ScHoolboy Q Says "Gangster Rap Fell Off The Map" After 50 Cent & Game Beef

The rapper says "all the shit I'm talking about is past. I'm not that nigga no more...I just wanted to get that off."

Sitting down with Elliott Wilson for a CRWN interview, ScHoolboy Q broke down the making of his Oxymoron album, his thoughts on the decline of gangster Rap, and why he feels like he still doesn’t have a hit record to his name.

Beginning with a mention of his album climbing to what seems will be the #1 spot, ScHoolboy Q talked about his relief in finally releasing his oft delayed major label debut. “I got the monkey off my back, [I] feel like that,” he said. “So, it’s cool, feel me. All them years, two years, now it’s out and the people got it, and it’s gonna be #1. That’s a blessing.”

ScHoolboy Q Talks Gangster Rap On "Oxymoron"

Speaking with Wilson about the his gang history inspiring Oxymoron and much of his music to this point, ScHoolboy Q explained taking his name from a local figure from his neighborhood. “I grew up on Figg,” Q said. “My name, ScHoolboy, it comes from me having good grades, but it also comes from a dude that’s from my neighborhood that’s named Schoolboy and he was a pimp. When I was younger, he had all the Kangol hats, he used to walk around in a robe and shit...jheri curl, rope. So I ran with his name and shit. So I had to get that ‘Groovline’ off, tell the tale of prostitution and pimping, how it goes. I knew Suga Free was gonna give me that real pimp game. I never been a pimp, like I said, I’m just telling my story.”

Moving onto the issue of gangster Rap in the industry in general, the Habits & Contradictions emcee addressed the misconception that “aggressive rappers” lack substance. “Most of my albums are all dark pretty much. But this one I wanted to keep it real raw. Because people, they hear aggressive rappers and they say [they have] no substance. I don’t get that. Like how [does] me rapping about somebody getting killed, or me running from somebody trying to kill me, is no substance. You clearly live behind a computer your whole life.

“Niggas is too nice. Once Game and 50 [Cent] and them stopped beefing or whatever, gangster Rap just fell off the map,” he added. “It was just done. And all the new nice niggas came up, it’s the new age, people aren’t really gangbanging like they used to. People are not really being on the corner and the blocks and selling drugs like they used to ‘cause you got the Internet now. Niggas is trying to be rappers, anybody could just upload your shit on Youtube now and fuck around and get famous. Niggas is playing a video game. Niggas is looking on the website to see what clothes they want. Niggas is trying to get fresh now. Niggas ain’t outside no more so they don’t relate to some of the shit you talking about, they don’t get it.”

When asked about his early initiation into gang-life, Q described the culture running deeply throughout childhood. “On some real shit, it starts before twelve, you’re born into it,” he said. “You’re coming up and you hear one of your homeboy’s brothers or your uncles or cousin, say ‘cuz’ and ‘Blood’ all the time. Then you saying it, then the next thing you know he’s fully into the gang, and all it takes is one of your homies or one of your family members to get in a gang. And then he gets into a fade and you with him, so you fighting with him, so now it’s like, you basically from the gang and the next thing you know, you embrace it.”

The rapper added that while he’s drawn on his past extensively for inspiration, he’s yet to find the same spark from his life now. “My current life is all just so boring I don’t think I could get nothing off.” he said. “My current life is just doing interviews, doing shows, and thinking of ways to tell people about my past. I’m not ready to give people the present Q yet. I’d rather wait ‘til I fully grow into that person ‘cause right now I’m still new, I just got on like 2011, that’s like three years you know, so I want to let it settle in a little more ‘cause I still got a lot shit to talk about from the past.”

ScHoolboy Q Says "Collard Greens" & "Man Of The Year" Aren't Hits

Talking about his collaboration with Pharrell, ScHoolboy Q explained wanting to direct “Los Awesome” directly at those living the gang-life. “P one of my favorite producers,” he said, “and that was crazy hearing that he wanted to fuck with me. We got in the studio, we fucked with like three records, but when I made this record I just wanted to talk to gang members. This one is one of those that I didn’t care if anybody got what I was saying or didn’t like it, I made this strictly for gang members only. Like literally for gang members, that’s why I put Jay Rock on it. We’re the gang members of the crew, and this is for the gang members. Ya’ll can enjoy if you want to but I didn’t made it for nobody like that. I got a part two to it too, me and Pharrell, he doing the hook on the next one.”

Admitting that he has several “big songs” under his belt, Q maintained that he’s yet to release a single that he would consider a hit. “Of course I want a hit first off. I’m not in there like, I gotta make this the hit,” he said. “I’m in there just working. I know a hit gon’ come to me one day. My album was a hit, that shit #1 so I ain’t tripping.”

Still, Q described taking direction from his label-head on the matter of crafting a single. “Top said we needed a single. At first I was gonna do the whole album just no single,” ScHoolboy Q said, “like maybe just one single. But he wanted another, so I did ‘Collard Greens’ and ‘Man of the Year’ the same night. I’m like, these sound more single material but it was still more like I compromised with doing a single but I didn’t compromise on what record I wanted to make. They couldn’t tell me, ‘Here do a song with this nigga, or you gotta do a song with that nigga.’ They just wanted me to have another single and I just did it my way. Unfortunately, that motherfucker was a dud. I’m just fucking around, it was a big song, don’t get me wrong, that’s the difference between hit records and big songs. ‘Man of the Year’ is a big song, ‘Hands on the Wheel’ was a big song, ‘There He Go’ was a big song, ‘Collard Greens’ was a big song, but them shits wasn’t hits.”

CRWN x ScHoolboy Q, Ep. 1: Gangsta Rap, 'Oxymoron' and the State of TDE from CRWN on Myspace.

RELATED: SchoolBoy Q - On What He Doesn't Like About Kendrick Lamar

72 Comments

  • Ryan

    I actually agree with Q. Gangsta rap has kinda been on the decline since the 50/Game beef. Kanye basically changed the game around that time. And I think it's a good thing he did. Gangsta rap had gotten to the point where there was no creativity in it anymore; everyone was just a clone of Biggie or Pac. Eventually gangsta rap can come back, but it needed a bit of a hiatus.

  • Anonymous

    This dude has yet to impress me. I keep hearing the hype and checking it out and I still can't see what the big deal is. I got a free copy of this record and forced myself to sit through the whole long piece of shit. Collard greens was pretty neat in a musical and recording sense. K's weak ass verse on that song outshines any on the entire record. Pretty bad when someone elses verse is better than any verse on the whole album. I love good gangsta rap, i just feel this is pointless no story no meaning senseless misdirection for the youth. Doesn't feel real and pretty much sucks. Almost the worst album I have ever heard. Absolute trash. Control System is the best from TDE since Sec 80. yep I said it fuckers GKMC ain't all that. Already lost it's muster. Ab's got potential and K dot is fallin hard. You better find some one real rich to rob cause you ain't gonna have a career in rap for long you ugly ass mongrol of a human. Stop teaching kids to think that the dumb shit that gets you killed and in jail is fun and cool. If any kids are reading this take note from one dumbassess display of wasteful life and do something for yourself to change the situation we live in instead of promoting stupidness that will just keep you in the dumps for the rest of your otherwise short life. U aint never gon have a hit you fkn swine, you could get Katy Perry to fistfuck Miley Cyrus in the ass in your video and no one would give a shit. Fake promotion=fake fans=fake sells=fake interviews=fake likes=another real fat ass overeatin =real diabetes havin =real hernia poppin =real heart attack comin =not soon enough real fake ass dumb nigga. I wish you were a gangsta because then you might get got and I won't have to hear your worthless name again. Schoolgirl Q ueer

  • TRE

    Gangster rap is still here its just trap music now

    • Anonymous

      i have to agree with this. trap is the new ganster rap. what Q sais about no1 being outside no more is true. when i was younger there were mad people outside in the streets doin their thing, and now everyone is inside on the internet.

  • Anonymous

    This fool just said that cats aren't on the corners selling drugs because of the internet.....really....he did!

  • AlfieInghammu

    upto I saw the draft ov $4134 , I didnt believe that my best friend was like truly bringing in money part time from there labtop. . there neighbor has done this for less than 8 months and as of now repaid the loans on there apartment and got a top of the range Saab 99 Turbo . why not look here......http://x.co/40OWb

  • Anonymous

    on the new album he raps "I don't know no Pablo" do you think thats a shot a Rick Ross for being a fraud and a liar?

  • Anonymous

    What in the hell is this slow motion rapper talking about?

  • mando

    WHAT ABOUT FREDDIE GIBBS BRUH

  • Anonymous

    wayne and ross are pussy be real about it

  • true

    Q kept it so real in this interview.. from top to bottom. Even talking about how his life right now doesn't inspire lyrics cause he isn't really doin shit.. "People are not really being on the corner and the blocks and selling drugs like they used to cause you got the Internet now. " True ass statement

  • Anonymous

    Damn you know a lot of niggas gonna feel type of way if they heard this.

  • Anonymous

    Lame ass nigga. He know he wasn't a gangsta. He's telling his friends and causes life. Fuck out here. He was a fuckin nerd "school boy".

  • GetDragon

    Gangsta rap is dead because now have wack rappers like Lil Gayne o Drake... Ice Cube represent gangsta rap... young rappers only want money thats all.

  • Drag

    You know I'm just going to say while I'm a fan of gangsta rap, I also think its a good thing that the younger generation is moving past it. That means that a good deal of them were actually listening to the shit people were saying back in the day. If anything the people who annoy me most are people trying to perpetuate that gangsta lifestyle when they know they ain't about that.

  • $ Kings 4 life

    yes gangsta rap is dead why don't you think Detox hasn't drop that shit wouldn't sell like Dre's other projects Oxymoron isn't going to be as big as Q thinks either what I've heard so far sounds medicore and I am a TDE fan.

  • death row style

    rather listen to gangster shit then the shit thats coming out your mouth school boy - come to my hood and we robbing you- hippy - still listening to 2pac still listening to big - im waiting for this club hip hop shit to fall off - tight jeans and t shirts - eat a dick

  • fuccya

    Still alive deep underground

  • Anonymous

    Gangsta rap is dead because being a gangsta is dead. That Gamgster mentality is old, most Black people have elevated beyond that shit, all that Blood/Crip shit is dated now its all about being a hustler and getting your money. Besides when you have Gangsta rappers singing on hooks about Amusement Parks and Candy Shops its time for something new.

  • Anonymous

    White people worshipping G Unit killed their movement.

  • Anonymous

    Gangster Rap Fell Off The Map when the industry saw Kanye beat 50 and thats when things changed.

  • Anonymous

    so ross not a gangsta rapper?

  • Detroit 7 mile back block

    After g-unit gangster rap with any credibility in the mainstream did die off still plenty from niggas on the grind or underground but these days the game be full of lame niggas. A fat CO playing pretend drug dealer a weirdo half fag nigga in a skirt a camel faced fuck-boy tellin everyone how much richer he is than you and sum kiss a nigga on the lips cant rap for shit bitch rollin around on a skateboard in cloths tighter than ur fuckin sisters..........lot of suspect shit goin on these day

  • Rexall805

    i feel him about holdin down for family, but straight up... fuck that gangshit, nothing but trouble, niggas need to leave that ignorant shit alone

  • Anonymous

    this nigga is lame, just another industry drone

  • Anonymous

    hiphopdx is on TDE's cock.

  • Anonymous

    FUCK black men who think gang banging is keeping it real. FUCK YOU cornball sellouts.

  • Anonymous

    This dude is upset because cats STOPPED gang banging???????? Where they do that at?

    • 614grind

      @ Odd Co sign 100%

    • Anonymous

      co-sign ODD

    • Anonymous

      Odd's right

    • Skool 4 Klownz

      ^True. That is a logical perspective. Hip Hop is in critical condition right now because the street culture that birthed it isnt what it used to be. Like Q said these newer generation niggas live online and not heavy in the streets like back then.

    • Odd

      Schoolboy has a problem with rappers consistently claiming they bang in their raps while they were child stars i.e. Wayne or they don't have an aggressive bone or exhibit authentic street mannerisms. Hip hop was a product of street culture, when the majority of the music does not reflect this there is a problem. e.g. Jay-Z always rapping about snobby European art and brands, Kanye West having full blown feminine emotional breakdowns, Kendrick challenging the top hip hop artists n none of them coming back with a decent response, having a former corrections officer celebrated and accepted as the culture's poster boy. This on top of the fact that championed themes include; materialism, recklessness(YOLO), social insensitivity, drug abuse e.t.c in place of ambition, self awareness and celebration of self, achievement, hope, belief, sense of family, competitiveness, wellness and fun.

  • derf

    shoolboy q forgot about trap muzik and how real it is...

  • HateItOrLoveIt

    Damn there's a lot of 50 Cent related articles right now

  • royaleXXI

    Kanye West is the biggest reason why gangsta rap fell off. He was the "happy medium" between the thugs, pretty boys, and intellectuals. Thugs listened just cuz the boy had pure flow and was a true lyricists unafraid to speak his mind. Pretty boys gravitated cuz he was into fashion. Intellectuals were attracted to the message in the music along with his lyrical talent. Add a Jay-Z co-sign and gangsta rap gets overlooked and forgotten. I'm a fan of both gangsta rap and the conscious, grainy emcees. Just the way I see it.

    • DJboutit

      Hardcore Gangsta Rap died in about 1998 it was dead before Kayne faggot azz or 50 started rapping. Artist like Nelly Luda Cris Petey Pablo are not gangsta rapper but they are not soft swag rappers either

    • Anonymous

      Agree 100% about Kanye being the reason

  • Harlem's Reckoning

    Gangster Rap fell off the map because all of that shit sounded the same and 80% of it was corny. Every wannabe on Earth was killing shit all of a sudden. Even today still to a certain degree. It got wack and played out. All this "club" shit is next to take a fall, or at least we can hope so.

  • Anonymous

    Last of a dying bread.

  • Anonymous

    "Lord have mercy, Jesus Christ He's just nice, he just slice like a ginsu Look at the life that I've been through I'm the last real nigga alive, that's official" Nas wrote these lyrics about his Godfather, Fiddy Cent

  • Anonymous

    "And all the new nice niggas came up, its the new age, people arent really gangbanging like they used to. People are not really being on the corner and the blocks and selling drugs like they used to cause you got the Internet now. Niggas is trying to be rappers, anybody could just upload your shit on Youtube now and fuck around and get famous. Niggas is playing a video game. Niggas is looking on the website to see what clothes they want. Niggas is trying to get fresh now. Niggas aint outside no more so they dont relate to some of the shit you talking about, they dont get it." SO TRUE Q

    • Harlem's Reckoning

      How is it making us softer tho? I mean, we can literally go back and forth with the why's and why not's all day but to assume our world is softer because of the internet and Schoolboy Q's opinion is a stretch

    • RoyaleXXI

      This some true sh*t Q. The internet is makin this world softer and softer by the minute.

  • Anonymous

    true shit rappers theses day dont mean what they say ross wayne niggas could flow but aint bout that life realtalk pac big eazy 50 nas thoses some real niggas and rich gangsta shit

    • Anonymous

      when nas was looking out his window he saw real niggas like 50 on the street gettin it in

    • Anonymous

      ross and gangsta rapper is a #OXYMORON

    • Nasqueer jones aint real

      LMAO. This dumb ass dude said nas was real. Nasqueer jones was the scariest faggot in Queensbridge. He never came outside he was not built like that him and his slavefart crew weak as fuck. Plus nas is a gay fairy but I guess thats real to a homo thug like yourself.

    • Anonymous

      how come you the only one with all the proof and nobody else?

    • Ricky Rozay

      5.0 real? Nigga what the fuck you smokin. its proven fact 5.0 was snitching on niggas back in the day and workin wit cops so you need to go somewhere with that 5.0 is real shit. Nas never sold drugs and Biggie Mom even admitted that a lot of B.I.G raps were stories. Niggas be on niggas nuts bout realness when this shit is all music. Most of the niggas never lived that life and if you actually believe some of that shit, niggas need to read a book. Bawse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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