Illustration by Maquarie Fletcher
Schoolboy Q is blessed. In the last year, the LA rapper has headed out on a world tour, released the critically lauded Oxymoron, piloted a hover board and played sold out shows in sunny Australia. Q is a father, a style icon and a pretty deep dude. We sat down with him to talk about Oxymoron and earlier material, how he feels about those dang bucket hats, and life as a father in the Innernette age. Yay yay.
Noisey: The videos that have come out since Oxymoron are incredible. This body of visual work seems quite coherent. How much creative input have you have?
Schoolboy Q: It’s funny because with this album I honestly haven’t really had too much creative input. I gave them to the director and let him come up with it because I was so caught up in my album at the time of shooting. Everything you see after this ,for the next videos at least, will be me asvI’m half-directing them. I’m not going to credit myself as I think that’s kind of corny. You just have to know you’re creative and put all of yourself into it.
It’s interesting how much your style stands out from a lot of your counterparts. You’re an enthusiast of the word ‘groovy’ and wearing bucket hats. The only real person I can see that draws parallels to this is my own father. Does being a Dad and subverting traditionally ‘dorky’ Dad styles influences you?
I don’t even really sag like I used to. My daughter is five years old and I’m 27. I’m not into stuff that’s not a good representation of a father. All this stuff is documented now. You can’t do something and get away with it. Everything is on the Internet now. When you go out there and represent yourself you just got to be right. And yeah, I’m a grown man in a bucket hat [laughs]. The bucket hat thing is just something that I felt looked good on my head … and I done got a little too carried away with it. I went crazy with it and didn’t even think about what was going to happen. Now everybody expects me to wear nothing but a bucket hat.
Are you sick of it?
Everyone at my shows is wearing bucket hats, you know what I mean? It’ll be like a sea of bucket hats at a show. I don’t even buy them any more, I get all my hats from fans throwing them on stage. Then I take them home and wash them [laughs]. On the inside of Oxymoron where I have all the hats they’re all from fans. I did that for the fans.
Was Oxymoron more of an emotionally tumultuous album to make than the more party-centric style of Habits and Contradictions?
Habits and Contradictions was my life when I was 21, 22. It represented a past lifestyle. I had just started fucking around with girls, wild shit was mostly the sound of those songs. “Blessed” was a song about another time. I wrote it for my homie because he lost his son. I never knew how to hit him up and tell him I was sorry. I thought that if it was me, I wouldn’t want my phone blowing up and hearing that shit. I didn’t go to the funeral. I don’t do funerals; the next funeral I go to is going to be mine. I wrote that song to tell him no matter what he was going through; he was still blessed if he had that faith. I’m not even super religious; I don’t go to church every Sunday or pray over my food or whatever. Habits was kind of introspective still but not as deep as Oxymoron at the same time. I had to save stuff for Oxy.
What did you save for Oxymoron? Material that was even rawer?
I wanted to talk about being addicted to prescription drugs. I saved it, I was like I’m going to wait, and I’m going to talk about it on Oxy. It was hard but it wasn’t. More frustrating than anything. Like putting a puzzle together. You’re looking for the puzzle piece and you can’t find it but you know what the piece looks like. Then you finally find it in the carpet like “Damn…here it is!” It was fun at the same time, though. That’s why you do a puzzle. You go and put the next puzzle together, even though it was frustrating and took all day. You probably even broke the last one apart and worked on another one but you did it again, that’s how it is.
'Oxymoron' is available now.
Get more of Maquarie on her radio show Golden Syrup.
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