritty and the flow was pj’d out. (“DEAD DREAMS/BOUGHT AND SOLD!”) What’s deep is this fact, sometimes, mc’s from the same hood tend to be similar in style or …gulp…”swag.” Check this list out:
MOP – Smoothe the Hustler
RUN-DMC – LL COOL J – MIKEY D (showing my age!)
Wu-Tang Clan – King Just
Snoop Dogg – Domino
Mase – Loon
Jazzy Jeff Fresh Prince – Cash Money& MC Marvelous
Chubb Rock – Educated Rapper
Can I get a witness on this?

Comment by DOC SAMSON 06.10.10 @

Doc Sampson:
You took it back with Chubb Rock and Educated Rapper but I think Cash Money saw what jeff was doing with Fresh Prince and went and snatched up Marvelous. Maybe I’m wrong but “Find An Ugly Woman”? Sounds like something that was left on the cutting room floor in Jazzy Jeff’s studio. As far as MC Shan, he put the Bridge on the map but Trag indeed did give birth to the QB style. By the way, what’s up with Nature?

Comment by oskamadison 06.11.10 @

You may have a point about Cash Money and Jazzy Jeff, but peep that joint “Ugly People Be Quiet.” Marvelous ripped that joint with an ill forward/reverse rap style. Maybe they used to roll together and the styles rubbed off much like Dana Dane and Slick Rick. as for the topic, MC Shan’s style is not to be slept on. That Down by Law album set the flow of many a QB rapper. He wasn’t flowing mad like Kane and G-Rap, but he dropped jewels. Nature was always wack to me. Sorry. Same with Cormega. Weak lyrics. Freddie Foxxx called Cormega out, and his response was so weak. Got to Youtube and check it out.

Comment by DOC SAMSON 06.12.10 @

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