If you don’t know about ScHoolboy Q by now, you better start getting familiar. Making people very aware [on A$AP Rocky's verse on "Brand New Guy"] on what we’ve known for a while, ScHoolboy has been more than impressive with his latest album leaks. Hoping to step away from the shadow of his TDE counterpart Kendrick Lamar, Q is out to prove himself with his upcoming album HABITS & Contradictions.
The 17 track project, due out January 14, is a look into Q’s life, with tales of pill selling, life struggle, partying, religious hypocrites, his block and everything in between. Before hitting the Laker game with his daughter, he caught up with OnSMASH to talk about his growth between albums, how he stands out from the rest of Black Hippy and more.
OS: How do you feel you’ve grown between Setbacks and HABITS & Contradictions?
SQ: Shit, I’ve grown a lot. Just from concepts, to writing the proper 16, to being comfortable with my music. I’m all the way comfortable with everything I do now. There’s no second guessing anything.
OS: Have you picked up any pointers from anybody you’ve worked with?
SQ: I mean, [TDE] are the only people I pick up on really, because they’re the only ones I listen to. I don’t really listen to people like I should. I listen to older music. We’re the new. Me and the homies is the new. But I study a lot of older music.
OS: How would you describe yourself as opposed to the other members of Black Hippy? How do you feel you like you stand apart from them?
SQ: I feel like I bring a lot of character to the camp. I’m the one that’s gonna talk the most shit, the one that’s gonna have everybody laughing. I’m the one that brings the most character to the camp. I gotta do me. I gotta be my own artist. People like to try to box me and Kendrick together all the time. He’s doing him, I’m doing me. We’re brothers of course, but we gotta just branch off from each other at one point and both go to the top spot and both win.
OS: I mean, if you listen to the music, you can tell the difference between the two.
SQ: We’re completely the opposite. I’m Kendrick’s bad side. Kendrick’s my good side. I’m the bad version of Kendrick and Kendrick is the good version of Q. I mean, he’s got an edge to him too. He’s not just no goody two-shoes ass nigga. He’s from Compton, he talks about bitches, he talks about ‘nigga suck my dick’ – he’s not just about to be all Erykah Badu’d out the game. He’s got it all. That’s the man right now.
OS: As far as HABITS & Contradictions, how did you pick features on there?
SQ: When I first did this project, I didn’t want no features on there. I wanted it to be all me, but I decided to break it down and see who sounds better on which song and just made it come together. I had some other features on there, I don’t want to say the names, but it just didn’t fit the project.
Editor’s Note: After the brief catch up, we asked ScHoolboy Q to elaborate on a few tracks on the album, with a breakdown of each track in his own words. Below is his take on each track, with stories on how they came together and what inspired each individual track.
“Druggys With Hoes Again”
I feel like I need to do a “Druggys With Hoes” every time I put out a project. That’s just me, druggys with hoes, you know what I’m sayin? We was in Vegas — I had gotten a beat from these producers Nez & Rio when I was in Chicago and I had been sitting on the beat, but I had to figure out what I wanna to do with it because I knew it was a banger. But we had booked a studio session at The Palms and we went up there with a few people, some girls and shit, and I just came up with it. Some wild shit. Because at first it was supposed to be called “Extra Pills” but it reminded me so much of “Druggys With Hoes” times 10. It’s got that bounce.
“There He Go”
Somebody leaked that video, it wasn’t even supposed to come out. It wasn’t even the record of me rapping the verse to and they just put it out. I woke up the next morning and that shit was out. I don’t even like the shit.
Anyway, I got that song from my daughter because my daughter — she’s always like “I wanna go here,” “I wanna go there” and when we get there she’s like “Daddy, there he go.” This was early on, I did the song a minute ago, when she was 1 [years old] or something. So I figured I’d use that, her [baby] accent so I figured I’d do the Nicki Minaj and shit. I thought it would be tight to do a little Nicki Minaj accent, because how many niggas are actually gonna steal Nicki Minaj’s little style? So I figured I’d steal it a little bit and make a fun record.
Before I was in the rap game, I was selling Oxycontin. Most niggas sell crack, cocaine, heroin, sherm, but I was selling oxy. Everybody got they all-types of music, you know how they watered it down? Not a diss or nothing, but like “Maybach Music,” “Rider Music,” “Smoke Music,” I figured I’d make me “Oxy Music.” When I thought of the title, it was almost like a “diss” to everyone doing their “music,” I figure it’s corny — everybody is doing it, get “Drunk Music” — people were just going too far with it. And that’s not a shot at [Rick] Ross or nothing because Ross is one of my favorite rappers, but for the other people that was corny’ing it out. Like come on, be original bruh.
It’s about a motherfucker that’s — he’s trying, but he keeps contradicting himself. He’s basically going to church and as soon as he leaves church, he’s going to kill somebody. He just can’t get over that hump with life and shit. With the video, I made the video to where at the end the nigga just killed himself going through so much trials and so much trouble in his life. Just wig yourself man, fuck it. That’s what it comes down to when you’re in that mind state and you just keep fucking up and bringing yourself down. All that shit just catches up and wears you down. People that are sacrilegious are the worst type of people man. They’re worse than a liar to me.
It’s one of the reasons I named the project HABITS & Contradictions. Those ["Blessed" and "Sacrilegious"] are basically the two title tracks. “Blessed” is a record where, I’m telling you that no matter how hard it is, you can be straight. You’re blessed bruh. There’s no reason to be stressing the way you’re stressing. Like I don’t get this: I had somebody tell me they’re broke, they’re stressing with money, but how are you broke and you got your fucking cable on? It don’t make sense. How when we about to go to the store, you got on a leather jacket, you got some Gucci and Jordan shoes talking about how you’re broke? You might have to make better decisions, but at the end of the day, you’re blessed bruh. Every day you have more than somebody. Every day. Every day you’ll be doing better than somebody, so there’s no reason to be complaining or stressing over shit even though it’s gonna happen, but it comes a time where you gotta look at it like, “I’m straight.” Better luck next week. Better luck tomorrow.
“Hands On The Wheel” (feat. A$AP Rocky)
I had three verses on the record. I forgot, someone in my camp was telling me to put A$AP Rocky on the record and I was like, ‘Yeah he would be perfect for that” so I sent him the record and he sent it back and killed it. All we do is smoke weed and drink beer. Rocky’s my dude. He’s like an East Coast version of me. He want to get fly, he wants to fuck biches, he wants to smoke weed and he wants to drink beer and that’s exactly what I do. We basically the same nigga. Their camp, they’re the same as us. Act wild and shit. Me and my homies act wild. We keep it HiiiiPoWeR, though. But everyone needs that East Coast connect. Everybody needs that West Coast connect. When I’m on the East, he’s gonna hold me down and when he’s on the West, I’m gonna hold him down.
“Nightmare On Figg Street”
It’s about my block. Where I come from. Last time I gave you “Figg Get The Money,” basically I gave you the version of Figg Street of how they get the money. How we have liquor stores right across from another liquor store. You got hotels right across from churches. A gas station here, a gas station there. EBT all over the motherfucking place. Metro PCS’s, just everything. Just gave you a vision of Figg and how they collect so much money from us and how broke we are, but we give these niggas so much money. It’s just crazy to me. On “Nightmare on Figg” I gave you the gangsta part of it. The rough side of it. The hanging out, the gangbangin, the beating people up, chain snatching, scared to look the other way. It’s the same hood, but I switched it up to give you the more rough version.
Although, he will not be joining Kendrick Lamar on the Drake “Club Paradise” tour later this year, ScHoolboy Q has two shows right after the release of his album on iTunes, with more on the way. Expect features from Curren$y, DOM Kennedy, Lex Luger, A$AP Rocky, Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul and more on HABITS & Contradictions.