Monday, February 24, 2014

Schoolboy Q...Oxymoron

After what seemed like forever and then some, Schoolboy Q finally released his "debut" album, Oxymoron. It's actually Q's third album released for sale but this is his first mainstream release. Oxymoron is also the second out of a supposedly six albums that are rumored to be dropping his year by Top Dawg Entertainment, the first being Cilvia Demo by Isaiah Rashad. Check out my review for that one if you have not already. Speaking of Schoolboy Q and Isaiah Rashad, they will be going on tour and will be joined by Vince Staples so go out and support them. Anyways, back to the main focus of this post. Q's been hyping this album ever since he let news out that this is what it was going to be called. He was calling himself the best rapper in Black Hippy and how Oxymoron was going to be better than Good Kid mAAd City but anyone who has ever seen an interview with Schoolboy Q knows he was just talking mess. If you were expecting an album on par lyrically with Kendrick Lamar's debut then you need to go listen to Setbacks and Habits & Contradictions. Q and Kendrick are two completely different rappers but from the responses I have seen so far, it seemed like people were expecting Q to do lyrical gymnastics. It's like expecting Tony Romo to be clutch in the 4th quarter. I guess it could happen in theory but it just won't. What I'm expecting out of this is an album of bangers. This is who ASAP Ferg strives to be. Someone who can knock speakers and not be complete trash while spitting in the vain of Get Rich Or Die Tryin, an album that Q has mentioned was very influential for his style. After the success of Habits & Contradictions, this album has been on everyone's most anticipated list, so we'll see if Schoolboy Q delivered.

To put it bluntly, I enjoyed this album. I still like Habits & Contradictions more and I like Setbacks more as a complete project but I like Oxymoron more for individual tracks. Obviously I was not there for the crafting of the album but it seemed to me that Q made a sacrifice searching for the big hit versus making a top notch project from front to back. He said in his interview with the Breakfast Club that he just wants that one hit to put him in that upper echelon and there were several tracks on here where that was a clear case. However, Q still did him which is being a street dude that can make the trunk bump. He's like what Tyga and French Montana hope one day they could be as rappers, which is ironic because Q wants to reach their status as club hit-makers.

Out of the 15 tracks on the album there were only 3 that I'll hit the skip for sure. One of the unholy trifecta was Los Awesome and I have no idea what in the blue hell that was supposed to be. It was also disappointing too because that was the first time in a very long time where I feel Jay Rock did not kill his verse. He has been on a roll lately after being an afterthought with TDE, but his verse on this did not do him any favors. Keep doing your thing though Jay Rock, I can't wait for that album. I also was not feeling Prescription-Oxymoron, no comment on that. The last track on the album, Fuck LA, was the last that I skip for sure. I don't like Q on that trap sound. Leave that for everyone else Q, you're better than that. The production was cool, but I preferred the beats that he had on his previous two albums. I feel like Q's pocket is better when it sounds like Habits & Contradictions but at the same time, I understand he is trying to evolve and all that good stuff. Like I said earlier, this album felt more like a collection of singles more so than an album. Q has stated that there is a theme with Oxymoron and that is he had to do bad in order to provide good for his daughter and I could see it, but it's getting a little old for me. I know rappers stick to what they do, but it seems like Q has been saying the same thing for 3 albums now. The theme for Setbacks was all the bad stuff he did set him back. The theme for Habits & Contradictions was that his habits were contradicting the positivity he was trying to inject into his life. You see the redundancy here.

With all this bashing, it seems like I didn't even like this album. As Charlie Murphy would say in regards to Rick James....WRONG. I really do like this album. If I put all that crap aside from what I just said and just listen to the album and let it be candy to my ears, it delivers. I could go on about the rest of the tracks that I like but I'll just give the ones I go out of my way to slap: Gangsta, Collard Greens, Hoover Street, Studio feat BJ the Chicago Kid, Blind Threats, Hell Of A Night, Break The Bank, and Grooveline pt 2 (Suga Free still got it). Like I said earlier, if you're expecting Q to hit you with some Kendrick bars just because he is in the same crew, then I'm just assuming you never listened to Schoolboy Q and I'll let that ignorance slide and give you a pass. Q is doing what he does on this album. The best comparison I could come up with is a more party orientated 50 Cent. Let me know if that is way off but if you're going to tell me how stupid I am for that comparison at least give me someone who he compares to.

Completely random thought, but how hard did Trinidad James fall off. He had to create some stupid ass controversy for him just to get semi-relevant again.

In conclusion, Oxymoron was a good album, but not as good as Habits & Contradictions for me at least. People will say it's disappointing because Q was hyping it up a lot, it was the first "album" release by TDE after Good Kid mAAd City, and it was delayed for the longest time. I guess I would call it disappointing too but for an album where I liked 12 out of the 15 tracks, that either says I'm a Russian judge or that was how highly I anticipated the album. I don't really know where Q goes from here. Does he continue to search for that hit that just moves units or does he do a reevaluation and try to craft a solid all around project? I hope he expands his subject matter repertoire but I'm not going to complain if he can deliver trunk bangers that don't make you feel light in the ass. Anyways, if you like this album go support Q, he's got a daughter to feed. Hopefully we get those other four TDE albums this year too. peace

Forgot to give it a grade. Its a B-. Weird because I enjoyed 12 out of 15 tracks but it still left me wanting more.

Damu The Fudgemunk feat. Raw Poetic- Hole Up


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