GUESS WHO? o_0
After much absence... Hiphop-made reviews is back in FULL EFFECT! Tell your mother and her friends!
Look out for Classics Weeks in 2 weeks and more reviews on a regular basis.
Formalities out of the way, let’s dissect this Schoolboy Q #OXYMORON. Preferred not to do a track by track for this one, you’ll understand why at the end.
The album starts off with a classic intro for the hiphop books as Schoolboy’s daughter goes, “Fuck rap, my daddy a gangster!” I mean, come on... we need not discuss how hard that first track “Gangster” is. The beat on this track starts of on a hype that lasts for the first four tracks and sets the mood for Q’s story. Los Awesome, featuring Jay Rock has a really infectious beat produced Pharell Williams, the imperial Skateboard P! Aka King of Music(right now). This track just goes into some of the general day to day activities of Schoolboy and his friends, and is very different from what we’re accustomed to from him. “What They Want” was another BANGER. The track features 2Chainz and has a stellar trap beat to accompany the braggadocious lyrics from Q and 2. “Hoover Street” is one of those tracks that really details Q’s past and what was happening during his pre-rap days. Along with “Groveline Street Pt. 2”, “Break The Bank” and “His and Her Friend”, this backdrop to Q’s mentality and why he is who is today is well painted. The singles from the album are all well crafted songs and have such a unique “schoolboy” feel to them. “Hell of a Night”, “Collard Greens”, “Break The Bank” and “Man Of the Year” serve to highlight the new schoolboy Q, the one who utilized this “Oxymoron” to make it and provide for his daughter. The oxymoron basically is Q’s doing bad to do good, in a nutshell. From selling drugs before rapping, to doing drugs while rapping all culminating in making money to support his daughter. His most introspective moment on this album come at track seven (7), though not one of my favourites “Prescription/Oxymoron” is the pandora’s box(if you will) of what this album stands for. The voals from his daughter on the track serve to invoke an emotion that really makes you understand schoolboy’s story. Following that track with “the Purge” ft. Tyler The Creator and Kurupt was damn near perfect. It also introduced you to the portion of the album that transitions from old schoolboy to new schoolboy. Though some key tracks didn’t make the record, analyzing it really makes you grasp what schoolboy wanted listeners to feel and understand. The track “Blind Threats” was in my opinion the best track on the album. Aside from the fact that rap legend Raekwon is featured on it, the lyrics are so real it’s almost scary. The track battles with religion and that fact that though schoolboy believes in God, sometimes he doesn’t get the answers that he wants from God and in turn, turns to his “gun” which is like a symbol for the gangster life to help him in life. He puts his faith in his tech and the drugs etc.. He highlights the “blind threats” that religion gives us to keep us from sinning but acknowledges that he has to commits these sins in order to make it in life. The closer to the album was perfect. Much like Kendrick’s “Compton” track on GKMC, Fuck La is schoolboy’s ode to his city, but more in a braggadious way stating that all that he is, is what LA is, basically that the streets made him, and he is the streets.
#OXYMORON was the perfect title for this album. Schoolboy Q put his life on wax and painted a picture for us, though majority of us won’t be able to directly relate to it, especially not as much as Habits and Contradictions. We probably didn’t live the same life as Q, but his story and struggles are so real that what we can take from it are invaluable life lessons. The songwriting skills and productions on this record was top notch. Q was never known for lyrics, but he indeed turned it up a notch on this record. Fantastic debut album indeed!
My rating 8.75-9/10
Follow me on twitter @jellzman
Stay tuned for more reviews and anything HipHop!