ScHoolboy Q Has A Very Real Conversation About Depression, Pressure & Loss (Video)
Last month, ScHoolboy Q released his fifth album, CrasH Talk. Q’s third consecutive LP to debut in the Top 3 comes after a challenging period in the MC’s personal life. He lost two friends in less than a year: Mac Miller and Nipsey Hussle. Moreover, the Grammy-nominated rapper and father has been open about living with depression.
In the conversations around the new album, few have been as candid and revealing as Q’s one-on-one with Charlamagne Tha God. As he did with ScHoolboy collaborator Kanye West one year ago, Charlamagne interviewed Q, for the rapper’s video channel. Notably, on the issue of mental health, C.T.G. has experience. The Breakfast Club co-host has spoken about it at length during interviews, on his Power 105.1 show and written a book titled Shook One: Anxiety Playing Tricks On Me.
During a recent rooftop conversation with ScHoolboy Q, the two men both describe the feelings and emotions they’ve had over the years. In particular, Q discusses a period two years ago when things seemed bleak to him. “Nobody can stop me but me, my ni**a,” Q says at 7:00. “But I do go into my hiding [times]. I get into my depressed moments where I’m insecure. But for most of the time—80% of the time, I’m a confident-ass ni**a; you can’t stop me.” He elaborates a few moments later about those other bouts.
Charlamagne asks about Q’s triggers for sadness and depression moments later. “The pressure of life. I never dealt with this much pressure ’til I made a million dollars. The pressure of making a million dollars is crazy. My daughter [has a] lifestyle that’s crazy. For me to tell her it’s over, the house is [gone], ‘I can’t afford [for] you to play soccer,’ ‘this car ain’t gon’ look like this no more,’ ‘me and Moms is beefin’ and all that now,’ that’s a lot of pressure. To tell your mom ‘I ain’t got it right now,’ when you been always had it is crazy. To see your homie get evicted or to see a ni**a die and you can’t do nothin’ or to see a community just rot, and you can’t help, it’s depressing. It hurts. It’s a lot of pressure. Making a million dollars could be the worst thing for somebody.” The platinum TDE artist admits he is stressed under the pressures of keeping the lifestyle he earned earlier this decade. “The only way I lose it is if I fumble the rock, if I let sh*t get into my head, if I let sh*t distract me. I gotta keep goin’. I gotta keep meetin’ new people.” The MC continues that his newfound passion for golf has been welcome escape from these pressures, and it provides him an outlet for release besides the recording studio.
“You’re just f*cked up, and you don’t know what it is. That was me in 2017, you get what I’m sayin?'” he says ahead of the 13:00 mark. “I got into this thing where I think I’m the most famous motherf*cker in the world. I’m famous, but I’m not that famous. You know what I’m saying? I’m walking everywhere and sh*t like I haven’t dropped music in two years and sh*t, and I’m just walking around with my hood down. I’m just paranoid of everyone looking at me ’cause I’m always by myself… I’m trying to avoid people because I don’t want them to see who I am because I’m thinking every f*cking day is like tour life.”
Also during the interview, ScHoolboy Q reflected on losing Nipsey Hussle as well as his good friend Mac Miller last year. He recalls Nip’ being the first to congratulate him on Setbacks back in 2011. “That’s not fair, homie. This ni**a got kids, homie. All this ni**a tried to do was help people,” Q says, admitting that is getting emotional. He also reveals that he played CrasH Talk for Mac, ahead of his death last September. “Losing a friend to gang-banging is way different from losing a friend that’s an innocent little kid that’s super pure. You expect it. [Gang life] comes with it but this was like…” he said before giving a blank stare of reflection. “He was shooting a video and he was talking. He was acting weird man. I was like, ‘What’s up with you, bro?’ He was like, ‘Who do I have to call to make sure you’re in this video?’ I was like, ‘What’s wrong with you? What you mean you don’t gotta call nobody.'”
When asked what he misses most about the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania MC/producer, Q says his being is what’s most hurtful about him being gone. “Man that’s my ni**a, bro. I got memories with that ni**a, bro. I can never write a song… damn, cuzz [turns around and fights back tears].” Charlamagne subsequently assured him that the emotion he’s feeling is okay and that he doesn’t need to compose himself for the cameras.
The intimate and revealing interview moves forward. Q also discusses his sobriety, the surprising reverse effects of album reviews, and a detailed explanation of why he enjoys golf.
Additional Reporting by Bandini.
#BonusBeat: ScHoolboy Q’s “Tales,” which Charlamagne Tha God references several times in the conversation: