Let's take a look at what reviewers are saying about Schoolboy Q's third album.
Schoolboy Q's long-awaited third studio album Oxymoron has been released this week and as fans all over the world are loading up their mp3 players and stereos to get acquainted with the hip hop star's latest work, we've had a snoop around all the reviews.
Recorded over at least a year, the undisputedly gangsta rap record has been a while in the making since 2012's independent release Habits & Contradictions and is seemingly richer for it. Schoolboy's cynical view of life in apparent in the album as "Cold cynicism comprises 99 percent of Q's worldview, and he's going to do his best to synthesize that gloom into barking anthems," says Billboard, who gave Oxymoron an impressive rating of 82.
"But," Billboard adds, "that one percent of romance still exists within Quincy Hanley's heart, and he wisely makes room for it on "Oxymoron."" Schoolboy's young daughter Joy features several times on the album, and also appears on the cover art of the standard release album. The shot of Schoolboy wearing a balaclava adorns the deluxe edition.
Describing the album as a "hazy and nocturnal self-examination," the Boston Globe notes the mixture of "both the grittiest elements of LA ("Hoover Street") and the smoothed-out soundscape ("Man of the Year")." The Globe appreciates the low-key feel of the album, saying "This isn't a blockbuster - no Drake cameo, no Dr. Dre co-sign - but that's the beauty of it" whilst discussing the differing career trajectories of Q and his label-mate Kendrick Lamar, the rapper who features on third track 'Collard Greens.'
Billboard describes the collab track as "truly addictive," adding "The bisyllabic screech drives the thudding beat forward, and the technique is even more effective when Q returns after his pal Kendrick Lamar pops up to playfully spit bilingual game."
"With tough-as-nails beats (via Pharrell, Tyler the Creator and more) and boundless energy, Q's major-label debut positions him as the hardened triggerman in Kendrick Lamar's Black Hippy crew," says Rolling Stone, remarking that by shouting "gangsta gangsta gangsta!" at the beginning of the album," Q quite literally takes NWA's 'Gangsta Gangsta' one further.
There is a palpable darkness to the album, best expressed on 'Prescription,' the track that addresses Q's depression and noticing babywipes in the purse of a prostitute as he plays a pimp in 'Grooveline Pt. 2.' "Schoolboy complements Lamar's narrative distance with evocative, unflinching first-person dispatches from the front lines," praises RS.
After Kendrick Lamar broke with Good Kid, M.A.A.d City in 2012, there was an intimidating floodlight of expectation cast upon his label compatriot. Luckily, it seems like Q hasn't let all the attention get to his head, releasing a complex album of darkness and gangsta living, rich with good vibes for future releases.
Schoolboy Q's Oxymoron is out now on Top Dawg/Interscope.