ScHoolBoy Q – (Oxymoron)

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Every since TDE’s Black Hippy Crew started bubbling right under the national scene in 2010, their rise hasent been metoric but it has been on a gradual upswing. The pinnacle of that hype machine has happened within the last 18-24 months or so with Kendrick Lamar’s critical acclaimed “Good Kid, MAAd City” then TDE’s BET Cypher exposure last year. For the most part TDE holds the general distinction as a crew of super lyrical Mc’s, well that is not nesscarily the case. Case and point is Schoolboy Q who is not a bum, but probably the least lyrical of the bunch.

However theres a reason why SchoolBoy Q’s album was next up and ready with quality singles and a legit buzz before every other artist on the label outside of kendrick lamar. The thing about SchoolBoy Q, he is…… for the lack of a better word so to speak, has that “method man of Wu-Tang” vibe to him. What do i mean by that well like Method Man, he isent the most lyrical mc of the crew nore was he arguably even in the top 4 or 5, however he had that star appeal to him in his music. The ability to mesh the balance between rhymes that connect to the streets with rhymes and music that connect to the club and radio masses.

Not to pigeon hole Q but with all that being said the foundation of ScHoolBoy Q as an artist, is one of a West coast gang related gangsta rapper. On the Sounwave produced “Hoover Street”, ScHoolBoy Q takes us down his memory lane on some of the harsh realities of his childhood. On the track Q raps…

Verse 1:
“Find a nigga realer than me, my socks stink/
Eat so much pussy that my mustache pink/
Strapping, my pants seam, no need for a belt/
Gangsta lean help, hoodie on backwards with the eyes cut out/
My hate felt, my .45 elder, poetry’s deep/
I never fail ya, Schoolboy bust flame/
Orange-yellow, higher than Margielas/
Since a young nigga I admired the crack sellers, seen my uncle steal/
From his mother, now that’s the money that I’m talking ’bout/
Think about it, the smoker ain’t got shit and everyday he still get a hit/
Whether jacking radios or sucking dick/
Sell his kids and chop his wrists and sealing his lips
Cause he don’t want the feds arresting his fix, didn’t take much/
To get me convinced, coincidence that I ain’t fucking with work/
Unless we rewind and answer my church/
Times getting harder than my d*** on a growth spurt/
Around the same time all you niggas was on purp/
My sober ass was snatching her purse, make the ice cream truck freeze/
Give me the keys, extra Fritos, chili and cheese/
Threw some Baby Lucas in his eyes before I leave/
The cops’ll never get the lead, grandma taught me well/
And my uncle gun was the accessories, 211 sipping plus a robbery/
This little piggy went to market, this little piggy carry chrome”

Verse2:
“Grandma said she loved me, I told her I loved her more/
She always got me things that we couldn’t afford/
The new Js and Tommy Hill in my drawers/
Sega Genesis, Nintendo 64, see Golden Eye was away at war/
We wasn’t thinking of getting money then/
Nor did I wonder why my uncle done sold his Benz/
Cause he been tripping now, he sweats a lot and slimming down/
I also notice moms be locking doors when he around/
But anyways, he wife done left him and now he living with us/
My bike is missing, Grandma like to hide her check every month/
My uncle’s nuts, he used to give me whiskey to piss in cups/
Knocking on the door telling me to hurry up, he in a rush/
I gave it to him then got my ass whipped for doing it/
Moms used to tell me like, nigga, know who you dealing with/
Them was the good days ’til I was raised the older ways/
Rat-Tone my nigga’s brother showed me my first K/
I was amazed, me and Floyd was in the back, he called us over like, hey/
YAWK, YAWK, YAWK, YAWK! We like, damn, nigga/
Then again, YAWK, YAWK! We like, damn, nigga/
Hearing him say cuz turned us to a fan, nigga/
Later on he got locked so know we’re taking his fades/
Continue the chapter from his life, we flipping that page/
Gangbanging was a ritual and Grandma would help/
She should’ve never left her gun on the shelf/
This little piggy went to market, this little piggy carry chrome”

 

Throughout “Oxymoron” ScHoolboy Q displays his ability to craft high energy head nodding tracks. I wouldnt call the various producers who handled the boards for the album a super team, however the production overall is top notch. There’s bangers everywhere on this album, from the opening track “Gangsta”, to Collard Greens” ft. kendrick Lamar, to the 2Chainz assisted “What They Want”, to the grooved out “Studio”, to the melodic back drop on “Hell Of A Night”, to the trunk rattling close out track “Man Of The Year”. With All the repeat value on various tracks throughout Oxymoron, it is still far from flawless.

The Main thing that holds the album back from manifesting to what it could have been is ScHoolboy Q’s rapping on much of the album, ranging from solid to average on more than half of the songs. I think part of that may be due to the subject matter on a third of the songs. Most of the time a club sounding track will not require high level rapping, and can for the most part, unless done right will throw the song off. Theres a reason why you won’t hear or find many great club banger type tracks from the Canibus, Crooked I, Terminology, Kool G Rap type mc’s of the world. Sometimes the bars and music don’t fit, and there’s an art and science to making that work with superb bars like some of the all time great Mc’s have done, like a Biggie or JayZ. Q similar to Method Man in respect to Wu-Tang, ScHoolboy Q may be in the bottom half of the TDE totem pole as far as bars are concerned, however he arguably has the most star quality and the best single crafing ability that can appeal to different hip-hop sectors. Not saying that he will sell a ton of records or will ever become a bigger star then Kenderick, but his ability to craft dope singles that appeal to the masses is on par with K.Dot and above everyone else thus far on TDE. Overall “oxymoron” has enough standouts and cohesion in its 12 song offering to be considered a solid to good album, and another positive notch for entire West Coast and TDE over the past few years.  #HaitianJack   

 

Scores:  Oxymoron  (Released Feb 2014)

Bars: M      Beats: XL     Music: XL      Report Card: B-

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