Posted on 12/21/2018 in Entertainment

Rapper Q Money says he tried to bring positivity to Cleveland, apologizes after 7 shot at video shoot

Rapper Q Money says he tried to bring positivity to Cleveland, apologizes after 7 shot at video shoot

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- When the emerging rapper Q Money inked a record deal with Warner Bros. two months ago, they gave him three options for where to film his first music video: Atlanta, Los Angeles or Miami. His answer: Cleveland.

Shortly after he finished filming a scene outside the DPG Dog Pound bar on St. Clair Avenue, near where the 22-year-old rapper grew up, a fight broke out and ended with seven people shot, including three with critical wounds.

The rapper, whose real name is Qamar Williams, apologized to the people who suffered injuries and to their families during an interview Friday with cleveland.com. Williams said he was particularly disturbed by the gunfire because he makes it a point to never show prop guns in his videos.

"I wanted to bring Cleveland to the world," he said. "Now I'm thinking I should have just went to one of the other cities. It's a shame. I was trying to spread positivity."

No arrests have been made in the chaotic ordeal that started with two women fighting outside the bar. Some 100 people were outside the bar during the video shoot that Williams promoted earlier in the day on his Instagram page. 

Williams said the film crew hired two off-duty police officers, who went with them to film Wednesday at Mark Tromba Park on Mandalay Avenue and London Liquor Store on St. Clair Avenue and East 162nd Street.

He said he chose those locations because that's where he grew up. He played basketball in the park as a kid. 

Williams finished shooting the video and left. Dozens who came to watch him record it stayed behind to party. The fight between the two women escalated, and at least two people pulled out guns and opened fire. 

One of the men shot during the fight was Williams' 19-year-old cousin. He suffered a wound in his ankle.

"I'm sorry to everyone affected by it," Williams said. "I had left and I didn't have any control of what happened after. That's not what I'm about, that's not what I promote. I don't like violence."

Williams grew up in the St. Clair-East 185th Street neighborhood and at the Park Place apartment complex on East Boulevard and East 105th Street. He bounced around to different schools in East Cleveland, Cleveland and Cleveland Heights before graduating from Euclid High School in 2015.

He naturally gravitated towards freestyle rapping at a young age and would hang out with older friends at local studios, until one day someone let him record. His friends encouraged him to hip-hop as a career.

Williams got serious about his music about two years ago. His popularity grew. He began with 700 Instagram followers, and now has 131,000. His first couple videos got about 1,000 views.

He had a video get about 4,000 views, but was arrested for drug trafficking about the same time and was sentenced to 30 days in jail. Other inmates told him they liked his songs. He said he felt encouraged but vowed to leave the drug trade when he missed the birth of his son while he was jailed.

"My son really influenced me," Williams said. "I wanted to stop doing that and do something positive." 

He got out of jail, worked as a lifeguard at the Glenville Rec Center for a short time and hit it big with his song "Work," which as of Friday has 4.7 million views on YouTube.

The Q Money Challenge, a dance-off that had people submit videos of themselves dancing to his music with the promise of $7,000 in prizes to the best videos, furthered his popularity.

He played at Z 107.9's Summer Jam in 2017 and signed that year with the independent label Think It's A Game Records.

The video he recorded on Wednesday is his first after signing with Warner Bros. He said he expects to release the video for the track "Neat" Aug. 3. He said he was disappointed in the way things happened when shooting the video but said he'd record one more time in Cleveland, before giving up on recording here.

"I want the guys coming up behind me to know that they can have success without violence, without guns and without drugs, without becoming a product of their environment," Williams said. "I want to bring people together to have a good time."

Source: https://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2018/07/rapper_q_money_says_he_tried_t.html