In just one year, ScHoolboy Q's music has developed immensely since the release of his Setbacks (2011) debut and the LA rapper is leaping tall expectations in a single bound. The MC born Quincy Hanley and his latest project, Habits & Contradictions, have received kudos on multiple levels, connecting the block-huggers to the culture connoisseurs; all agreeing that the TDE artist has added notable depth to his work. Although the South LA native is still adjusting to the flood of positive feedback, he is well-aware of what he's doing. This was the plan he had for himself all along and the rest of us are just catching up.
Before a recent show in Atlanta, Hip-Hop Wired had a moment to speak with ScHoolboy Q about his expectations, goals for the coming year and his daughter's reaction to his newfound fame.
HipHopWired: Are you surprised at how much growth is in Habits & Contradictions a year after your debut project?
ScHoolboy Q: Yeah. I thought I'd be harder, Shyte… [laughs]. Hell yeah, I work hard for my Shyte. For sure.
HipHopWired: Habits & Contradictions is totally different from Setbacks.
ScHoolboy Q: I gave them more me and stopped being people-friendly. Setbacks was more people-friendly and I was scared to do certain records because I figured it would be too much on ni**as. That's why now you hear me going crazy on records and Fawking with my voice a little bit, because I feel like a lot more people know me now, so I can Fawk around a little bit.
My daughter raps all my songs, word for word.
HipHopWired: You're more reserved than most artists and all this new attention can be a lot. How's your daughter adjusting? Is she aware of what's going on?
ScHoolboy Q: Yeah, yeah, my daughter knows everything, man. She's crazy. She's two now but she'll be three in April. She raps all my songs, word for word. She knows about everything. I brought her to her first show—one of my first shows at the Troubadour. She liked it [chuckles]. Brought her out on stage, she waving and Shyte…
HipHopWired: Did all this positive feedback on H&C shock you at all?
ScHoolboy Q: Nope [laughs].
HipHopWired: [laughs] So none of this surprises you.
ScHoolboy Q: Nope. I seen it happen with Kendrick [Lamar] too and it was like destined to happen man. I work hard. Like, I hope so. I know my Shyte tight. If my Shyte wasn't tight I wouldn't be doing it, you know what I mean? I'd be like, ‘Aaaah…' Like, when I first started rapping, I was like, ‘This Shyte ain't it.' [laughs] But now? Hell yeah, for sure.
A$AP [Rocky] wanted to work with me and I was like, ‘For sure.'
HipHopWired: So now what? What's the next goal for Q?
ScHoolboy Q: Finishing up this album man. That's all I'm really excited to do. I'm excited to hear what it's gonna sound like now. Growth…
HipHopWired: How'd that A$AP Rocky track (“Brand New Guy”) come about?
ScHoolboy Q: My manager Dave hit me up saying that A$AP [Rocky] wanted to work with me and I was like, ‘For sure.' I was in New York, told him to come through, so he came through and played the joint. He rapped the hook for me and I did my verse. That was it.
HipHopWired: There've been murmurs of a full project too. When are the two of you planning on knocking that out? ScHoolboy Q: I don't know. Once we have the time to just sit down and just work on it. We're thinking about flying somewhere probably, and just go ahead and knocking it out. Probably go to Miami and record the whole thing there and then… HipHopWired: Nowadays, people are emailing tracks cross-country to lay verses, why is it important for you to actually sit in the studio and do it as a unit? ScHoolboy Q: I don't know. Shyte, I feel like, ‘Let's do it.' We're young and we're new to this rap Shyte, so while we cando it, we'll go to this place and go to that place, then why not? We might as well go somewhere and record it.
HipHopWired: Last year, while you were touring with Kendrick, you guys had a whole storyline type of thing set up. What are you planning on doing at your solo sets this year?
ScHoolboy Q: My whole thing is just for people to have fun. I'll get in the crowd and you know what I'm saying? I'll touch people and interact; I even say jokes in that muhFawker. I just let them get me. It's like, kicking it with me. It'll almost be like being in the hotel, kicking it with Q…
The past couple of years have been really great for Top Dawg Entertainment. Do you know whether or not it will remain an independent imprint?
ScHoolboy Q: Well, you know… It's talks and Shyte. We're all talking to people so… We'll see. We'll see.
[Editor's Note: Turns out Interscope saw quite clearly, having signed ScHoolboy Q and the rest of TDA to a collaborative deal.]
MORE ON HIP-HOP WIRED!