Re-branding from the duo Karmin of six years, frontwoman Amy Renee Noonan has graciously taken her crown as Qveen Herby. With 4 EP’s — each titled with their corresponding number — under her belt since her re-emergence in 2017, QH’s sultry R&B flow and finesse confidently glides from singer to rapper throughout her discography. On her latest EP’s (3 and 4) released during the second half of this year, QH maintains that hint of pop but emerges in a cool stance of confidence in her new artistic direction. Still being produced by her husband Nick Noonan and former Karmin half, QH is a welcoming dosage of freedom with sultry behavior, finally in the stream always craved. The delicacy and persona of Qveen Herby is of an artist refining, growing, and developing into comfort; traits that should be on one’s radar going into the new year.
“SADE IN THE 90S” kicks off QH’s EP 3 and pays homage to the icon Sade with a smooth yet distressed production. One of the funkier cuts on this EP, coated with a elixir of strength that needs no explanation by the hook, “Put that shit behind me, keep my diamonds blinding / Gotta keep it suave like I’m Sade in the 90s,” QH’s characterization within her delivery glistens with a nostalgic gloss.
If you can make it past this song without numerous repeats, the rest of the tracks embody QH truly stepping into this change and appreciating herself, of course with little jabs along the way. “ALL THESE HOES” takes a choppy flow that dominated this years hip-hop, while “THAT BIH” is flexing amidst of a lurking beat and displays more of QH’s own flow.
“BEAUTIFUL” softens up the aroma and is a self-loving, empowering track that encourages all to stand in their own light, flaws and all. Nick Noonan’s vocals can be heard sprinkled in the chorus for longing Karmin fans as QH reassures, “You da bomb don’t listen to the stupid hoes / Who try and bring you down,” going back to previous tracks. “LIVIN THE DREAM” ties the EP pretty cleanly. Coming full circle, acknowledging what was built and the struggles in between, appreciating the love of her partner along the way.
On the latest project, EP 4, Qveen Herby utilizes trap-infused beats heavily and continues holding her head high during her walk where she last left listeners. Not as bountiful as the previous EP, the 4th edition is a little scattered but has strong moments of owning herself and removing herself from situations that no longer serve her.
“Alone” stands out on the EP for its rich layers and heartfelt caress. It comes across less mainstream than previously heard and is prominent with R&B from beginning to end. QH is heard reflecting back, mourning with a sense of regret on a past lover. Stronger lyrics are penned upon several verses and get lost in her passionate croon: “Oh, am I just gonna die alone? / You must have my heart in a trap ’cause I want you back.” This track demonstrates the versatility in vocals and range, breaking the monotony.
During QH’s transition and redefining her style and sound, “$IP” comes along as a response to anyone who switch sides on her through the process. Featuring Sonaye Elise, the two take contemporary hip-hop, trap, and modern productions for a hype declaration of independence with witty lines. Elise’s playful strokes merges with the track’s briefing of gossip, encouraging to take a sip of “tea.” Slightly more aggressive yet equally as enjoyable.
The EP’s final track offers a promising continuation for future releases. Where “Nintendo” falls short, “Pray for Me” featuring Farrah Fawx, makes up for the intent of being played with and the cut off from all “fuck boys.” Bouncing from singing to rapping, an aspect that first drew in listeners to A. Noonan, “Pray For Me” sees charm and shrewdness on each verse. QH’s flow is flawless, weaving in and out of character and her own natural tone exuding her own conviction — “Oh, that’s right, they talkin’ ’bout me, I been swishin’, Nike / Pushin’ beats like Iovine, wanna buy me nice things / So I say “Bitch, I might be,” got me doin’ Tai Chi” — equal to Fawx’s boldface truth — “This that, oh, he got shit to prove, make him come in twos / Can’t refuse, okay, bitch, you lose, they can’t kiss my jewels.”