ScHoolboy Q
Habits and Contradictions


2.5
average

Review

by rmill3r USER (26 Reviews)
February 10th, 2012 | 20 replies | 2,332 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An eerie, forlorn tone haunts the better parts of "Habits"--it's just too bad that those moments are too few and far between.

4 of 5 thought this review was well written

Gloomy beats and ominous guitars open Habits & Contradictions, and Quincy Matthew Hanley, better known as Schoolboy Q--one of the members of "Black Hippy"--drawls on about sins, suicidal thoughts and dwindling faith. The eerie aesthetic is chilling and it's an excellent opening to his sophomore release. The second song, "There He Go," continues to build on that tone as a baritone sax and an odd flow from Schoolboy suddenly crescendos into a high-pitch voice, as if he's losing control. Schoolboy raps on the opener "Sacrilegious" in a faded, droning fashion, "I push down upon this trigger / And burn, f**ker, burn," and you can see the scene playing out in your head. Like a mix between a classic mob movie and a go-for-broke tale, Schoolboy pulls you into Habits & Contradictions from the first pick of the guitar and holds you there with his unusual habit of making you feel as though you can't leave.

Somewhere around the third or fourth song, though, Habits & Contradictions falls into a number of rap cliches from drugs and sex obsession to violent hubris. Songs like "Oxy Music" go on and on about using drugs and how "gone" Schoolboy is (he even raps about the process for making Oxycodone), and "Sex Drive" and "Sexting" simply say it all in the subtlety of their naming convention. There's nothing necessarily wrong with Schoolboy tackling subjects like these, especially with his unique beats and instrumentation, including spiraling synths, saxophone and even trilling flutes (did Sufjan Stevens slip into this mixtape?), but still, unless you haven't paid attention to hip-hop in the past few years, this isn't anything you haven't heard before.

Around the track "Hands on the Wheel" with ASAP Rocky, it's as if Habits picks itself out of that hopeless, dark tone from the opening tracks and finds some sort of saving light. Schoolboy seems to pull himself out of the dirt and reverts to rambling about being high, getting laid and living like an all-around cocky rap star. But we don't want him to pull himself out of the dirt and muck. When he sounded like a lost soul on the opening track, it was cool. There was a mysterious slow-burn feel to the album, but songs like "Sexting"--as fun as the coked-out hyper beat is--make Schoolboy sound as if he's getting off track. That, or he just didn't have a good sense of direction from the beginning.

The eerie tone, which saunters in and out every once in a while on tracks like "There He Go," "My Homie" and "Blessed," is the one redeeming grace for Habits. Songs like "Nightmare on Figg St." have legitimately creepy beats. An old organ surrounds Schoolboy as he goes on quoting Jay-Z from Watch the Throne in a much darker, more hopeless fashion. Also, Kendrick Lamar plays an exciting feature on "Blessed," and Schoolboy and him go back and forth about looking to the brighter side of life, even in the face of losing a son. Schoolboy says to his mourning friend in the song, "Thinking of some bulls**t to tell him like / 'It'll be okay,' 'You'll be straight,' 'It'll be all right' / F**k that s**t / Whatever you need, yo, I got it," and his voice suddenly crescendos into a near squeal. It's strange at first, and it shows up on other songs too, but that little gesture is a sign of letting go of the formula and losing himself in the moment. Those are the times that Habits truly pulls you into its story--when you truly feel lost in the confines of Schoolboy's grip. It's just too bad that those moments are so few and far apart.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
gabethepiratesquid
February 10th 2012



4521 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Hands on the Wheel is so good.

I just found out that NigHtmare on Figg St. is produced by Ty Beats, too.

rmill3r
February 10th 2012



167 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Nightmare on Figg is pretty tight, the video was really cool

chambered69
February 10th 2012



1253 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

review is wrong :[

bamfe9
February 10th 2012



25 Comments


i actually agree with the idea that Schoolboy seems to rap over most of this album with little in the
way of real direction
but that is the only flaw with this album

chambered69
February 10th 2012



1253 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

theres def some direction especially when gets introspective i just absolutely love the beats/choruses here

gabethepiratesquid
February 10th 2012



4521 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Holy shit people negging this just because they disagree. I don't necessarily agree either but it isn't badly-written.

Sorry, rmill3r. Have a pos.

chambered69
February 10th 2012



1253 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

yea pos

Tyrannic
February 10th 2012



3261 Comments


wow some of you are retarded

i've never heard the album, pos.

MalleusMaleficarum
February 10th 2012



13674 Comments


good review

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
February 10th 2012



30865 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

By no means a bad review

Digging: FaltyDL - In The Wild

rmill3r
February 13th 2012



167 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

'preciate it

kingsoby1
Emeritus
February 16th 2012



4938 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

i like this record. too lazy to write though lately

hard to beat light years ahead from the last record

FourthReich
February 16th 2012



17071 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

review is not too shabby, i actually agree with most of the flaws you pointed out i.e the album being very cliche in some parts, but for me that did not hurt my overall enjoyment of it too much.

Digging: Dot Hacker - How's Your Process? (Work)

rmill3r
February 27th 2012



167 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The only thing I would take back in my review now is that "Hands on the Wheel" is pretty cool with wordplay. But otherwise, most of the tracks really fade to the background.

chambered69
February 27th 2012



1253 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

such a good recordo

FourthReich
March 4th 2012



17071 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"The eerie tone, which saunters in and out every once in a while on tracks like "There He Go," "My Homie" and "Blessed," is the one redeeming grace for Habits."

yeah this pretty much, "blessed" is what made me change my rating from 3.5 to a 4, it’s such a real and likewise powerful song…

gabethepiratesquid
May 3rd 2012



4521 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Oxy Music and Sexting are probably some of the best tracks.

My favs are:
-There He Go
-Oxy Music
-Sexting
-Druggy's wit Hoes Again
-Homies
-Blessed

and Niggahs.Already.Know and Hands on the Wheel are good runnerups.

chambered69
May 3rd 2012



1253 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

so good

tkxxx7
June 7th 2012



6151 Comments


I really really like Ab-Soul's verse on Druggys Wit Hoes Again

she suck dick but she don't gimme no liiiiiip

bust on hoes don't need no cliiiiiiiiip

sportsboy
April 12th 2014



614 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i fuck with this review, there's a lot of filler in here

Digging: Vektroid - Color Ocean Road



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