Dillo Artist Profile: Schoolboy Q

Schoolboy Q dropped his first mixtape in 2008 and ever since has been climbing the music industry ladder. After his critically acclaimed album “Habits and Contradictions,” Q solidified his place among hip-hop’s elite with the release of his number one, grammy-nominated album “Oxymoron.” Schoolboy Q’s immeasurable confidence and lyrical exuberance demand attention and with each of his impressive albums, Q has proven that this attention is well-deserved. Here are five of his most essential tracks.

Hands on the Wheel

From its first line, “Life for me is just weed and brews,” to its last, “Love smoking dope, won’t compromise,” this song’s message is far from subtle. Built upon a cover of Kid Cudi’s hedonistic anthem “Pursuit of Happiness,” “Hands on the Wheel” finds Schoolboy Q and A$AP Rocky espousing a worldview at least as gleefully irresponsible as that of their source material and pulling it off flawlessly. The rappers’ blatant disregard for any and all consequences makes this one of the most fun and enthralling tracks in Schoolboy Q’s catalogue.

There He Go

“There He Go” captures Schoolboy Q’s appeal, spotlighting his brash hypermasculinity and vocal versatility. Over an ominous piano riff and a fog-horn bari sax motif, Q spits relentlessly braggadocious rhymes that give some of Jay-Z’s best boasts a run for their money. “There He Go” is such a hotbed of charisma that it manages to be what most brag-tracks fail to be: convincing.

Man of the Year

On “Man of the Year,” Schoolboy Q’s carefree, lustful lyrics are undercut by a dark, surprisingly poignant sample of the Chromatics song “Cherry.” The sample adds a somber gravity to Q’s strings of irreverent internal rhymes, elevating the song above most odes to women and partying. Plus, “Man of the Year” features some of the rapper’s most percussive, hard-hitting lyricism to date.

Studio

“Studio” features a slow-burning, chilled-out groove and a soulful hook from BJ the Chicago Kid. BJ’s smooth croon is a refreshing counterpoint to Schoolboy Q’s crass rhymes, adding a silky sensuality to Q’s unyielding virility. Suave and addictive, “Studio” is one of the rapper’s most popular songs for a reason.

Collard Greens

The catchy hook of “Collard Greens,” with its nursery rhyme-like melodicism, is an irresistible earworm, dancing around the song’s minimalist beat like a boxer dancing around the ring. Add an arresting verse from Kendrick Lamar and you’ve got one of Schoolboy Q’s most beloved tracks. And with lines like “All the college students loving Q / We gon’ turn it out until the neighbors wanna party too,” “Collard Greens” seems like it was made for Dillo Day.

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