Quincy, 2012: Schoolboy Q’s “Habits & Contradictions”

The secret’s been out on Schoolboy Q since he stole the show on LIVELOVEA$AP. So there was a certain futility in playing the “first” game when he dropped Habits & Contradictions...
By    January 17, 2012

The secret’s been out on Schoolboy Q since he stole the show on LIVELOVEA$AP. So there was a certain futility in playing the “first” game when he dropped Habits & Contradictions over the weekend. After all, what’s special about a rapper like Schoolboy is that he makes you realize how stupid it is to try to pull the Internet cool card. While most of the rap blog blob won’t be around next year, the Black Hippies could give a fuck what you or I think about this record. And it’s not muddled in that hypocritical self-righteous “FUCK YOUR BLOG, BUT HOW DARE YOUR BLOG IGNORE ME” way. When I interviewed them last week, they stressed that the most important thing was to make music that their homies liked. The direct quote was, “If your hood don’t like you, who else will?”I also asked if he listened to Menomena, whose “Wet and Rusting” is sampled on “There He Go.” He had no clue who they were. That was strangely comforting.

Black Hippy have mostly (wisely) opted out of weary regional cliches. No overbearing faux-menacing Dr. Dre pianos. No fantasias of Eazy E everywhere. This is Fig as it exists today — outside of the gentrified condomaximalism so pervasive five miles north. Black Hippy follow no rules.¬† Hooks are sometimes the bridge and verses extend to 32 bars or more — should they feel like it. Don’t confuse Schoolboy’s Hoover Crip cred as evidence that he’s not a free spirit. These guys twist their blunts in Fantas — organic all-natural wraps. Habits & Contradictions is the sound of getting shot by the sharpest and most eccentric guy patrolling the block.

No song best embodies the record than “Raymond 1969.” There’s a Portishead sample, a clip from The Beatnuts’ “Off the Books,” and Q loading pistols, smoking sherm, slipping on the ski mask, and marinating on Vietnam, the effects of Raymond Washington founding the Crips in 1969, and money, ho’s and clothes. All points covered, tied up with duct tape, and set on fire. This is the first great rap record in a year that I suspect will have a lot of them.

Download:
MP3: Schoolboy Q-“Raymond 1969”
MP3: Schoolboy Q ft. Kendrick Lamar-“Blessed”

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