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Schoolboy Q

Oxymoron | Top Dawg/Interscope

Oxymoron is the highly anticipated third studio album from Los Angeles emcee Schoolboy Q. During his career, he’s been revered for creating a notable duality of his witty and playful personality as well as his dark and unforgiving past. Oxymoron proves to be yet another testament to his artistry.

The album opens on a very curious, brash, and somewhat endearing comment uttered by Q’s nearly four-year-old daughter, Joy.

“Hello … Hello?…Fuck rap, my daddy a gangster.”

Q described the oxymoron that is present on the album as his justification for “doing all this bad to do good for my daughter.” Throughout the album, Q crafts the deep manifesto of a flawed, substance dependent,Oxycontin-dealing gangbanger that takes part in the lifestyle in hopes to one day support his daughter. The story does somewhat follow his life before music became his full-time career.

This album is neither made for the radio nor the faint of heart with vivid profanity-laden lyrics and aggressive beats that are reminiscent of the iconic ‘90s west coast gangsta rap that Schoolboy Q grew up with. They force you into the mind of a broken man fighting to make a better life. On one of the most powerful tracks, entitled “Break the Bank,” he makes his intentions very clear: “Go hard for my Joy, so she don’t need no boy. Smile stay on her face, big room with her own space.” The album ultimately comes together as a refreshing dive into the gangsta rap sub-genre that has been neglected for many years now.

Previous to Oxymoron, Schoolboy Q was not much more than the up-and-coming sidekick of label-mate and fellow “Black Hippy” crewmember Kendrick Lamar. With this project, he has not only proven that he carries his own weight among hip-hop’s elite, but also has become the clear future of gangsta rap.

Best tracks: Gangsta, Hoover Street, Prescription/Oxymoron, Blind Threats, and Break the Bank