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Album Review: Schoolboy Q

By Ohad Amram, Staff Writer

 

Los Angeles based rapper Schoolboy Q makes an incredible sophomore album with full-length "Habits & Contradictions." The fitting title for this LP fully sums up its subject matter, infused with street hustle and the occasional paraphernalia, women and money clichés. He speaks on the heart and drive to push through the everyday struggles that plagues Q, through bass-pounding beats and monstrous synth, driven by catchy verses and lyricism. He's an equal match lyricists of current rappers A$AP Rocky and even fellow Black Hippy Crew member, Kenderick Lamar. "Habits & Contradictions" may easily be one of the best rap albums of 2012.

Seeing as Q is friends with both A$AP and Lamar, it should come as no surprise that both singles featuring the aforementioned rappers. The singles stick out due to their catchy hooks and verses that any listener is bound to repeat after even one full listen. Due to Q's status among these rappers, the production on this album is far from ordinary with producers Tabu, THC, A$AP and Ty Beats, to name a few. More prominent producers on this album include producer Lex Luger, who's worked with acts including Kanye West, Waka Flocka Flame, Rick Ross, as well as many others. Hip-hop artist Curren$y is featured on "Grooveline Pt.1" alongside rapper Dom Kennedy. From beginning to end, "Habits" doesn't lose its edge. The album maintains an element of certainty. The pulsing beats he slays over enable the listener to just become immersed within Q's dilemmas and misfortunes, including troubles regarding his daughter and old ways of life when Q partook as Crip leader, back when he was gang affiliated. 

In Q's first studio album released in January of last year, "Setbacks," he made clear that he had a vision and clear objective in making music. Done with the way of life he had pursued prior to making music, Q realized his passion for writing music was stronger than most others he had attempted. Now with "Habits & Contradictions," Q states that he has made it and is definitely here to stay. The album starts off on a more somber and serious note which sets the tone for the albums title. This first track is entitled "Sacrilegious," respectively, a well representation for Q's state of mind on the track. However, with that said, don't let this fool you: Q is far from conservative in his ways, despite all attempts in making amends for previous conduct. The tracks to follow including "Sex Drive" which features artist J Hene Aiko, "Sexting," and "Druggies Wit Hoes Again," which features artist Ab Soul, all include crude description of a typical "sexcapade." The album is very sex driven perhaps ,more so than others, it also gives nothing shy of a real interpretation of how his California come-up was. Violence and drugs, although quite obtrusive throughout the duration of the album's hour and ten minute running time, only scrape the surface with the vision that Q had for this album. By no means could Q be defined as a weed rapper. The reviews and ratings received on this album, collectively speak for themselves. Many have hailed the album to be Q's finest work to date.

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