ScHoolBoy Q – Oxymoron

By | February 28, 2014 at 7:00 pm | No comments | Editors Choice, MUSIC, New Releases | Tags: , , , , , , ,


Artist: ScHoolboy Q
Album: Oxymoron
Released: February 25, 2014
Label: Interscope Record

“Kendrick left me no choice but to drop a classic.”

Those are the words TDE’s ScHoolBoy Q expressed to Complex Magazine back in 2013, with regards to his much anticipated upcoming Interscope studio-label debut. But could he have had expectations that are still to early to reach in his career?

ScHoolboy Q brings forth a competent effort with his Interscope/Top Dawg Entertainment worldwide distributed debut- Oxymoron.

Oxymoron showcases production from some top-notches in the game such as The Alchemist, Mike WiLL, and Pharrell Williams. Among others include DJ Dahi, Gwen Bunn, LordQuest, Nez & Rio, Rocket, Sounwave, Swiff D, Tae Beast, THC, and Tyler, The Creator. Features are kept to a fine minimum with fellow comrades Kendrick Lamar & Jay Rock, as well as 2Chainz, BJ The Chicago Kid, and game vets Kurupt, and Raekwon.

The album begins with a Q’s toddler, Joy, exclaiming “Hello, Hello! F**k rap, my daddy’s a gangster,” right before breaking into the track “Gangsta”. You can’t help but to recite along “Gangsta, Gangsta, Gangstaaa!!!” and mean mug anyone in sight while listening to this joint. The track depicts Q’s well known story lines of previous coke selling, gang-banging, strap holding, and turn around exclamation of success.

2Chainz joins the TDE member on “What They Want” bringing a gloomy banger produced by Mike Will. Both do what they do best on the track; Q brings the dope selling and money stacking lines, while 2Chainz gives us those absurd simplistic, yet addictive, punchlines: “…all gold where my wrists is. God there’s just no convincing, Just because I got dreads don’t get it twisted…”

Raekwon is featured on the grimy Sounwave & Lordquest produced “Blind THreats” bringing signature story telling rap, making this the best feature on the album in my personal opinion.The track is gloomy, and gives you a chilly feeling when you allow yourself to be completely submerged in the beat. “Blind THreats” channels something along the lines of Q’s “Sacrilegious” off his previous release. It seems as though it would be a fitting continuation of the track, as we find Q thinking out loud “But if God won’t help me, this gun will…I swear I’m gon’ find my way.”

Sounwave serves exceptional production, on “Hoover Street”, giving us that sound we are used to hearing out the TDE talent. Although the beat serves to be dreamlike, the story line within this track is anything but that. Q continues to tell his hood story- can you imagine roaches in your cereal? ScHoolboy spits along the same content on “Fuck LA” in which he exclaims “Bitch, I AM LA!”

Aside from all the gangbanging and drug talk, Groovy Q makes an appearance with smooth sounding tracks like “Studio” featuring BJ the Chicago Kid and “Grooveline (Pt.2)” which features Suga Free. “Studio” is something for the ladies, Q drops lines of what he wants to do (Mhmmm you know what I’m talking about), while BJ the Chicago Kid brings sweet-seductive vocals about being stuck up in the studio but wanting to be with his girl. “Grooveline (Pt. 2)” differs from the first “Grooveline” which featured Dom Kennedy and Curren$y in Habits & Contradictions. The first Grooveline was strictly a ladies joint, talking about what they wanted to do to us ladies, what a real G would provide, it had us craving for that thug passion. Part 2 featuring Suga Free is a complete 360, he’s not talking about loving you up; he’s asking “Will you sell that p**** for me?”– of course we should’ve predicted that with Suga Free up on this cut. Suga Free continues to pledge that pimpin’ as we find him preaching as only he knows how. Tae Beast provides such a smooth sound to the production, making this track one of my personal favorites.

“Prescription/Oxymoron” is a split track. “Prescription” confesses to an addiction to prescription drugs, both of selling and using. With an illusive instrumental backdrop provided by Sounwave and Willie B, Q finds himself slave to an addictive feeling. “Oxymoron” may well be the essence of the entire album itself; on this track Q states “I just stopped selling crack today O-X-Y, a moron, O-X-Y, a moron,” which serves as a complete contradiction. Put this CD on your tongue… Q bringing that crack music that Kanye once told us about.

Tyler, the Creator provides production and a hook full of testosterone on “The Purge”, which also features Kurupt of The Dogg Pound. Kurupt’s verse is the highlight of this track, other than that it’s a easy skip. And while we are on the subject of “easy skips”- the Pharrell produced “Los Awesome” (feat. Jay Rock), “His & Her Friend” (feat. Sza), and “Gravy”, are tracks I believe the album could’ve done without. The first two tracks simply because they just seem too experimental in production and out of element with the album as a whole. “Gravy” is a great track, taken from the BET cypher freestyle. It showcases Q’s raw delivery, but it just sounds so low of quality to be included in this album, I almost feel as though I’m listening to a King of The Dot rap battle YouTube video, without the visuals.

The peak of this album falls within the cuts “Hell of A Night”, “Break the Bank”, and “Man of the Year”. The DJ Dahi “Hell of A Night” is the club banger, infused with nothing but heavy bass at the hook. The single “Man of the Year” produced by Nez & Rio, and again Sounwave, holds the same effect throughout the whole song, making it a “no brainier” as to why it was chosen as a single. The Alchemist blesses with production on “Break the Bank”. Although this is not necessarily a instant “banger” for the masses, I see no reason as to why stations would not give this track major radio play further along in the course of this year. The beat is dark and gloomy, over piano keys and such, yet ScHoolboy’s delivery, word play, and aggressive tone variation qualify this track for repetitive listen. Prevoiusly released hit-singles “Collard Greens” (feat. Kendrick Lamar) and “Yay Yay” are also included in this project.

I believe there’s more to classifying a album as a classic than what was disclosed within this project. Q is easily one of the most musically likable rappers out the TDE camp. On Oxymoron, Q continues to provide an example of being able to keep a fine line between street and radio/club music. Music and society has evolved to a point in which we probably will never hear that gangsta-rap sound, or even come close to, what mainstream appealing artists like Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, and Game brought out in the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s. But today, Q is westcoast gangsta rap. He’s managing to reach the streets and the masses just like raps forefathers have. ScHoolboy Q is your modern day gangsta-rapper, period.

ScHoolboy Q has definitely delivered an exceptional album. Does it live up to its hype? Yes. Is it a classic album? No.

(If you are a devotee and student of rap/hip hop then you understand why I say this. If you don’t, I’m not going to defend my argument, brush up on game.)

There’s no doubt in my mind this album is going to generate impressive sales, that exceed most critics expectations. If there is one rapper out the TDE camp who is willing and ready to milk the music industry, it is Q. And watch him go straight to the bank with it!

Stace Fresh

(Version of album used: Itunes Deluxe Edition)

© 2011 ILLSOCIETY Media Group LLC. All rights reserved.