ScHoolboy Q, one fourth of L.A.-based hip-hop super group Black Hippy, has always stood out through his gritty and charismatic tales of street life, gang-banging as a Crip and selling drugs, namely Oxycontin (it’s no accident his upcoming album is called Oxymoron). Still, while Q has received well deserved critical recognition, people have been quietly wondering whether or not he has what it takes to make the next big jump, much like his label-mate and close friend Kendrick Lamar did on good kid, m.A.A.d city.
Laced with a cryptic and speaker-knocking beat by frequent Drake collaborator Boi-1da, “Yay Yay,” the first single from Oxymoron, is typical Q material: “Had pistols in my hands, had pockets full of Ox / whole life I been a G, had bitches on the block,” he barks over the chorus. Tired subject matter, sure — yet Q’s energetic and somewhat demented delivery makes the song more than listenable, and it’s clear that he means what he says. “I’m a drug dealin’ n*gga, cause them grades ain’t get me paid / My agenda for today is to make bread or get laid,” he states in the first verse.
Still, while “Yay Yay” is a promising sign that Q is slowly polishing his craft, he’ll have to mix it up a little more on Oxymoron to prove that he’s more than a one-trick pony only capable of rapping about drugs and street life, as fun as that may be.