ScHoolboy Q Shows Why He Just Might Be The Last Real Gangsta Rapper (Video)
Since dropping his Blank Face LP on July 8, ScHoolboy Q has been showered with critical acclaim, not only for the lyrical content of his fourth album but also the visual masterpieces that depict beautifully nuanced portrayals of the street-life mentality from someone juggling various perspectives: that of a self-proclaimed gang member, a devoted father, and a successful artist coming up in turbulent times. All of those topics have made the recent slew of his radio interviews far-ranging and intimate, but his most recent interview with the Breakfast Club is one that Heads really should not miss.
The interview begins with Q reflecting on the loss of one of his close friends, not due to death but due to a 100-year prison sentence. He mentions that the pain the news of his “original big homie”‘s incarceration is tempering his ability to bask in the delight of the release of his new album. “It’s rough, you lose one of your homeboys, bro. That ain’t easy, you don’t say ‘I’m over it.’ I just got the news that he got 100 years the day my album dropped. I’m riding going to do promo, and I get a call that he got 100 years. How am I supposed to feel about that?” he says.
His having to balance street life with his music career continues to be discussed throughout the interview, and eventually the conversation turns to Q’s status as a “gangsta rapper.” After Angela Yee’s mentioning of what seems to be Q’s “love for the OGs” of the Rap game, Charlamagne echoes her sentiment by complimenting the fact that L.A. artists seem to always support the OGs. At the 10:22 mark Q says “You got to. I grew up on hardcore gangsta rappin…you can’t put out an album and be from California and not have E-40 on one of your albums. I come up from the street angle. I feel like I am Jadakiss of L.A. Jadakiss is one of them underrated dudes who always held his own and always was the best. And that’s who I am, I feel like.” At the 10:51 mark, DJ Envy asks Q if he thinks he’s still underrated, to which he replies “Not so much now. But sometimes yeah, because people confuse gangsta Rap with no substance now, but we got the most substance than any artist ’cause of the simple fact that we talk about our life. [Other] people talk about what’s on the news.” Of the lyrical stepping up on Blank Face Q says “I felt like people sleepin’ on me, man. Even though I had a big record and all that, I just felt like I had to come back harder and stay focused” (11:40).
In a stunning anecdote that documents Q’s experiences with street life and how it affected his once-promising football career (he mentions he played in junior college but was unable to follow through after going to jail), he describes carrying a weapon with him to practice. “We was at practice on the field every day, I had my burner on the field at practice because there was a dude from another hood on the team and I didn’t trust him,” he says. “I hope I run into him one day because we ended up being cool once the season was over. I just wish people from my team could be here to tell y’all…I was really thuggin’ and playin’ football” (19:23).
At the 4:35 mark, Q addresses his loss of 35 pounds, which he says began on March 28. “I was just tired of waking up with heart burn, bro. I was tired of puttin’ on my pants and sometimes they fit, and sometimes they don’t.” He shares his weight-loss plan, which helps to emphasize the importance of being healthy, particularly with rising awareness in the Hip-Hop community of disproportionately high rates of diabetes, obesity, and other illnesses. Q says he found success with “an-all protein diet,” namely “steak and eggs over and over” coupled with six weekly gym sessions.
Other topics discussed include the now-infamous crying Michael Jordan joke cover art for the LP, Q’s thoughts on whether kids should play football, recording with Daz & Kurupt, his explanation of the line “all lives matter” on “Black THougHts,” and much more.