Quinn XCII is back in storytelling mode with the release of his latest single “Backpack,” which doubles as his debut as a Republic Records signee. The Michigan singer and songwriter uses the song to recount a fictional coming-of-age tale where the main character of the story follows ego over logic – all of which is perfectly captured within the accompanying music video.
“‘’Backpack’ is a basic everyday term we throw around, but I’d never heard it in a song,” Quinn XCII, pronounced Quinn Ninety-Two, shared in a statement. “I crafted this fictional story around the word.”
In the video, Quinn XCII takes the stand in a courtroom ruled by special guest star Yung Gravy where he’s being represented by radio host Zach Sang. The faux-lawyer asks his client to describe, in detail, the events that led up to his current predicament – and the tale unravels from there.
“She pulled out a backpack with some drugs I never done before, but I still told her, ‘Pass that’ / I only said it because I’m trying get lucky like a four-leaf clover,” Quinn XCII sing-raps over acoustic-based, reggae-inspired production.
“It’s about being with a girl and seeing she’s a lot cooler and more experienced than you are,” the singer said of the song. “It comes down to how you react to the situation. Do you put your pride aside and fake it until you make it, so to speak?”
Throughout the song, Quinn XCII’s fictional character finds the pit of anxiety in his stomach growing and he fears being found out. “I hope she doesn’t figure out / Maybe through word of mouth / That I’m a momma’s boy that doesn’t like to leave the house.” Everything he had told his love interest about himself was actually a convoluted mirroring of her own interests, dismissing any and all traits of his own in hopes of winning her over.
Though the story of “Backpack” is fictional, Quinn XCII can relate to the experience of changing himself for someone else, only to regret it later on, explaining: “I’ve been in situations like that. I decided to be an alter ego of myself, and I realized it’s not a healthy way of getting into a relationship.”