The sweet voice of Schoolboy Q’s four-year-old daughter is the first one you hear on the opening of “Oxymoron.”
In his first major label debut released on February 25, 2014, Quincy Hanley, better known as ScHoolboy Q, tells his story from a youth in gang life to present day fatherhood and the “gangsta” that lives in him. It is a lifestyle that brings as much pride and rapture as considerable torment.
“No L’s, no whips, backyard full of crips, barbecues and county blues, this Hoover gangster be the s–t,” Hanley raps in the track titled “Los Awesome.” Produced by Pharrell Williams with a feature from label-mate Jay Rock, this track stands out as one of the premier songs as it pays homage to everyday life in Los Angeles.
Hanley’s lyrics are as fun as his self-proclaimed groovy-ness and every track flows with West Coast influence, though other regions are heard in the production.
While the majority of the album is considered “gangster rap,” there are tracks like “Studio” which lean towards the softer side of the story while remaining true to character.
He calls his mother “mommy” and admits to crying on prescription drugs while the echoes of his daughter’s voice asking “what’s wrong” ricochet on the song titled “Prescription – Oxymoron.” Later in the song he aspires to having his life become a Spike Lee joint as piano keys and subtle 808s set the tone.
Old enough to know better and young enough to sever so-called reality, Hanley puts his life on display in the only way he knows how. “Pedal to the floor, ain’t that what it’s made for,” he raps on “Hell of a Night.”
Backed by Top Dawg Entertainment, arguably the strongest independent hip hop record label today, and the ever-present Interscope Records, “Oxymoron” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart when it was released last month.
With features from Kendrick Lamar, Kurupt, Tyler, The Creator, Raekwon, legendary Suga Free and production from Sounwave, The Alchemist and Clams Casino to name a few, “Oxymoron” is heavy-set with talent.
With an ample amount of bounce beats and grooves to cruise on wheels or beat the streets in your favorite shoes, “Oxymoron” is an album for the conscious youth that knows better than to seek the evils of the world as much as it is for those surrounded by evil looking for hope.
ScHoolboy Q will be bringing his Oxymoron Tour to Sacramento April 9 at Ace of Spades.
And don’t forget to catch my show Wednesdays at 9 PM on KSSU.com!