Recently, Gangsta Rap has taken a backseat in Hip-Hop. The landscape has been changed by industry friendly rappers designed to appeal to the masses of America, with rappers jumpin’ up and down on soft beats, singin’ their hearts out and stuff like that. The rugged joints that defined rap have been replaced with niggas rappin’ on techno beats and collaborating with Katy Perry; sellin’ out for the money. But recently, there’s been a few artists steppin’ out the brand new box the industry made. Enter Los Angeles rapper ScHoolboy Q.
For those who don’t know, Top Dawg Entertainment’s roster includes Hip-Hop’s current it-boy Kendrick Lamar (Section.80, good kid, m.A.A.d city), Ab-Soul, Jay Rock, and recent additions Isaiah Rashad and songstress SZA. ScHoolboy Q released Setbacks in 2011, and Habits And Contradictionsin 2012. With the success of the latter, the hype for Oxymoron was high as hell. Does the Hoover Crip from Figueroa Street deliver? We gonna find out. YAWK.
1. Gangsta Produced by Nez & Rio
Now this is how the hell you kick off an album. This beat’ll make a dude rob a corner store for no reason. This joint features Q’s daughter Joy setting the tone for the album. “Hello? HELLO? F*ck rap, my daddy a gangsta.”. This is some ignorance right here, anyone can rock to this. Slow, smooth, but grimy as HELL.
2. Los Awesome Featuring Jay Rock; Produced by Pharrell
The GAWD Pharrell came in and blessed this album with somethin’ that sounds straight from 2003. YES, Pharrell. The same guy that drops the sweet lollipop joints for the radio (“Get Lucky” featuring Daft Punk, “Happy”) AND the savage sounds of countless hip hop joints. Q kinda got busy, but LET’S talk about Jay Rock. This dude got straight ignorant on this unorthodox joint. He got a reputation of roastin’ Black Hippy members on songs (“Black Lip Bastard (Remix)”, Kendrick Lamar’s “Money Trees”). Either way, this is a solid joint, a HEAVY change of pace. And at the end there’s a nice little segue to the next joint.
3. Collard Greens Featuring Kendrick Lamar; Produced by Omen & Gwen
This is a song that’ll kind grow on a bro. It’s the album’s second single, and it’s typical ScHoolboy rappin’ about the things he does the best..women, weed and brews. But the real standout moment on this song is the verse by The Artist Formerly Known As K. Dot. This boy here starts the verse IN SPANISH. These two deliver.
Translation: Ven aqui, mami, ese culo
Tu quieres cojer mis huevos, y papi me desespero
Chuparse puto pendejo, el pinche cabron- let’s get it
This is some next level music. Either you fuck with it or you don’t tho. I ain’t mad at this at all.
4. WHat THey Want Featuring 2 Chainz; Produced by Mike Will Made It & Marz
For the people that’s been under a rock, Mike Will Made It is the producer behind damn near every popular mainstream joint over the last year and 1/2. This sounds like the next radio single, and this here damn near blew out my speakers. If you were lookin’ fo bars and whatnot here, you ain’t gonna find it here b. 2 Chainz decides to leave some ignorance on this track, but there really ain’t too much here. I ain’t in love with it, but I don’t hate it.
5. Hoover Street Produced by Sounwave
At long last, a little in-house production. Sounwave is a part of the group Digi+Phonics, under Top Dawg Entertainment. THIS IS Q DOING WHAT HE DOES BEST. AND this joint got two different beats. Q is reflecting on the stuff that made him famous in the first place, talkin’ that good. Ol’ boy gives us a dope rhyme scheme with a story to go along with it. This isn’t exactly GKMC but this somethin’ you gotta mess with. This joint make me wanna have an arm wrestling contest with Hercules. Q does well at times with helping the listener picture it in the head. Times were REALLY hard for this brother.
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 sh*t and everyday he still get a hit
Whether jacking radio’s 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 like my dick on a growth spurt
6. Studio Featuring BJ The Chicago Kid; Produced by Swiff D
ALRIGHT..I don’t know if I can mess with this joint. Usually joints by Black Hippy artists that cater to the ladies are hit or miss. I don’t know if I mess with this joint at all. BJ The Chicago Kid got some dope joints, but the hook is boring as hell..and this whole singing thing Q is tryin’ to pull off don’t do too much for me. I can’t say I fool with this too much.
7. Prescription/Oxymoron Produced by Sounwave
More in-house production. This joint here is Q at his most introspective. This begins the more personal part of the album. Finally he deals with his past that heavily involved drugs. I can fool with this joint, simply on the fact that anyone can relate to it. Q addresses his former addiction to pills, and how he deals with things such as blowing off people’s calls, how he fell in love with the drugs, and even blowing off his own daughter..this is “Prescription”..HOWEVER..
Prescription drugs, I fell in love
My little secret, she gon’ kill a thug
My body numb, she like to give me hugs
I love her touch, I get a rush
When she don’t come around, I start to go nuts
My heart erupts, I’m curled in pain
My phone ring, ring and ring and ring
If you ain’t selling drugs, then I don’t hear a thing
The SECOND half of this joint is HARD, b. THIS right here made me PRAY that a nigga stepped on my Nike Airs just so I could beat his ass. THIS SONG IS A PROBLEM. This beat is an unprecedented MONSTER. AND he comes in spittin’ some of the hardest bars on the album, and he sets the tone for what comes with the rest of the album. This is vicious, and a problem. I really fucks with this it. This is a whole different Q, he really ain’t half steppin’ on this song.
8. The Purge Featuring Tyler, The Creator & Kurupt; Producer by Tyler, the Creator
This beat here is somethin’ different…can’t be too mad at it. A little disappointing. This is Tyler being simple, but at his best all while providing the hook. Q completely blacks the hell out. Ain’t nobody see this coming. This makes you feel like you’re right in that man’s shoes. Kurupt came in with a solid verse that was more of a nasset than a liability. This joint here could use a Tyler or Earl Sweatshirt verse. Q drops a few cool bars, I fool with it, even with a lackluster hook.
9. Blind Threats Featuring Raekwon; Produced by LordQuest
Every album has that one collaboration that everyone looks forward to. This is the one on Oxymoron. There was a lot of hope and hype, as well as skeptical views about this track. Raekwon The Chef DELIVERED. He came in and bodied this verse that sounds straight from the early 90’s. And this isn’t Q’s type of beat, BUT he goes in too. But the GAWD Raekwon is on a whole different level. He is hungry, and you would’ve sworn that he was a young unsigned rapper by the way he attacked this. This joint here ends the introspective section of the album, and leads up to where Q is now.
10. Hell Of A Night Produced by DJ Dahi
Some of y’all readers don’t know, but this joint was released a long time ago, as in last year. This is Q aiming hard for the mainstream. I can’t say I hate it, it’ll shake your trunk and probably break your eardrums and whatnot. If you’re looking for deep joints and bars this ain’t it. For those cats that don’t know how to have fun and lookin’ for lyrical miracles, this really ain’t for you. You gotta fool with the bass. Q drops bars about how things are for him now, basically gettin’ hyped every night, having sex with women and smoking. I can’t say I’m mad at it, it’s not exactly my cup of tea.
11. Break The Bank Produced by The Alchemist
UNCLE AL delivers here, and Q comes in with possibly the catchiest hook of the album…“MONEY BE ON MY MIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIND..LA DI DA DOOOOOOOO..” this joint is mad catchy and ill, but at the same time it’ll make you wanna ride a four wheeler off a mountain like you playin’ Grand Theft Auto. I CAN’T be mad at this. This is the beginning of Q summing up who he’s become. Uncle Alchemist top 10 producer for sure, the man has classics.
Du-rags and flatlines, drive-by’s at bedtime
Get down, I earn mine, so one loss they can’t sign
Thank God that I’m straight, no wonder my mom prayed
Lost one of my cuzzos, cursed from them devils
Good weed and me time, goodbye to Nissan
Cause one day this rappin’ gon’ pay
12. Man Of The Year Produced by Nez & Rio
WHOEVER Nez and Rio are they did a bomb job. This joint kinda reminds me of a slightly watered down version of Q’s “Hands On The Wheel” joint. This just another weed and brews joint that should take you to a hype place inside your mind for a little bit. I wasn’t mad at the other joint, and I’m not mad at the song. If you’ve seen the video, then you already know what this joint revolves around…booty…and weed. If you ride around with a bunch of females that wanna jam to somethin’ you gotta throw this on.
13. His And Her Friend Featuring SZA; Produced by Rocket
This is kinda like another segue into the next joint. And hey, it sounds kinda like the segue before “Collard Greens”. The vocals come from recent TDE addition SZA. There really isn’t too much to judge here, this is like the top of a really smooth roller coaster. It’s whatever…but next..
14. Grooveline Pt. 2 Featuring Suga Free; Produced by Tae Beast “Tae Beast, why you have to do em like that?”. THIS JOINT IS NASTY. This is for all the playas who can pull a female. This isn’t ScHoolboy Q, this is Groovy Q. If you got a really bright, overly colored suit like the Playa Haters Ball skit from Chappelle’s Show, you might wanna put it on right as you listen to the joint. This is for the real playas and pimps. If you simp to a female and cater to their whim you can’t even listen to this joint here (talkin’ to Drizzy). Q sits here and talks all this real playa type talk, and the beat is so beautiful and smooth. “Grooveline Pt. 1 ” featuring Dom Kennedy & Curren$y is dope, but it’s not exactly a smooth type joint for aspiring pimps. This is an ANTHEM. Suga Free doesn’t really even rap, but he speaks to his hoes and tells all these young bucks how an OG does it. Suga Free leaves his West Coast legend presence all over this track.
15. Fuck LA Produced by Nez & Rio
This is a cool way to end the album. ScHoolboy goes back to talkin’. The beat is cool, and it wraps around Q’s current state of mind and all of his success. Ain’t really too much to say here.
ScHoolboy Q’s Oxymoron is more of a street album than a concept album. If you listened for Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city, then maybe you were somewhat lost. This is a completely different animal and Q delivers for the most part.
The features on here are very well placed, and they deliver as well. It’s easy to criticize if you’ve never listened to Q before. If you know what you’re in for then you’ll enjoy this joint. People who enjoy gettin’ hyped up, partying, and smoking weed will love this album. If you came looking for some lyrical miracles then this isn’t really for you unless you can get used to trunk shaking. However, this album will make you think. For those who are uneducated as far as the street life goes, this could be an eye opener. Fans will be shocked at some point of the beat selection, but one can’t be too upset with it. OVERALL this is a very solid album.