ScHoolboy Q Is Not Here for the Bullshitters and Opportunists
Welcome to the Noisey Personality Test, where we ask established artists questions that start nowhere near 'so, tell me about the album…'
ScHoolboy Q isn’t giving you constant social media updates, but he’s not forgotten you lot. As he tells it, the LA rapper is perpetually in the studio. It’s about 11.30AM for him when we speak over a crackly phone line and eight-hour time difference; as part of a new Q&A series we're running, he cracks jokes about being a golf-playing dad and opens up about a project he’s working on with new musicians (more on that in a second). And though he’s just woken up, he makes mention about how he never lets up – he’ll likely be back in the studio when we hang up, as usual. No, I do not have details about a new album. You’ll have to wait.
This autumn, though, Q is playing a load of gigs at various House of Vans locations, and handpicking local artists to open for him beforehand. The project’s called Share the Stage, and triggered a couple of memories from Q’s past. “I’ve been in that position before, you know?” he says. “I’m excited that I’m giving new artists some new hope by listening to them. And actually listening – I haven’t listened to new music, from people trying to get up off the ground, in a long time. It’s interesting. You see how bad some of them were and how good some of them were.” Now he chuckles, clearly half-joking.
But when Q thinks about what he would have sounded like at the very start of his career, he was taken aback. “Some of them had real real good quality, and it was shocking. Because I remember coming up at that stage and my quality was terrible. But some of those guys I thought were terrible? I’m pretty sure some of them will still be able to be stars; there’s probably a couple of stars in there.” On top of his experience going through a bunch of artist demos and videos, Q talked about fatherhood, being an only child and why sky-diving is basically overrated. This is his Noisey Personality Test.
Noisey: What music do you listen to?
ScHoolboy Q: Honestly, I’m always working on music, so I really listen to myself, more than anything. I’m always trying to perfect things and scrap things. I’m never not working. Even when I’ve just put an album out, and I’m about to go on tour, I’ll have a whole studio setup with me on tour. So when something crosses my ear – maybe, my DJ will put me on something, or play something for me backstage; he listens to other things – I’ll take note of that. But when I’m taking a car with people, or something, I don’t wanna sit and have them listen to what I’ve made that’s half-done. So I’ll go onto Apple Music or Spotify or whatever, and just let things play. I don’t wanna be that guy that’s spoiling it for everybody when I’m playing my half-done tracks [laughs]. I mainly listen to half-done tracks all day.
Do you get bored easily?
Yeah! I’m an only child, so being bored is something that’s just everyday. It’s something that’s part of my life. I get over things fast, even when I’m creating. I’ll be in there, creating, and as soon as I get bored I just put things down, and I walk out. I won’t even tell anybody; I’ll just walk out and go to the balcony. Just… I deal with boredom by being by myself, for some reason; my mind never stops working. It’s hard to explain it. My imagination is still strong, even at my age, since I grew up as an only child. I gotta get away from people sometimes. I get over people a lot real fast, too. I don’t like the same people in my studio type shit, every day, every year. I love to mix it up; change engineers. I have a lot of friends. I have childhood friends, after-high-school friends. I have my new friends, my golf friends – I play golf. I just have different types of friends.
Would you say you’ve got a short temper or are you quite patient? What would it take for you to get angry?
Honestly, I have a short temper. I can’t stand bullshitters, opportunists… I can’t stand my daughter sometimes, shit [chuckles]. Sometimes, I just can’t stand people. I love my kid but… I have to deal with her every day. She does home schooling so I’m pretty much her teacher, too.
What do you do to chill yourself out in stressful situations?
Play a video game. Play a little golf. Then get stressed out more on the damn golf course [laughs] and feel even worse.
What’s your favourite animal?
Um, my dog?
Okay, but what kind of dog breed in particular?
Doberman Pinscher [a Dobermann, outside the US], Cane Corso and French bulldog. I have three dogs. I’ve had a dog my whole life; I can’t never really imagine my life without a dog.
What’s the most thrill-seeking thing you’ve ever done?
I’ve sky-dived before. Other than that… I mean, going to jail [chuckles] – if that counts as anything. But skydiving is… it’s not what you think. It’s not that scary, you know? You’re with somebody the whole time. It’s scary getting ready to jump, that whole thing; climbing up to a certain number of feet. You’re in this raggedy-ass plane and shit, and then you just jump out of it. It gets a little weird, but for the most part it’s only really scary doing all that. Once you jump out, it’s… it’s nothing. It’s like, ‘wow, I’m way up in the fucking sky and coming down. And it’s actually kinda weak.’ After the climb-up. It’s kinda overrated.
Where did you dive?
Hawaii. I’ve done it twice. The other time was going towards Magic Mountain, by my house. Both times were fine, but it’s not something I would suggest for people to do, cos it’s not all that. Different strokes for different folks but it wasn’t all that scary after that ride up. It was something I’d always wanted to do. That first time, in Hawaii, I was on the beach, and I saw people skydiving. Then we went and did it. And the second time, my homeboy wanted to do it, so we did. But I don’t wanna sit through that 45-minute training and shit, all for the shit to last, like, two minutes. Like I said, the plane ride going up is scarier than anything else.
What do you do to entertain yourself when you're at a loose end?
There’s no dead time. You always in the studio; and I’m a full-time dad too, so I’m sharing my daughter with her mum and taking care of my daughter. I don’t really have days off: I have to be a dad, I have to be a rapper. I just live life like a normal person, like a man raising a kid. It’s school, then home, and that’s pretty easy, rap, then golf. That’s my whole life now. I don’t go to parties, I don’t like doing none of that stuff. I’m not a club-goer. I just like to do me, raise my kid, and play golf.
What’s been one thing about fatherhood that’s surprised you?
Umm… nothing. There’s nothing surprising about taking care of a kid. It’s not a big deal; it’s in our nature to be parents. We’re not put here to just to kick back every day [laughs] – we’re put here to be parents. Everything else we’re doing on top of that is just extra. We’re here to reproduce, teach them and give them a better life than we had ourselves.
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