Schoolboy Q stays raising eyebrows and catching ears with his original, sometimes unorthodox style, evident on his previous independent releases like Habits & Contradictions and Setbacks. The Black Hippy member now drops his major label debut Oxymoron and its trippy, almost trance-inducing cuts are full of sharp lyricism and choruses that are sure to echo in one’s memory long after the song is finished.
“I got that work fuck Labor Day / Just bought a gun fuck punching in / Throwing rocks no hop scotch / I bet my nine milli hit the right spot.” The opening line from the Sounwave-produced “Hoover Street” is live, direct and unapologetic as Q illustrates for almost seven minutes how things are growing up in his neck of the woods, while effortlessly switching up his delivery from verse to verse. The beat changes after the first verse, sounding much more rugged, allowing Schoolboy to really marry the harshness of his words to the instrumental and making for the perfect soundtrack to represent Hoover Street.
What separates Schoolboy Q from many of the other new school rappers is his ability to switch up his flow from song to song without missing a step or sounding forced at all.
Adding to the Oxymoron highlights are the features. From the likes of fellow Black Hippies Kendrick Lamar and Jay Rock to Raekwon, and even Q’s daughter, all the project’s guests compliment Schoolboy rather than outshine him or take away from any of the cuts. Even the pairing of Tyler, the Creator on the chorus of “The Purge”, which also features Kurupt, sounds organic, despite the simple, uninspiring beat they are all spitting over.
What separates Schoolboy Q from many of the other new school rappers is his ability to switch up his flow from song to song without missing a step or sounding forced at all. This could be the key to his longevity in the game. A perfect example of this is a comparison of “Hell Of A Night” on which he flexes his double-time flow and “Fuck LA” where he adopts a slower, bounce-type delivery. Both tracks come off sounding natural and polished.
Kendrick Lamar shook up the rap world with his “Control” verse when he called out other rappers who people believed represented his most stark competition. Ironically it may be his own partner, Schoolboy Q, who is right on his heels. Lyrics 4/5 | Production 3.5/5 | Creativity 4/5 | Flow 5/5 | Overall 4/5 // Choice Cuts: Man Of The Year, Hell Of A Night, Fuck LA
Words By. Duane Benjamin