Rising hip-hop artist releases follow-up album

Contact Zac Younkins at [email protected]

Zac Younkins

With Tuesday’s release of ScHoolboy Q’s second album, “Oxymoron,” record label Top Dawg Entertainment holds two major contenders of hip-hop legend. Kendrick Lamar’s iconic “good kid, m.A.A.d. City” gave the label major critical and commercial success, and propelled it to prominence. The album was hailed as an instant classic, and Q aims for the same praise.

TDE also distributed the artists’ independent albums — from Lamar, the album that made him a legend, “Section.80,” and from Q, the classic “Habits & Contradictions.”

Q has a handful of singles under his belt already that gained the album a following, such as “Collard Greens” (featuring Lamar) and “Man of the Year”. Where Lamar is the lyrical virtuoso of the group, Q is the party starter.

Q’s performances on the Long Live A$AP Tour, along with Danny Brown, A$AP Rocky and Ferg, were some of his liveliest and his potential for mainstream popularity was evident. I wasn’t alone in thinking he was the best live rapper out of the group.

“Oxymoron” has been surrounded by hype for quite some time — and it delivers. The arrangement of samples is always unprecedented in Q’s work, and this is no exception with the Chromatics sample on “Hell of a Night” standing out. The collaborations with Rocky, 2 Chainz, Tyler the Creator, and Raekwon don’t hurt either. TDE has delivered another great LP, very real and genuine. With a more laid-back sound than Lamar’s, Q offers a different look at the life of a young rapper, coming into his own and coming into money. The narrative is more than just the obvious collection of songs about weed, money and groupies.

“Break the Bank,” “Man of the Year” and “Hell of a Night” are stellar singles. However “Collard Greens” works as a crowd pleaser and party starter on par with the amazingly catchy, Kid Cudi sampling “Hands on the Wheel.” Deluxe editions from Target and iTunes both offer different bonus tracks as well, great marketing giving fans a reason to buy a digital copy and a hard copy.

ScHoolboy Q’s “Oxymoron” tour comes to the House of Blues in Cleveland on March 9.