With the arrival of Kendrick Lamar, all eyes have been on the Black Hippy crew, which also includes Jay Rock, Ab-Soul, and Schoolboy Q. Schoolboy Q is next out the gate, with the clique’s first release of the new year, Habits & Contridictions. But is Q just as talented as his Dr. Dre blessed brother?
One thing Schoolboy Q is not, is a clone of Kendrick. Like the other members of the crew, he’s his own artist, with his own style. While Lamar is the more introspective one and Jay Rock is the realist, Q is the wild card, living a carefree lifestyle of drug dealing and hoe hoppin’.
There are plenty of moments where Q channels this energy into some pretty brilliant concoctions, such as the dub-flavored “Sacrilegious”, or “2 Raw”, some music to drive by that features Jay Rock. Songs like “Oxy Music” and “Grooveline Pt. 1″ (feat. Curren$y & Dom Kennedy) find him getting high off his own supply, while “There He Go” and “Druggies Wit Hoes Again” show some minor Project Blowed influence. And who can forget the album’s greatest moment, “My Hatin’ Joint”, which finds him simply hating on the guy that got the girl.
There are a few questionable songs included, however. The “Niggas In Paris” dis (or whatever it is) “Nightmare On Figg St” defies explanation, while the too-soon “Hands On The Wheel” samples a cover of Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness”. Speaking of untouchable samples, the Portishead jacking on “Raymond 1969″ is a lazy rip off, lacking innovation.
While Schoolboy Q is easily the group’s most ig’nant emcee, he can also be very compelling. At the same time, there’s a lack of quality control here that keeps this from being a truly great release. While not perfect, at least Q realizes he’s got Habits and Contridictions, just like the rest of us.
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