4 Hip Hop Heads: SchoolBoy Q OXYMORON Breakdown
Alright so Schoolboy Q’s album OXYMORON has leaked. I already pre-ordered this shit so any Stans can’t be mad at me cuz I literally put money in dudes pocket. I also copped tickets to his LA show in April for my little brother and me. I got into Schoolboy in early 2012 a months after bumping Section.80 by Kendrick. I liked that shit from the jump but it has grown on me to the point where I really consider it to be not only the best Black Hippy/TDE album but one of the best rap joints in recent memory (along with Kismet by Mr. Muthafuckin Exquire, anything by Danny Brown and some shit here and there by ppl like Freddie Gibbs). So yeah I was hyped for this shit. I also fucked with all of the leaked singles and such. Yay Yay and Collard Greens really were that dope to me and Break the bank and Man of the year were also dope. Also 2 of my other favorite songs right now Back selling crack by Vince Staples and Dope Fiend rental by Danny Brown feature Q.
Here’s a sort of track-by-track run down with overall thoughts sprinkled in:
Gangsta: I liked it the first time. Second time I really liked it. Seems basic but it really
does get the job done. Sort of like what up gangsta by 50 but better and with more rapping. Contender for best joint on here.
Los Awesome: This one has Jay Rock on it. First time I ain’t like it. Listening right now and yeah, it doesn’t work for me. Apparently this album somehow tells to history of the Crips. First time through I didn’t hear that at all. Maybe I’ll pick up on it second time through.
Collard Greens: this was my song for the summer of 2013. I left it there tho. It knocks. It ain’t give Q a hit, which is unfortunate, but there’s still a lot of hype for this album so it doesn’t matter. As good as I think this is it doesn’t showcase Schoolboy Q’s skills and appeal like say a song like ‘there he go’ does. Here's the offical video:
What they want: this one has 2chainz. I have no problem with Mr. Chainz but I am a little weary of the features on this shit. Lotta of old dudes and a few hot names. I personally do like all the guests tho. Liked this the 1st time through and yeah I do like it more on the second listen.
Hoover: This one was way better to me on the second listen. Its dope as fuck. It does go on way too long tho and I got weary of Schoolboy’s adlibs. This joint is autobiographical in nature. Q had the same video game systems as me growing up. Sega Genesis was the shit to me but I was always secretly jealous of kids with Super Nintendo. I remember reading gaming magazines in 1995 or so that flat out said SNES was a better and so i vowed to get Nintendo 64 over Sega Saturn and then of course Playstation ended up being the consensus best system according to the magazines. But fuck those magazines and gaming nerds in general. Nintendo 64 had enough games to entertain me from ages 10-15. Only rich, spoiled kids can afford to have two systems anyway.
Studio: This one has BJ the Chicago Kid. I think he was on Setbacks, which was also dope. I like this shit, I could see this being on the radio I guess.
Prescription/Oxymoron: A title track of sorts. Shit is 7 minutes long. He got his daughter making baby noises on this shit. Like I want to hear that shit. When Em started putting his daughter on his joints on the Eminem show it was the beginning of the end. And The Game was done as an important rapper the second his did an album cover with his sons. That said I do like this song. It kind of annoys me tho. The beat switches up half way through and I do fuck with both beats. Schoolboy is telling an in depth and personal story here. I do like dude’s adlibs and hooks usually but here and in other places on the album he tests the limits. But maybe that’ll grow on me.
The Purge: Why is Tyler on this shit at all? He ain’t rapping just talking the hook. I was getting tired of Q doing his own hooks I guess tho. This song is cool and Kurupt spits a dope verse at the end.
Blind threats: Best song on this shit? Could argue that School couldn’t make a song this good 2 years ago which goes against my original opinion that Habits and Contradictions is better than this. But whatever this shit dope as fuck. Raekwon is always welcome. He the same person he always been. Raekwon I think has always been 35 years old or so even in ’95. Shit so dope I had to link it here:
Hell of a night: Heard this last year and didn’t like it. It’s decent actually but I am a little surprised it made the album.
Break the Bank: probably still one of the best songs on the record. Hooks works for me and obviously the beat is dope. I will say that the beats here are better that habits and contradictions. Like a lotta shit here it drags on a bit too long.
Man of the Year: Its dope. Still waiting on a track like this from Q that knocks as hard as ‘There He Go’. This better than his other commercial efforts tho.
His and Her fiend: This one has SZA who’s a singer in TDE. Still don’t like it.
Grooveline pt. 2: The first grooveline was very solid. Suga Free is one of the best rappers ever so I assumed this would be the best shit ever. First time through I was disappointed but still liked the joint. Second time I do like it a lot but the hook bothers me. How you gonna have Tyler the monotone do a fucking hook but not let Suga Free sing the hook on this shit? I had to go listen to some DJ Quik/suga free joints to cleanse the disappointment off me. Here this shit is from 2011 and its wayyy better than anything ever:
Fuck LA: I actually thought of a concept similar to this title a minute ago. My little brother raps a little bit and I said that if I were a rapper I’d do a song called fuck LA. We’re from the IE and while I like LA for the most part I still say fuck it. Fuck the IE too tho.
Yay Yay: Possibly still the best song on this shit. Possibly the best Schoolboy Q song ever. The Suga Free reference here does more for me than the song with Suga Free on it.
Gravy: My stolen version didn’t have this song. My paid for one will tho.
So overall yeah it does live up to the hype. Like Kendrick’s shit there isn’t any much bullshit for the radio here. It’s more or less what you would expect if you closely followed Schoolboy Q’s career to this point. In spots it is better than Good Kid MADD City but that’s because I find Q to be a more engaging and relatable rapper than Alien voice Lamar. As for how it stacks up to Habits and Contradictions I’m not as sure. I don’t think Q could have pulled off joints like Hoover, Blind Threats and even yay yay 2 years ago. But then again this album is missing some of the freewheeling spirit that tracks like there he go, druggy with hoes again, and hands on the wheel had. Kendrick is on this shit and so is jay rock but I would have preferred more friends/peers of Q as opposed to his heroes and dudes that are hot. I’m gonna hyped to see dude in April.