ScHoolboy Q Discusses His Historically Unique Feature Choices (Video)
Less than one week ago, ScHoolboy Q released his fourth album, Blank Face LP. The TDE/Interscope Records effort features appearances by Tha Dogg Pound, E-40, and Jadakiss, among others. Speaking with DJ Whoo Kid this week on The Whoolywood Shuffle Shade 45 radio show, Groovy Q explained his feature choices, his commitment to fatherhood, and fans’ expectations of Kendrick Lamar appearances.
Whoo Kid begins the interview asking ScHoolboy Q about his daughter, Joy. “She really does [control my whole life],” says the Los Angeles, California native—alluding that he nearly quit Rap to be a full-time father. The G-Unit DJ raises the point that Eminem once canceled a reported $100 million tour opportunity to be with his oldest daughter, Hailie. “As he should,” responds Q. “This pays the bills, but at the same time, you’re getting taken away from your kids—my kid. I’m pleasin’ all these people, and I’m pleasin’ myself at the same time, but I really do it for her.” ScHoolboy Q also maintains this is why he has slower musical output than some of his prolific peers. “It’s impossible to drop like three records. Mothafuckas be droppin’ three albums and mixtapes all in one year; I would never.”
On his albums, Q has traditionally featured artists outside the current trends of the music industry. For instance, on 2014’s platinum #1 OXYMORON, Groovy Q enlisted Pamona, California veteran Suga Free on “Grooveline, Pt. 2.” Asked about his unique feature choices, ScHoolboy explains, “People are weirdos, and they don’t know how to rap. Like, people are not inspired, bruh. They just do what they think [fans] will like. I don’t do what I think people will like; I do what I like—and what’s creative in my mind. When I think out the box, I can’t just, ‘Oh, he hot. Let me throw him on there! He hot. Yo, you know what’d be hard? If I got such-and-such; he hot!’ Naw, fuck that.” After working with Kurupt on OXYMORON, Q features both members of Tha Dogg Pound on “Big Body.” This stands to be one of the highest profile appearances from Kurupt and Daz in the last decade.
While Q seeks out specific guests for his albums, he jokes that fans are often stuck on one particular feature. “People suck Kendrick [Lamar’s] dick so much,” ScHoolboy says with a laugh. “They can’t fuckin’ wait for the Kendrick verse. It’s not gonna happen; Kendrick doesn’t have a fuckin’ verse on [Blank Face LP].” Last week, Q did release an online single of the “THat Part (Remix)” featuring the Black Hippy collective of Kendrick, Jay Rock, and Ab-Soul. He adds that background vocals are just as important. K-Dot appears in that role on “By Any Means,” “Black THoughts,” and “Overtime.” To Q and the TDE camp, that role-playing is not a slight. “You sound good on the background vocals…Your voice really sounded good.” Q laughs at how fans heard Lamar’s background vocals of pre-album singles and assume completed, three-minute tracks are unfinished snippets.
Elsewhere in the interview, ScHoolboy discusses getting Kanye West to appear in a different fashion on “THat Part,” and why he enjoys festival performances. In closing, ScHoolboy Q refuses to “explain” the theme behind Blank Face. “All that explaining your album, that shit kinda lame…My first three albums, I explained ’em all,” says the MC—blaming the YouTube era. “I think that’s why music fans got so accustomed to listening to something and getting onto the next one. Even when you like shit, you’re over it.” He encourages all to listen to his fourth LP to understand what is really behind it.
Photo by Rafeal Fondeur.