On 13 November 2003, Quarashi released a new song exclusively in Iceland, entitled "Race City". The song had the type of sound fans had come to expect from Quarashi, except that instead of Hössi's Zach De La Rocha sounding voice being heard the most, what fans heard was a voice that sounded like Eminem's. That voice belonged to Tiny, who was Quarashi's newest member. Quarashi made the official announcement on 16 November 2003. Tiny is a short 20 something who bears a resemblance in both voice and appearance to Eminem, and dresses and acts like a thug which immediately distinguished him from Hössi's "nerdy" persona. There was mixed reaction to the announcement. Some fans refused to accept a Quarashi without Hössi. While others welcomed Tiny with open arms, and were ready for Quarashi's new sound.
Many fans thought that "Race City" would be the first single from Quarashi's next album, but the song was later taken off the album when Sölvi decided that "Race City" didn't reflect the new direction Quarashi was taking. Now, it is considered by fans to be a song made to introduce Tiny to the world. "Race City" was still released as a single, reaching Number 1 on the Icelandic Alternative Singles chart.
Following the 24 November première of the "Race City" music video, the Q boys went back to work, rehearsing and writing songs in their Reykjavík studio, with a goal to release an album by the end of 2004. Anticipation was running high, and Quarashi would only heightened the anticipation by opening their on-line blog, which would serve as their official website, in December 2003. Quarashi would update their blog several times a day with new messages, pictures, and videos that would show their progress in the making of their new record.
Quarashi would soon take a break from song writing and rehearsals to make their return to live performing, as a way to have the fans warm up to Tiny, and as a way to promote their new album. Tiny's first live performance with Quarashi occurred on 20 December 2003 at the club NASA in Reykjavík. The Q boys traveled to Japan once again to perform at the 2 day Sonicmania concert in Tokyo in January 2004, and then performed "Race City" at the 2004 Icelandic EFFEMM Awards that February (which is where they won the award for 2003 Song Of The Year for "Mess It Up"). Quarashi also performed during a long weekend in Iceland called "The Verslunarmanna Helgi", where they played gigs at Sauðárkrókur (a small town in northern Iceland), and Akureyri. Quarashi was the opening act for both 50 Cent and The Prodigy, when those two popular musical acts traveled to Iceland.
On 24 February 2004, the rumours about Quarashi's future at Columbia Records/Time Bomb Recordings came true as it was announced that Columbia Records had dropped Quarashi from the label due to the disappointing sales of Jinx. Quarashi was also released from their EMI Publishing contract. Quarashi announced that they would search for a new record label that would release their albums all over the world.
In April 2004, Quarashi began recording their next album, their first one with Tiny, and their sixth (and what would turn out to be their final) record overall, which was under the working title of "Payback". In June, Quarashi released the first single off their new album on their blog, "Stun Gun". The song showed the new direction Quarashi was heading into, as it featured a harder, more hip-hop oriented sound, showing that the Q boys were moving away from the more techno and funk oriented beats of songs past. "Stun Gun" also showed the difference between Tiny and Hössi when it came to lyrics as Tiny's harsh, mean-spirited rhymes were a lot different than Hössi's silly and nonsensical rhymes that were filled with pop culture references.
The change in direction was met with mixed reviews. Some fans feared that the more hip-hop oriented sound would make Quarashi sound like American mainstream rappers, and therefore, take away their appeal. Other fans loved the change, feeling that after doing four albums in seven years which had similar sounds, a similar style, and similar lyrics, that it was time for Quarashi to head in a new direction. Whether or not fans liked the changes, one thing they all agreed on was that Steini should have appeared on the album. Steini had chosen not to participate on the new Quarashi record in order to concentrate on his solo career. Stoney told the fans that even though he didn't participate on the album, and was working on a solo album, he was still a member of Quarashi.
Famous quotes containing the word tiny:
“We are to have a tiny party here tonight; I hate tiny
partiesthey force one into constant exertion.”
—Jane Austen (17751817)