ScHoolboy Q
Oxymoron


2.0
poor

Review

by FromDaHood USER (70 Reviews)
February 24th, 2014 | 88 replies


Release Date: 02/25/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Don't believe the hype train

I should stop reading the blogs, really. I should stop getting swept up in the hype of any artist affiliated with a big name and hoping, despite my better judgment and already formed opinion, they will do anything more than what I expect. I kind of blame Earl Sweatshirt for everyone’s inflated expectations of the second-in-line of the numerous hip-hop ‘groups’ of individual artists who ostensibly represent a collective. It happened with A$AP Ferg and it’s happening now with ScHoolboy Q, even though 2012’s Habits and Contradictions was unspectacular.

It’s my own fault for thinking he could change my mind. I tried to fall in love with his persona even though I didn’t think it was anything bigger than ‘the dude who wears bucket hats.’ I heard “Collard Greens,” with Kendrick Lamar’s terrible verse he probably found in a 15-year-old’s Spanish notebook with a bunch of penises and ‘jajaja’ etchings around it, and couldn’t figure out what I wasn’t hearing. I listened to Habits again but felt worn out when second track “There He Go” was by far the best he’s ever made. Maybe my problem is I tried, actively tried, to like him.

The problem is: there’s really no concept of who Schoolboy Q is. Even on the album cover he is obscured by a white ski mask which manages to hide everything- including his race. He has a gangster edge- a pill pusher from Hoover Street, which is closest thing to a personality he offers- but at the same time he’s a dad. Sometimes he’s ‘Puffy,’ the weed head who gets high in the studio, and others he’s some sort of sex god who, like so many others, indulges himself from the rear of women. Out of the booth he’s a normal looking guy with a bucket hat and a goatee. His daughter is manipulated into contextualizing her father with interjections like “my daddy says you’re a nigga” and “*** rap, my daddy a gangsta,” indicative of his two irreconcilable sides and his tendency to tread into unappealing themes.

Apparently this is all intentional: a representation of Q’s Oxymoronic status as a father to a young girl who also parties heartily and hears the calls of the streets in the back of his mind. However, this is presented incredibly vaguely, alluded to but never said flat out. Only on the disjointed centerpiece “Prescription/Oxymoron” do we get a glimpse of the overarching narrative. Before the track breaks, Quincy Hanley has passed out on the couch- he has overindulged on medication. His daughter’s voice rings through the empty space trying to wake him, the beat switches and he is reborn: “I just stopped selling crack today!” The exclamation feels hollow, though, because on “Man of the Year” he has girls dancing for him during a drug binge. Any potential lessons learned are left behind in a matter of a few songs.

The way these themes are rolled together for effect is awkward. The thrust of the album is this gangster life he wants to leave behind but is obviously hung up on and he brings in themes of fatherhood to create artificial conflict. His inner contradiction is obscured by party anthems and traditionally ‘gangster’ guest stars (Kurupt, Jay Rock, Raekwon). In fact, without his daughter’s orations, there is no semblance of narrative or meaning behind Oxymoron. This could be because Q’s storytelling ability is lacking, look no further than the bungled story of his uncle “Hoover Street” for how not to weave a narrative, but also because his inner turmoil sounds forced when spoken on record. It’s not entirely correct to compare Oxymoron to Good Kid m.a.a.d. City but give Kendrick Lamar credit for thoroughly exploring street life from someone who has left it all behind. Schoolboy, no matter what he tries making himself believe, clearly hasn’t left the streets behind and convincing the listener otherwise is impossible.

Reading these reiterations about theme and whatnot is dull and repetitious, but so is Oxymoron. Worse, though, it isn’t limited to theme. Hooks are run into the ground, songs are extended for just one chorus too long and beats are looped until they start grinding. The word “gangsta” is said 32 times on the opener alone. The replay value is just about non-existent. Each song is fairly flawed in some way or another, that some are good enough to overcome their faults speaks to the quality of the guests. Tyler, the Creator’s voice fits perfectly on “The Purge,” 2 Chainz livens up “What They Want” and Raekwon’s “Blind Threatz” verse is the best on the album.

So this is Schoolboy Q’s coming out party: an incomplete album with a brainy yet underdeveloped concept and a corrupted concept of the man behind the ski mask. The singles are shiny and probably hooked a lot of new fans, but the real substance is a contradictory mess. The image of a walking contradiction, a drug addict father, is hard to sell and Q is too underdeveloped, he started rapping seriously in 2010, to articulate his true feelings. What comes of this experiment/appeal to the masses is an overlong slog with enough shine to pull you in but a tangled mess beneath the bright veneer.



Recent reviews by this author
BORNS DopamineJessie Ware Tough Love
Danny Brown OldJuicy J Stay Trippy
ASAP Ferg Trap LordJay-Z Magna Carta... Holy Grail
user ratings (596)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
GnarlyShillelagh EMERITUS (3.5)
Sliiiiiide to tHe left....

cmaitland421 (3.5)
Almost the new top dawg....

LambsBread (1.5)
A moron on oxy....

rjperry13 (3)
Could have been better....



Comments:Add a Comment 
FromDaHood
February 24th 2014


9107 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Streaming on iTunes radio

Pheromone
February 24th 2014


5307 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I really dug the singles and hell the leaked tracks were some of the best but the end result was just so disappointing.

Digging: NoMeansNo - Wrong

SGGreenman
February 24th 2014


1226 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Fantastic review. Love the whole second-in-line theory, although I'd say Ab-Soul is TDE's real second in line.



Haven't heard it yet, but knowing his past stuff this won't be that good.

ILJ
February 24th 2014


6941 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

i agree with a lot of what you said but i still find this enjoyable. it's good if you just want some beats on in the background i guess.

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
February 24th 2014


15833 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"Even on the album cover he is obscured by a white ski mask which manages to hide everything- including his race."



this isn't even true but if it was, why does it matter?

guitarded_chuck
February 24th 2014


13894 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

didnt like the review and i will come back when i have time to elaborate-->

FromDaHood
February 24th 2014


9107 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

@calc Emphasizing his lack of identity

Pheromone
February 24th 2014


5307 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

@DaHood actually that's the deluxe artwork the normal artwork is this one here;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:ScHoolboy-q-oxymoronSTANDARD.jpg



Buzzkillr
February 24th 2014


1541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

damn, gonna have to write a counter-review

Buzzkillr
February 24th 2014


1541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

well written but obviously I completely disagree. Hopefully I'll be able to defend my opinion but I doubt it'll be even half as eloquent as yours.

BigSneakySnatch
February 24th 2014


343 Comments


yeah the race comment is pretty pointless and it feels like you meant to make something of it but didnt. good review otherwise though

HighandDriving
February 24th 2014


3288 Comments


I rememba listening to Black Hippy before you kids even heard of Kendrick Lamar.

Buzzkillr
February 24th 2014


1541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

re-read the review and I have to say it's pretty weird to spend only one out of seven paragraphs to actually address the musical portion of the album, it really reminds me of pitchfork's review for Camp, where the review spend the entire review attacking the artist and not the music. Out of curiosity (there's no ulterior motive to these questions), how many times did you listen to the album and how long did it take you to write this review?

FromDaHood
February 24th 2014


9107 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Five times and idk how long it took to write

anarchistfish
February 24th 2014


26065 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

why do people keep comparing this to gkmc. this was always gonna be more like the long live asap of 2014

Digging: 21 Savage, Offset and Metro Boomin - Without Warning

guitarded_chuck
February 24th 2014


13894 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

You're concerned about Q's identity, yet you love Rocky. Care to explain?

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
February 24th 2014


15833 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"re-read the review and I have to say it's pretty weird to spend only one out of seven paragraphs to actually address the musical portion of the album"





read more reviews on this site and it will cease being weird.



anarchistfish
February 24th 2014


26065 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

his verse is sick. also he's californian so it's entirely reasonable he might speak spanish





best song is man of the year though

guitarded_chuck
February 24th 2014


13894 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

"why do people keep comparing this to gkmc. this was always gonna be more like the long live asap of 2014"



this



which is why i made my comment



q is not a concept album / hard issue type of artist



q and kdots music is seldomly comparable

guitarded_chuck
February 24th 2014


13894 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

"re-read the review and I have to say it's pretty weird to spend only one out of seven paragraphs to actually address the musical portion of the album"



yeah this is why this site is continually losing my interest



you're opinion/rating is invalid if your review is nothing but obscure



why can't we specifically discuss the music



because then we would have to defend said opinion/rating



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy