6 Things We Learned From ScHoolboy Q's "Oxymoron" Listening Session

HipHopDX attended the listening session for ScHoolboy Q's "Oxymoron." Here are six things that we learned.

ScHoolboy Q kicks a line on “Blind Threats” that aptly embodies the meaning behind the title of his highly anticipated debut, Oxymoron. Over a gritty arrangement mean-mugging like quintessential boom-bap, Q raps, “We will never make it out alive / Shit, we livin’ to die / Oxymoron.” It’s an ironically futile sentiment coming from an artist emblazoned with so much promise. From public persona alone, ScHoolboy Q seems as carefree as they come. He’s a gangsta who smiles; who rocks crowds and Kangols like vintage LL Cool J. His TDE team stays winning. He’s the Man Of The Year.

Well, as he said describing the sound of his debut album during his listening session last night in Los Angeles, California’s Sonos Studio (February 17), things are sometimes darker than they seem. Speaking in front of a room filled with major music media, ScHoolboy detailed his life’s trying times, from his quiet addiction to prescription pills to his wish that the world would end. “That was my little secret,” he said while explaining the origins of “Prescription/Oxymoron,” one of the album’s most personal offerings. “I always had the cup with me. They just never knew I had a gang of pills in the other bottle.”

But don’t expect Oxymoron to sound like theme music to suicide. If anything, the ScHoolboy Q story is one of triumph. The tracks previewed reflect that success. There are songs for the ladies and the gang bangers, the block and the block party. It’s diverse. That’s the first thing HipHopDX learned from last night’s listening session. Here are five more:

Quotes taken directly from ScHoolboy Q 

ScHoolboy Q’s Grandma Let Him Play With Her Gun

“When I first made [‘Gangsta’] all I wanted to say was that my grandma showed me my first strap. That’s all I wanted to put in the song. I just thought that was so gangsta. It was kind of weird, too, now that I really think about it. She used to take her bullets out of the gun and leave the clip in her room and let me play with her gun. I was an only child so I probably got on her nerves that much that she finally gave me her burner, like, ‘Here, get the fuck out my face.’ [Laughs] I just wanted to say that so bad.”

“[I was also able to] speak on my homeboy Rat Tone. He’s one of my big homies from my hood. He showed me my first [AK-47] when I was like 11-years-old. I was amazed by it. I thought that shit was tight. They used to have all the shiny shit. That’s how we talked. We would call a gun ‘fly.’ Like, ‘Your dickies is cut super perfect and they got the right amount of dirt on them. That shit is fly.’

ScHoolboy Q Hoped The Mayan Calendar Was Correct

“I remember when I was on the block in 2010. All I could think of was how I was so down on myself and just life in general. I was really banking on 2012 like, ‘It’s about to be over anyway. I ain’t even tripping.’ [Laughs] I can thug it out for these last two years. But sure enough, that shit didn’t happen. Sure enough, in 2011, I introduced myself really to the Rap game.”

Pharrell Produced Oxymoron’s “Los Awesome”

“[‘Los Awesome’ featuring Jay Rock] is gangsta shit. It ain’t one of them melodic muthafuckas like you about to fall in love. This some gang bangin’ shit.

“I needed to get that one out the way on my album. I needed something that the gang bangers could identify with. Not so much my core fans, more so the gang members.”

ScHoolboy Q Hates Conventional Song Structure

“It’s people I like. I don’t go for singles or [think] ‘Is he on right now?’ It’s people I listen to; that inspires me; that I think we can attack the same emotions on the record. I usually like to mess with them.

“I usually don’t have lyrics before I have the beat. I’ll have ideas, but the beat usually takes me in the direction that I need to go. I don’t have a certain sound that I like or a certain snare or a certain timing. It just needs to speak to me.

“I hate people that just do 16 [bars] on a verse. That shit’s weak. It’s like, ‘Nah, nigga. Put like 20 more on. Shorten the hook.’”

“Blind Threats” Was Sparked By Meeting Raekwon In An Elevator

“I just needed somebody from [Wu-Tang Clan] on the album. I just needed it. Whether it was Cappadonna or Raekwon or Ghostface—I needed somebody. Me and Raekwon happen to run into each other. He wasn’t even going to an interview or nothing. We just happened to run into each other. We ran into each other in the elevator. Nothing music related. I wasn’t going to do music. He wasn’t going to do music. He just walks on the elevator I was on. I wasn’t going to say nothing to him. He said something to me. I ain’t wanna just say something. I wasn’t about to serve myself. When you meet New York niggas, they’ll serve you. They shook my hand and damn near threw that muthafucka around my neck like, ‘Get yo bitch ass outta here.’ So I’m like, ‘I ain’t going for that one this time.’ [Laughs] We’ve been trying to get a record together for eight months.”

Justin "The Company Man" Hunte is the Editor-in-Chief of HipHopDX. He was the host of The Company Man Show on PNCRadio.fm and has covered music, politics, and culture for numerous publications. He is currently based in Los Angeles, California. Follow him on Twitter @TheCompanyMan.

RELATED: ScHoolboy Q's Oxymoron To Stream On New York Radio Station Hot97

35 Comments

  • MattieLMurray

    my best friend's sister-in-law makes $71 hourly on the laptop . She has been without work for five months but last month her income was $12576 just working on the laptop for a few hours. straight from the source >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> http://ao.co.za/61LX0A

  • Anonymous

    I don't understand why HipHopDX is trying so hard to hype this guy up.. I haven't heard one line that I haven't heard a million times in other rap songs and he looks like that smelly dude standing in line at the liquor store. Why don't you hype up somebody who actually has a little talent like Cyhi or something.

  • epic

    Not gonna lie...Schoolboy Q is one of the best average rappers out right now.

  • Hovakraft

    Like Q, but Rich Homie Quan's Man of the year > Q's

  • RHX

    Q always look like he just woke up or some shit fool splash some water on your face

  • jimmytheshooter

    Anyone who is saying this guy is all hype obviously hasn't heard his last project, Habits & Contradictions.

  • Kaveshan

    I was always under the theory that this project will turn out whack..Q is decent but will never hold his own on a project.The man's a gangster rapper for f sakes, he's in a position to tell us stories and paint pictures that should get a hold of the listener..Q aint a lyricist but he should be able to piece some ish together..dude wasted that break the bank beat..SMH,,nice guy but dont expect a good album..i wont pay for this ish

    • spliffjones

      Break the bank was so dope.. the snippet for gangsta is awesome.. yay yay is dope and whatevercollard greens is, its that. Habits and Contradictions is a great album. setbacks was good but very unpolished and lots of features.. Habits was just pretty much and this album is his foray into mainstream. It will be gritty but nice enough to get soem sales. I aint completely mad at him. but to say he cant hold his own shows u haven't listened to him at all and are just talking out your ass.. go to reddit hip hop heads to talk with a bunch of other faggots who know little of what they speak.

  • Anonymous

    Yall notice how they never have one grammatical error in these long ass editorials but then they butcher up a whole article on the regular? They do that shit on purpose cuz it brings more comments (specifically about that lol), literally intentional trolling, and they ain't the only hip-hop site that does that, but they weren't the first.

    • Anonymous

      them other articles are mostly copy and paste from other websites. thats all journalism is in hip-hop now. post of youtube video or a tweet and write a caption about it like we're too stupid to watch the damn video.

  • I hope the rest have better beats

    I haven't heard anything except for the song he has a video for and that beat as well as the lyrics were garbage. I was wondering to myself, why his first single with a video sound so horrible. I remember an artist named Gangsta Nip had an album similar.

  • eh

    Well after listening to the radio release I am not anymore impressed than I was when first hearing his other joints. For god's sake Q you are getting on a track with Raekwon, what the fuck two verse trash did you approve for that record. Disappointed. - Q fan

  • Anonymous

    The only thing that Jay Rock gets hard over is gay NFL players.

  • nah b

    [I was also able to] speak on my homeboy Rat Tone. Hes one of my big homies from my hood. He showed me my first [AK-47] when I was like 11-years-old. I was amazed by it. I thought that shit was tight. They used to have all the shiny shit. Thats how we talked. We would call a gun fly. Like, Your dickies is cut super perfect and they got the right amount of dirt on them. That shit is fly. Fuck "Schoolboy Q" if that's his name. This is some COINTELPRO BS - if you don't know Google it. There's nothing wrong with learning something new.

  • Anonymous

    The six things they learned were: 1. The album sucks 2. TDE has the softest roster of pretend nerd gangstas ever 3. Good beats are hard to come by when you listen to these clowns 4. The cover art is the most embarrassing thing ever conceived 5. The album sucks 6. The album sucks

    • Viq

      1. The album sucks 2. TDE has the softest roster of pretend nerd gangstas ever 3. Good beats are hard to come by when you listen to these clowns 4. The cover art is the most embarrassing thing ever conceived. LOL! Too funny.Kendrick is dope.

    • epic

      LOL. This made my night.

    • GetOffHis8>>>>>D

      I agree with you 110% and boul on they sack to hard. you must be from the west coast cause this nigga said jay rock and some of MMG artist are from Philly and DC, so cut it out. you all Hollywood on the computer foh clown. jay rock just sound gangsta. just like boul said them niggas is soft....say it again, soft....S O F T= soft.

    • Anonymous

      "2. TDE has the softest roster of pretend nerd gangstas ever" LOL cmon man, Jay Rock alone is more of a gangsta than everyone on MMG and YMCMB put together, Even Kendrick is realer than MOST of the cats signed to MMG A good kid from compton seen and done more real shit than most of these rap niggas.

  • Anonymous

    Hip Hop is a capitalist genre of musice and it took all the other genres to hell with it

  • HipHopDX

    6 things we learned (exclusive) 1. it sucked 2. It blowed 3. it sacked 4. it spermed 5. it dicked. 6. It SQUIRTS (GUSHY SQUIRT)

  • Q

    this will be the hottest album of 2014 so far and maybe the whole year.. Q knows how to lace a track and his ear for beats is top notch

    • KCMO

      lol it leaked and its dope but it for real isnt gonna be the best of 2014.. im pretty sure freddie bibs and madlib album drops march 18th.. thats gonna be waay better. i really like qs ablum but sayin its the best of the year is a reach.. considering its february..

  • Anonymous

    GOTDANM I GOTTA SHIT!!!

    • Marx168

      YOOOOOO! I'm so serious when I tell you that I read your comment while dropping stanky myself. Q be dropping that stanky. Most listened to artist for me now & his records get regular spins.

  • Molete

    Start working from home! Great job for students, stay-at-home moms or anyone needing an extra income You only need a computer and a reliable internet connection Make $90 hourly and up to $12000 a month by following link at the bottom and signing up You can have your first check by the end of this week.http://x.co/3ul8Y

  • Anonymous

    Shit water with corn in it.

  • Stop smoking crack you dumbasses

    FUck this guy, all hype no bite.

  • Anonymous

    "There are songs for the ladies and the gang bangers, the block and the block party. Its diverse." Oh wow like every other fucking hip hop record ever.